Car dealership Pendragon to lay off 1,800 workers, shut loss-making stores

© Reuters.

(Reuters) – British auto retailer Pendragon Plc (L:) said on Thursday it would slash 1,800 jobs and close 15 loss-making stores, as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer demand for cars.

“The impact of Covid-19 has accelerated a review of the Group’s future operating model… the Board has taken the decision to introduce a more efficient operating model with fewer stores and leaner support functions,” the company said.

The planned changes, which follow a review that was commenced before the pandemic, will cut annual costs by about 35 million pounds, Pendragon said.

The company’s move comes after rival Lookers (L:) set out plans last month to lay off 1,500 employees and shut 12 more sites.

British car production fell by more than an annual 40% in the first half of the year to its lowest level since 1954, according to an industry body.

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