The Covid-19 crisis has driven the UK’s 4,500-strong franchised car dealer network to a Darwinian junction: adapt to survive or risk extinction.
Car dealerships have been open to process sales since early June but demand to splash out on big-ticket purchases has plummeted as the UK enters a huge recession. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has predicted a 27pc fall in new car sales this year, making it the worst year since 1993.
Meanwhile dealers are looking to save costs where possible. Lookers, one of the UK’s biggest listed dealerships, has announced plans to shed 1,500 staff – almost a fifth of its workforce – and close 12 sites as sales crash due to coronavirus.
Even before Covid, the sector was grappling with the challenge posed by the