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Redundancies expected following car sales collapse
HOLIWAYS Ford, the family-run business that became one of the region’s best-known car dealerships, has gone into administration.
Many of the firm’s 81 staff will be made redundant.
It also leaves a part of Darlington and County Durham without a dealership selling and servicing vehicles from the country’s biggest manufacturer.
Car sales have collapsed in the wake of the recession and, despite efforts to shore up the business by selling sites in Durham and Hartlepool , Holiways was unable to carry on.
The new and used car retailer, which also ran a servicing and repairs operation from its two sites in Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland , cut thousands of pounds off the price of its cars in recent weeks.
Only days before going into administration, it was offering 11-registration Focus Zetec models for £10,999 – a saving against new of £6,700 and nearly £2,000 less than the guideline trade retail price.
But administrators said that despite selling its Durham and Hartlepool dealerships in recent weeks, the company had incurred significant losses.
Administrator KPMG is expected to sell the Ford dealership’s property and other assets as it winds down the business.
Mark Firmin and Howard Smith, of KPMG, have been appointed joint administrators by FCE Bank.
Although it has been unable to confirm how many of the firm’s 81 jobs are at risk, it said a “high proportion”
will be made redundant in the coming days, with the rest continuing to assist the administrators in the short term.
Mr Firmin, who is head of UK regional restructuring at KPMG, said: “It is unsurprising that during a recession, a relatively rural car retailer has struggled. Despite a restructure, which saw Holiways sell two dealerships in recent weeks, the significant losses incurred by the business through the summer means it simply could not continue to trade.”
Customers who had placed deposits for cars had their money returned earlier this week.