A South Coast-based Volkswagen dealer has grown turnover past the £80 million mark, but said new vehicle sales were hit by the introduction of new emissions tests in the second half of the year covered by its latest accounts. Breeze Motor Company, which is headquartered in Poole, grew turnover to £80.4 million in the year to 31 December 2018, up from £78.3 million in the previous year.
But the business made a loss before tax of £488,727 down from a profit of £309,370 in the previous year.
In a review accompanying its accounts, Breeze said its new car division made an exceptionally strong start to 2018, leading to a very positive Q1 result. However, as the year progressed model range rationalisation started to cause production issues which in turn led to extended lead times and consumer frustration due to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The EU-developed WLTP became mandatory for all new cars in September 2018, having been introduced a year prior.
Breeze said new vehicle sales were heavily impacted in the second half year of 2018 due to the introduction WLTP and the subsequent homologation process for the UK market.
“Our September performance clearly demonstrated the volume impact on our business — our Q4 performance saw a positive year on year trend over 2017 as we started to see the return of WLTP compliant stock, this trend has continued in to Q1 of 2019,” the report added.
Sales of used cars were said to be erratic during 2018 with WLTP having an impact as residual values were inflated by a lack of new vehicle stock, while the group’s aftersales division performed strongly.
The company, which also has sites in Southampton and Portsmouth, is looking to grow its used vehicles, aftersales and commercial vehicle fleet operations.
Writing in the report, Breeze said: “Our key strategic focus areas for our business are used vehicles, aftersales and commercial vehicle fleet. 2019 will see us re-building our commercial vehicle team ensuring we have the right people in the right role creating a sound organisational structure to enable growth.
“Within passenger car, we will, have the full range of SUVs with the launch of T-Cross and we will capitalise on this as the segment continues to grow exponentially. We will continue to benefit from group synergies across our four franchised sites with the new Portsmouth Van Centre now in operation completing the CV market area.”