County Vauxhall is staying in Barnstaple and will not be joining the list of UK dealers closing.

Vauxhall UK recently decided some smaller dealers in non-core locations across the UK would not be offered new contracts going forward, prompting some concerns from Vauxhall owners in North Devon.

In common with other car brands, the company said that due to the large investment now required by dealers and their ability to make sufficient profit on that investment, it would not need as many dealerships in the future.

But the Newport Road dealership in Barnstaple is not on the list.

Andy Witherington, County Group sales director, said: “Vauxhall are currently re-issuing new franchise contracts to the majority of their dealers enabling them future clarity to be able to further invest in the Vauxhall brand, in facilities and customer service.

“The good news is that County Vauxhall Barnstaple are one of those dealers being offered a new contract.

“We are afraid the day of franchise garages being in every small town have come and gone with the major investments now required to run a franchise dealership.

“We however have been in North Devon as a group since 1927, as a Vauxhall retailer since 1991 and have been renewing rolling contracts with Vauxhall regularly since then, this being quite a normal process for us as a franchise.

“We would just like to reassure all our customers that we are currently renewing our contract as normal, we will be continuing to represent Vauxhall being in a vital and important location covering areas in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.”

Mr Witherington said County loved working with Vauxhall, having won numerous national awards, plus the dealership had invested heavily recently to refurbish its showrooms, waiting area and service reception, which he said made it a modern and comfortable place for customers to experience.

He added: “We will shortly be hearing all about Vauxhall’s future model plans and their showcasing of new technologies at a national conference in May and are very much looking forward to future sales success with Vauxhall.”