Opel/Vauxhall reduce dealers, JLR cut jobs and move East [updated]
JLR: less UK and manpower, more EU and brains
In last week’s statement, the Tata-owned company said that it continues to recruit large numbers of engineers, graduates and apprentices as it invests in new products and technologies, and remains committed to U.K. plants in which it has spent more than 4 billion pounds since 2010.
Still, Jaguar’s latest models, the electric I-Pace and the Evoque-based E-Pace, are built by Magna Steyr in Austria – a decision that was made long before Brexit and indeed a blessing in disguise. The car maker is also investing €1.4bn in a brand-new plant in Nitra, Slovakia, which will have a capacity of 150,000 units. It took the decision back in 2015 and considering the current climate, experts expect JLR to move even more production to Eastern Europe.
PSA: less but performance-driven Opel/Vauxhall dealerships
PSA confirmed yesterday that Opel would give all of its 1,600 European dealerships a two-year’s notice by the end of this month. The group intends to retain a maximum of Opel and Vauxhall dealerships, but insiders believe that in some markets, like the UK, just two thirds of them will sign a new contract in 2020.
The new deal combines passenger vehicle and LCV sales in one single distribution agreement - today they are the subject of different contracts – and is to compensate performance rather than compliance with standards. ‘Instead of paying margins to dealers for the fulfillment of certain requirements, in the future we will pay performance-related bonuses that target sales figures and customer satisfaction,’ Opel’s sales and marketing chief Peter Kuespert told Automobilwoche.
‘We are counting on our dealers even more to drive our commercial vehicle offensive. We still see great potential in this financially attractive segment,’ he added. However, smaller dealers are unlikely to invest in LCVs if they haven't already done so and will probably not remain part of the official network.