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Caffyns is to drop Vauxhall from 2013

Caffyns will no longer represent Vauxhall in Kent from June 2013 due to the brand not fitting with the group’s strategy of developing a core business with premium and premium volume franchises.

The group also said it was unwilling to commit to the “high levels of capital needed to operate the Vauxhall franchise”.

The AM100 dealer group represents Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volvo.

When asked whether the Caffyns’ strategy meant it would look to offload franchises that were not premium, operations director Guy Ainsley clarified the definition.

He said: “Premium and premium volume are franchises where we can consistently earn chassis margins from new cars and where customers are loyal to the brand or seek it out in preference to other brands – hence the premium.

"Vauxhall wasn’t able to achieve this for us. All our other brands do.”

Caffyns is predominantly a freehold business, the capital tied up in large sites “must be justified by the return”.

The group is actively planning to redevelop its freehold facilities in Ashford and Tunbridge Wells with franchises it already represents.

A spokesman for Vauxhall said: “Vauxhall's future retailer network strategy was presented to the network on July 11.

“The strategy takes into consideration the actions required by the new Block Exemption legislation.

"Vauxhall is very happy with its position and is confident that its comprehensive, professional and high- quality network has a great future.”

The manufacturer refused to comment further on the matter.

Simon Caffyn, Caffyns chief executive, said: “Our freehold facilities at Ashford and Tunbridge Wells offer great potential for development, having scale, excellent locations and strong markets.

"Already, one of our core partners has supported our plans for future investment.

“Vauxhall has a strong product range and solid customer base.

"However, the brand no longer fits with our strategy.”

Between now and 2013, Caffyns will continue its programme of stock and inventory reduction as well as focusing on more profitable aspects of the business to improve overall returns.

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