Kevin Mackie at one of Mackie Motors' vehicle storage units in Brechin, by Peter JacksonKevin Mackie at one of Mackie Motors' vehicle storage units in Brechin, by Peter Jackson


Family-run Mackie Motors raised in Parliament as Treasury vows to investigate saga

  • Mackie Motors saga moves to the highest levels of government
  • Finance house RCI cut off key funding to the dealer group at seven days notice, without explanation
  • Treasury now says it will investigate the circumstances of what happened after intervention from MP

Time 1:00 pm, December 20, 2023

The treasury is to look into the actions of finance house RCI after Scottish car dealer Mackie Motors was effectively sunk overnight by being cut off.

Boss Kevin Mackie says RCI ‘destroyed’ his long-established family firm in November 2021 after it was ‘suddenly and without warning’ cut off by its manufacturer partners, Renault and Nissan via the Groupe Renault-owned RCI, which now goes by Mobilize Financial Services.

The debacle followed an article that appeared online, which made claims of money laundering in connection to Mackie’s estranged wife.

The case was subject to a lengthy legal battle to take the case to a trail before Lord Vos, Master of the Rolls, ruled against the car dealer.

However, boss Mackie is continuing to fight the scenario and it has now been raised in the House of Commomns.

Dave Doogan, SNP MP for Angus, who said: ‘UK capital requirements regulations mandate a 50 per cent level of capitalisation to be held by lenders for longer terms as opposed to 20 per cent for shorter terms.

‘Car manufacturers such as Renault’s RCI, underpin every franchise car dealer across these islands and operate on a seven day notice period to terminate in order to minimise their capital requirements at 20 per cent.

‘The problem arises Mr Speaker, when a bank like RCI, maladministers a serious activity report, panics over their obligations under the regulations and terminate terminates and award winning Renault-Nissan-Dacia dealer like Mackie Motors my constituency with seven days notice.

‘Will the chancellor one of his ministers meet with me to discuss this crisis?’

In response to the question, Bim Afolami, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘I thank the honourable gentleman for his question indeed.

‘I will meet with him to discuss it, to make sure that this regulation does not have the adverse effects that he has so far outlined.’

Reacting to the latest development, Kevin Mackie welcomed the news and called for a change in the law in order to protect franchise car dealers.

Car Dealer understands that the Financial Conduct Authority is also looking into the circumstances of the case and will be holding a meeting with Mackie early in the new year.

He said: ‘RCI had no right to appoint themselves judge and jury. It is a shambles and is now being highlighted by the highest level of government.

‘RCI can bring dealers to their knees at seven days notice and have knowingly destroyed my business.

‘I very much look forward to further investigation into what went on over this period.

‘We have seen recently with the Nigel Farage debanking case that the government is able to change the law.

‘Banks now can’t cut off a personal account without 60 days notice and with reason. For businesses to be able to be cut off for no reason at seven days notice is something that is not fit for purpose in today’s finance and banking sectors.

What has happened so far?

Mackie Motors was initially accused of money laundering in 2021 over a loan paid to a company ran by Mackie’s estranged wife in her native Ukraine.

Mackie says the money was loaned from Mackie Motors’ Swiss bank account, which it was later repaid to.

He added that the funds were ‘only ever transferred between the Swiss account and Ukraine and then repaid’. A spokesman for the firm said the loan was to protect Mackie’s estranged wife’s investment.

The National Crime Agency said at the time that it did not deem it necessary to investigate the transaction, which was described as ‘internet gossip’.

A lengthy legal battle followed in which it was eventually ruled that RCI was within its rights to give Mackie Motors seven days notice.

Nissan also accused Mackie of making false statements and failing to meet the terms of his dealer agreement.

Later on, the High Court threw out a claim for damages from the dealer group, following an appeal, but Mackie is continuing to battle.

He told Car Dealer: ‘We lost and I accept that but RCI did not have the right to close my business down.

‘In the letter they sent to me, Nissan accused me of making false statements. There is no chance that is true.

‘Another reason they gave was that we failed to function as normal for five business days but there was no way that we could carry on because they had cut us off completely.

‘Nobody would talk to me – and believe me I tried everything I could. Everything they’ve done is just wrong.’

Car Dealer has approached RCI for comment.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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