More redundancies looming at Lookers as business managers and sales teams now face cuts

  • Some sales staff and business managers face losing their jobs at Lookers
  • Staff told yesterday about fresh round of redundancies following firm’s buy-out
  • As many as 650 staff could be at risk as part of latest round of job cuts

Time 7:26 am, December 12, 2023

Hundreds more staff face losing their jobs at Lookers in a swathe of fresh redundancies announced internally yesterday.

Staff at dealerships across the country were told on Monday (Dec 11) they were at threat of redundancy just a few weeks after the group was taken private by Global Auto Holdings – the bidding vehicle of Canadian firm Alpha Auto Group.

Sources told Car Dealer that business managers and sales teams at the group’s 160 sites across the UK were informed in a briefing yesterday that their jobs were at risk.

The wave of redundancies could see as many as 650 staff lose their jobs – 10% of the group’s 6,500-strong workforce.

Lookers would not comment on the total number of staff affected by the cuts but told Car Dealer that business managers and some sales staff were at risk.

One salesperson told Car Dealer: ‘I work for Lookers and the redundancies are worse than everyone thought. 

‘We were all promised no changes would happen [following the sale] but all sites have now been told no business managers and sales teams to be smashed in half. 

‘Today, two weeks before Christmas, we got told our three business managers were redundant and our sales team was being cut nearly in half.’

The latest round of job cuts comes just a week after hundreds of staff at Lookers’ head office were told they faced losing their jobs

At the same time, CEO Mark Raban told employees he would also be leaving at the end of the year.

Bosses at the Car Dealer Top 100 firm said the majority of job losses at head office relate to Lookers no longer being a PLC following the takeover.

An employee at the firm’s HQ labelled the situation a ‘disgrace’ that had ‘left a very bitter taste for all employees’.

A spokesperson for Lookers said: ‘Last week, Lookers confirmed that a certain number of corporate and support roles that relate to its status as a listed company may be affected by a proposed programme now that the business is no longer listed on the London Stock Exchange.

‘We have now completed a detailed review of our business and operations in order to keep the business efficient and ensure we have a manageable cost base.

‘Unfortunately, a number of roles have been identified across our operations that are now at risk of redundancy.’

Lookers was taken private in a 130p per share deal this summer that saw the firm leave the stock market on October 9.

Global Auto Holdings had originally offered 120p a share but that was rejected by the largest shareholder Cinch. Global then came back with an offer of 130p a share, valuing the dealership chain at £504.2m. Cinch agreed to it and the deal was sealed.

This is the second time in just over three years that Lookers has slashed jobs. In June 2020, at the height of the pandemic, it cut 1,500 jobs – 20% of its then workforce – and closed 12 dealerships in an effort to save costs.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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