Dealership group Caffyns has announced a pre-tax loss of 2.1 million in the six months from April to September 30.
The loss compares with a profit of 3.6m over the same period in the previous year. Turnover also fell from 95m to 84.6m.
As a result, Caffyns, which is based mainly in the south of England, has begun a series of cost-cutting measures, including closing branches, reducing staff numbers and putting more focus on selling used and fuel-efficient cars.
The news follows an announcement from Pendragon, the UKs largest car dealer group, that it will close 75 dealerships and make 2500 people redundant, after revealing anticipated losses of 30 million for 2008.