Sunday 17 November 2019

Two more car dealerships latest casualties in slump

Laura Noonan

TWO landmark Renault dealerships in Kilkenny and Clonmel have become the latest casualties of the motor industry collapse.

Notices placed in yesterday's newspapers show the GBM Cityside Renault dealership on Kilkenny city's Waterford Road is set to be formally wound up on January 27.

Sister company GBM Motors, which operated a Renault franchise from a high-spec site in Powerstown, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, will be liquidated at a creditors' meeting on the same day.

The 16 workers who staffed the two garages are understood to have been let go just before the new year.

"The reason is very simple, the transition the motor industry has been in over the last 24 months has led us to this position," GBM boss George Mordaunt said last night.

He went on to blame the "catastrophic" impact of the VRT changes on used car values, coupled with the collapse in new car sales.

"The garages were originally created for a market that was selling 160,000 cars a year. By 2009 that was 57,000 and it's recognised that it will take five to 10 years to get back to those figures," said Mr Mordaunt, adding that the recently announced scrappage deal had come "too late" to save his garages.

The Kilkenny property is understood to have already ceased trading, while the Clonmel site has passed back to the building's owners who are in the process of securing a new motor retail tenant for the premises.

The GBM dealerships were part of a marketing alliance with Brian Mordaunt & Sons, which sells Nissan, Kia and Renault in Clonmel. Brian Mordaunt & Sons is completely unaffected by the liquidations and continues to trade.

The two companies will be formally liquidated at separate creditors' meetings on January 27, in Kilkenny's Springhill Court Hotel, starting from 11am.

The collapses follow a brutal 2009 year for the motor industry, with 58 garages going bust including big names like the Belgard Motor Group.

Irish Independent

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