Stratstone Cadillac Corvette and Hummer at Edinburgh has closed after little more than a year’s trading.
Jonathan Nash, UK managing director of the three brands, said its closure had been mutually agreed between Cadillac and the dealership’s owner, Pendragon.
He added: “It did not do as well as it should have done.” Cadillac is currently in talks with other parties for representation in Edinburgh but Nash was unwilling to disclose any details.
Nash expects to get the network back up to six sites next year, once the Edinburgh open point is filled. While he said these six sites might involve some moving around, the franchise is not looking for further dealership growth in 2009.
Conditions for dealers are “pretty tough”, said Nash, and as the GM-owned niche premium franchise is predominantly an add-on, sales are also impacted by other factors such as the brands it is sold alongside.
GM has seen the UK as an important potential market for its Cadillac brand. It was brought here in 2004 with ambitions for 18 dealerships and steadily growing sales.
However, plans have been thwarted by early unavailability of right-hand drive cars, a false start through giving initial exclusive sales rights to Pendragon, and recessionary conditions now driving customers towards more fuel-efficient choices.
The closure of the Edinburgh outlet meant the end of a sponsorship deal with the city’s ice hockey team, the Edinburgh Capitals.
Saab, which offered employee discounts to retail customers from October to year-end to clear stock, saw a “pretty good response in terms of existing inventory”.
Nash said it was a good chance to open dialogue with customers holding off buying because of the recession, but added it was a one-off promotion.