Pendragon boss Bill Berman has a great opportunity with a blank sheet of paper

Time 12 months ago

Pendragon boss Bill Berman’s radical approach to the business is to be applauded and supported.

That was the view of dealer groups expert Mike Allen when he appeared on Car Dealer Live.

Showroom closures have been announced by Pendragon, as have redundancies, a new focus on online selling and the ditching of the Car Store brand.

But Allen, head of research at independent investment banking operation Zeus Capital, told host James Batchelor he’d been impressed with Pendragon’s strategy document.

‘It’s clear that he’s gone through the business in detail. He knows what he wants. He knows what he doesn’t want. I think there’ll be a lot of focus in the right areas for Pendragon.’

However, Allen added : ‘The plan is very good. Executing the plan is a different kind of level and obviously there are risks associated to that and obviously it is in a volatile market as well. But I think Bill’s taken that into account.’

Allen added: ‘He’s obviously seen he’s got a good opportunity with a blank sheet of paper. I think he’s doing the right thing in terms of closing down some of the franchise stuff that hadn’t really made them much money.

‘He clearly wants to have a go in a used car digital online strategy, which I think is exciting as well. I definitely wouldn’t bet against him, and I think the plan that he’s got has been very sensible.

‘I hope he puts Pendragon on the map. You can see a lot of value there.’

Batchelor commented on the tough decisions that big bosses had to take sometimes but added that Berman had brought a fresh pair of eyes to Pendragon.

He’d thought of a new way for the business and some may say that his radicalism should be applauded and supported.

‘I agree,’ said Allen. ‘I think it’s good for the industry to see Pendragon back where it was.

‘And I think from Bill’s side it’s not about having the most dealerships or looking at the highest revenue, it’s creating the best value, and that’s what I like best about the strategy document.’

Watch the interview in full by clicking on the main image.

See all of our Car Dealer Live interviews by clicking here

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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