Sheffield and Doncaster Vauxhall dealers at risk of closure as falling sales hit car firm

Vauxhall is preparing to close dealerships across the UK.
Vauxhall is preparing to close dealerships across the UK.

Vauxhall dealerships in Sheffield and Doncaster could be at risk of closure as the struggling car firm prepares to axe branches amid falling car sales.

The firm is set to axe one in three of its dealerships putting at risk 3,700 jobs after being hit by a slump in car sales.

The group, which is owned by French giant PSA, will cancel contracts with all of its 326 dealers in the UK before striking new deals with only better performing branches.

It is thought around 100 may close.

The cuts come just three days after Jaguar Land Rover announced it was axing more than 1,000 jobs after seeing a fall in sales which it blamed on the crackdown on diesel engines.

Vauxhall's European sister company Opel is also shutting dealerships across the continent as the company tries to adapt to changing consumer habits which are seeing customers visit car dealers less and less.

Vauxhall's UK sales dropped 18.28 per cent in the year to date from 66,733 to 54,535, compared to a 12.38 per cent decline across the UK market.

Stephen Norman, Vauxhall's managing director, said last night: 'Conditions in the motor industry are changing, the competition is much more ferocious today especially in the UK than it was five years ago and inevitably there are different methods of consumption of automotive products and services including online and digital.

'Given what we see as the evolution in motor consumption in the next five to ten years - we have to think about the profitability of our franchising network and it is in their interests that taken this decision difficult though that may be to perceive at this stage.

Vauxhall's dealerships employ 12,137 people in the UK.