Vauxhall is to give all of its UK dealers the opportunity to sell light commercial vehicles as part of a refranchising process.

The firm says all 326 of its UK dealers are to receive a two-year notice of termination at the end of this month, with renegotiations to follow, as part of a Europe-wide Opel/Vauxhall programme.

Vauxhall expects some dealers to leave, but has dismissed reports that this will be a third of the network.

It says the refranchising process will focus on profitability and customer excellence, and that the commercial vehicle offer will form part of this.

Vauxhall communications director Denis Chick told What Van?: “Currently in the UK franchise agreements are separate for cars and commercial vehicles.

“Some of our retail network has invested in commercial vehicles. There’s a specialism issue – they’re bigger, there’s a specialism in terms of servicing.

“We are now going to offer right across Europe and the UK the opportunity for retailers to sell commercial vehicles.”

Chick said that light commercial vehicles were particularly profitable for dealers.

“They are growing in Europe, they’ve been strong for a long time in the UK and are growing more,” he said.

“It should enable more retailers to make that investment in commercials and reap the benefits.”