A CAR superstore in Milton Keynes has gone into voluntary liquidation with 47 members of staff losing their jobs.
Saxon Bridge Car Superstore – which is part of Saxon Bridge Automotive Ltd – said it was forced to take the action after ‘struggling for the last couple of months and trying to restructure the company’s finances’.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Mount Farm company, which was established in 2007, blamed the current economic climate, Brexit and a slow period of trading, adding that funders couldn’t continue with their support and withdrew facilities.
All the stock was removed within 48 hours and its website taken offline.
The company said that any finance settlements that hadn’t been met would be dealt with by advisers, and in a further announcement said that another, unnamed business would be taking on the service plans, honouring payments already made and taking them off the cost of future services, meaning customers won’t be out of pocket. QCD Autocentre subsequently identified itself to Car Dealer Magazine as the firm taking over Saxon Bridge’s service plans.
Saxon Bridge said: ‘Staff stayed until the very end, not knowing if they were going to get paid, trying to resolve getting customers’ cars back from our workshop and deliver the cars that had been sold before our funders withdrew. Sadly, 47 of the most loyal, hard-working people lost their jobs.
‘Our management team have been working tirelessly to seek alternative employment which we have achieved for many of them.’
It also took the opportunity to quash various rumours that had been circulating on social media, saying, among them: ‘The managing director does not own a sports car and is definitely not flying off to the Bahamas – he is at home explaining to his wife and two young children they are about to lose everything including their home.
‘We did not repossess 17 cars in the middle of the night. Two were taken by a leasing supplier, who had no legal right to do so, and they also left paperwork insinuating Saxon Bridge had done this. This is simply not the case and we have never repossessed any vehicle, ever.’
Saxon Bridge added: ‘We were a family-run company, employing local people for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, like so many companies this year, we have failed. We have done everything we can to pay our staff and local small businesses before closing and will work tirelessly until everything is resolved to the very best of our ability.
‘We would like to thank our 14,000 customers we have sold cars to since 2007, and as a local family that have supported local employment, economy and charities in that time, ask you to bear with us why [sic] we resolve any outstanding issues.’
Many customers responded paying tribute to the company and expressing sympathy for the owners and staff, and in the additional post Saxon Bridge said: ‘We’re also absolutely blown away by the messages of support many of you have left us, with some really very kind words. It’s been an honour to support Milton Keynes as a community and all the staff, including the owner, are incredibly touched by your messages. Thank you.’
Accountancy firm Mazars has been appointed to handle the insolvency. Anyone affected by it should email [email protected] or phone 01908 664466.
Image via Saxon Bridge Car Superstore Facebook page