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70 redundant as Sussex car dealer closes
Dozens of people face an uncertain future following the collapse of a car dealership.
Staff at the Stevens Vauxhall dealerships in Crawley and Horsham were told this week they no longer had jobs at the firm.
The branches, based in Billingshurst Road, Broadbridge Heath, and Fleming Way Industrial Estate, Crawley, were first closed last week during a period of consultation. This week they shut their doors for good.
Customers trying to contact either of the garages received no response and a message advised visitors to the dealerships’ website to seek their “nearest alternative Vauxhall dealer” if they had an urgent inquiry.
The nearest dealerships are in Chislehurst or Sevenoaks.
The firm established dealerships in Horsham and Crawley in 1963 trading under the Tates brand until it was bought by Evans Halshaw in 1982.
Managing director Peter Stevens led a management buyout in 2000.
Vauxhall spokeswoman Uta Deutsch said that 70 people had been made redundant.
Administrators She said customers who had put down deposits on new cars would not lose their money.
Ms Deutsch said: “Smith & Williamson has been appointed as administrators.
“All staff working in these dealerships were notified and there has been ongoing employee consultation.
“Employees were notified on Wednesday that no buyer had been identified and they were regretfully made redundant with immediate effect.
“Notwithstanding closure of the Crawley and Horsham dealerships, Vauxhall will ensure that customers for new Vauxhall vehicle sales who have paid deposits do not lose their deposits and Vauxhall will direct customers to alternative local Vauxhall sites for sales, servicing and aftersales.
“Customers who have bought Vauxhall vehicles through Pearl (Crawley) Limited may be reassured that, as with sales by any other Vauxhall dealer, the manufacturer will honour valid warranties in the usual way.”
A spokeswoman for the administrators said it was too early to say what was at the root of the firm’s financial difficulties.