HAMPSHIRE-based City Motor Holdings, of which former Ford Retail CEO Chris Hayden became CEO in April, has been placed into administration with the loss of 267 jobs at its 12 sites in Hampshire and Berkshire.
The closures included the Gowrings Ford dealerships in Basingstoke, Newbury and Reading as well as City SEAT and City Skoda in the company’s Plaza hub in Basingstoke.
The Gowrings name brought some confusion with the Gowrings Mobility business based in Weybridge, the specialist in wheelchair accessible vehicles and Motability, which was quick to stress that the business owned by Newship Group Ltd was in no way associated with City Motor Holdings and happily trading robustly.
The winding down of operations at City Motor Holdings and associated companies – all the websites have been shut down – has been blamed on “a sustained period of poor trading”. Its five sites in Basingstoke were closed last week, along with three in Newbury and two in Reading.
Administrator KPMG has retained 19 members of staff to assist in “winding down of operations”.
Steve Absolom of KPMG said: “The number of nearly-new and used cars coming to market has put pressure on motor dealerships across the country.”
City Motor Holdings operate dealerships for vehicle manufacturers including Ford, Peugeot, Citroen, Suzuki, Kia, Honda, Seat and Skoda, in addition to operating the PX Centre in Basingstoke which specialises in the sale of used cars.
Chris Hayden became City Motor Holdings CEO after five years at Group 1 Automotive, first in California and then heading up UK operations, following 11 years as CEO of Ford Retail following 11 years, mainly on the main board, with Dutton Forshaw.