Motor 150 Special Report 2021

23 November 2021

No one would have predicted how the last couple of years have played out, not least for motor retail. There is a current feeling of optimism due to the resilience shown by the sector through this period and record profitability. But motor dealerships find themselves at a pivotal moment with fundamental changes underway.

Therefore, in addition to revealing the aggregated performance of the top 150 groups in the UK, this year's Motor 150 Special Report looks at what the dealership of the future will look like and how motor retailers may need to rethink how they operate. We give our perspective on the three defining factors shaping the sector:

  • EV transition
  • Agency model
  • Funding.

A year of two halves shows motor dealers bounce back

Considering the showroom closures in Spring 2020 and further disruption towards the end of the year, it is no surprise that the Motor 150 suffered its first fall in turnover for over a decade. Our analysis showed that:

  • Turnover reduced by 13.1% due to the pandemic with the reduction being felt hardest by the largest 75 groups
  • Government support was critical to survival through the first lockdown
  • Sales at the UK’s top 150 motor retailers took a hit but gross margins improved slightly to 10.9%
  • Net debt reduced due to increased focus on cash management.

The report also includes some thoughts from industry specialists and dealerships as to the outlook, opportunities and challenges that the sector faces and the top five things dealers should be doing now.


If you would like to discuss the report further or any wider sector issues, please contact Steve Le Bas, Partner, Motor Retail team. 

Visit our Motor Retail page for more insights in the sector. 

View previous reports.