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Group 1 Automotive to Reduce U.K. Workforce by 10%


Group 1 Automotive Inc. announced on Wednesday that it will be reducing its U.K. workforce by 10%, which is approximately 358 people. This move comes as the company aims to lower costs amidst an uncertain economy.

Additionally, Group 1 expects losses on used-vehicle wholesale sales in the U.K. to continue into the current quarter, which ended on March 31.

Houston-based auto dealership and collision-repair company, Group 1, fell short of analyst estimates for fourth-quarter profit due to rising costs. However, the company did manage to slightly exceed expectations in terms of revenue.

As of Tuesday, Group 1’s stock (GPI) rose by 2% to $282.29. However, it was not trading in the premarket on Wednesday. So far, the stock has experienced a decline of 7.4% in 2024, compared to a 3.3% rise by the S&P 500 (SPX).

While Group 1’s operations in the U.S. have performed well in an “evolving” market, their U.K. unit has faced challenges in the used vehicle sector, according to Chief Executive Daryl Kenningham.

Group 1 acknowledges that they have some work ahead to align their costs with recent trends.

Group 1 to Reduce Head Count by 348 Amidst Challenging Quarter

Group 1, an auto dealer and collision repair specialist, has announced plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 348 employees, based on the disclosure of 3,487 U.K. jobs in its annual report. Currently employing a total of 15,491 individuals worldwide, Group 1 has a significant workforce of 12,004 employees in the United States alone. Unfortunately, no further details regarding the exact number of reductions have been provided at this time.

The company’s fourth-quarter profit experienced a significant decline of 30.3%, dropping to $106.2 million, or $7.87 per share. This is in stark contrast to the year-ago quarter’s figures of $152.4 million, or $10.76 per share. Adjusted earnings for the latest quarter were $9.50 per share, falling below the FactSet consensus estimate of $10.44 per share.

Despite the challenging financial results, there was a silver lining as revenue saw a notable increase of 10%, reaching $4.48 billion. This figure surpassed the analyst estimate of $4.41 billion. However, the rise in new-vehicle units was overshadowed by declining margins caused by elevated selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A).

The U.K. market had a particularly noteworthy increase, with SG&A as a percentage of gross profit rising by 7.5%. This was driven by higher expenses and lower margins for both used and new cars.

In conclusion, Group 1’s decision to reduce its workforce reflects the company’s response to recent financial challenges. With declining profits but an increase in revenues, they will be seeking ways to optimize operations and better manage expenses in order to remain competitive in the industry.


The U.K. operations of our company have recently started a strategic initiative to rebalance our inventory of used vehicles in response to changing market conditions. While this move is aimed at aligning our inventory with current demands, it has resulted in losses on wholesale sales of used vehicles during the current quarter. It is anticipated that these losses will persist into the period ending on March 31.

The Strategy

To adapt to the evolving market landscape, we have undertaken a rebalancing process for our used vehicle inventory in the United Kingdom. This strategic initiative aims to optimize our inventory levels and ensure a better alignment with market demands.

Market Challenges

The decision to rebalance our inventory has not been without its challenges. During the current quarter, the company experienced losses on wholesale sales of used vehicles as a direct result of this initiative. While these losses are expected to continue into the quarter ending on March 31, we believe that this realignment will ultimately position us for long-term success in the U.K. market.

Looking Ahead

Despite the short-term losses incurred due to the rebalancing of our used vehicle inventory, we remain confident in the long-term benefits of this strategic initiative. By proactively adjusting our inventory levels, we aim to meet the changing demands of the market and enhance our overall performance in the U.K.

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