LOOKERS is set to close its offices in Newcastle upon Tyne, putting around 60 jobs at risk.
The company says it has had to take a number of difficult decisions after a tough 2019 that saw it issue two profit warnings and part company with two of its top executives.
In a statement issued to Car Dealer Magazine, Lookers said: ‘The car retail sector has faced extremely challenging market conditions over the last year and Lookers has not been immune from those headwinds, which have had a significant impact on the trading performance of the group.
‘Consequently, the group has undertaken a number of difficult but necessary measures to operate a simpler organisational structure, with more discipline and efficiency.
‘Regretfully, we have informed colleagues that we are proposing to close our offices in Newcastle. We are consulting with those colleagues affected and we will make every effort to support staff in finding alternative roles across the business where possible.
‘We will be supporting all those affected throughout the process.’
As well as its profitability issues, Lookers is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over the way it sold car loans between January 1, 2016 and June 13 last year.
The multi-franchise dealer group, which represents 32 volume and premium car manufacturers throughout the UK and Ireland, has its head office in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.
Further back-office support is provided to its network of dealerships from an operation in Glasgow.