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Highland car dealership Mackays of Dingwall flags pandemic challenges while plotting way forward with rise of interest in electric vehicles

By Hector MacKenzie

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Sales of new vehicles are being hit by the pandemic and economic uncertainty, according to a Highland car dealership.

Mackays of Dingwall made the comments in it latest accounts which show reduced turnover and increased pre-tax profit for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The firm operates Vauxhall franchise dealerships covering Inverness, Ross-shire, Sutherland and Caithness.

A strategic report accompanying the firm’s latest accounts stated: “The sales of new vehicles within the group continue to be adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19 and the level of uncertainty within the general economy and the effect this has had on the local economy.”

However, directors were pleased to report that despite continuing difficult market conditions and poor vehicle supply availability, 2021 showed signs of good results, prompting a level of optimism.

Turnover dipped from £18,094,156 in 2019 to £16,102,695 in 2020. For the same period, pre-tax profit rose from £19,730 to £269,605.

The firm had lower administrative expenses and higher ‘other operating income’ in 2020 compared to the previous 12 months.

The report added: “The directors continue to assess the changing market, including the advancement of hybrid and electric vehicle technology, to ensure that it is well placed to cope with changing customer demand.

“The directors will continue to promote the Vauxhall brand and provide an excellent range of choice for customers.”

The average number of employees dipped from 60 in 2019 to 58 in 2020, while staff costs went up from £1,640,102 to £1,657,525.

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