Fleet News

Appleyard to shed a third of its dealerships

APPLEYARD is shedding a third of its dealerships in a wholesale restructuring designed to weed out low margin and loss-making retail sites after a dramatic slide in profits. The group has given up its Citroen, Volvo, Subaru, Ssangyong and Isuzu franchises, but retained its core interests in the mainstream marques - particularly Volkswagen, Audi and Peugeot.

The group's corporate re-engineering will cost £8.6 million and involve the closure of 10 dealerships, the sale of at least six more and no additional investment in another eight locations. Appleyard's contract hire and leasing business - jointly owned with Barclays Bank - continues to be profitable and will remain unaffected by the changes.

The group said profits before tax and exceptional items were expected to fall from £7.8 million last year to £3.2 million in the year to December 31, 1996. After brand separation of eight Volkswagen and Audi dealerships, the changes will leave Appleyard operating 23 franchises from 37 sites, compared with 28 franchises from 56 sites in 1995.

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