Update: Hopes jobs can be saved as hunt for buyer of Selkirk garage begins

Almost 30 workers are facing an uncertain future after a Selkirk garage went into administration this week.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 10:43 am

Employees turning up for work at Selkirk’s Leven Car Company dealership yesterday morning were sent home and told the firm has entered administration.

The Dunsdale Haugh showroom and garage, employing 24 staff, acquired the franchises for Kia and Suzuki in Selkirk from previous owner the Belmont Group in March 2018.

Last year it reported an increase in new car sales and a 138% increase in Kia approved used car sales.

However, Leven Car Company, employing 139 staff across its three dealerships in Selkirk and Edinburgh, is now citing “a difficult couple of years for the motor trade” as its reason for calling in administrators.

There’s still hope, though, that jobs can be saved, with no staff yet having been made redundant.

Joint administrator Stuart Robb, of Leonard Curtis Business Rescue and Recovery, said: “We are currently assessing the company’s financial position with a view to seeking a buyer for all or parts of the business.

“This is a unique opportunity to acquire a business with a strong reputation, excellent customer base and a highly knowledgeable and loyal workforce.”

The region’s MSP Rachael Hamilton and MP John Lamont are sharing those hopes.

Ms Hamilton said: “The potential loss of 24 jobs in the town is very concerning and I will be contacting Leven Car Company in the coming days to discuss what can be done to ensure that job losses are kept to a minimum.

“With the news coming so soon after Christmas, this is another huge blow to Selkirk and I hope that the business can be saved.”

Mr Lamont added: “This will obviously be a very concerning time for employees and families of those who work for Leven Car Company.

“This is deeply disappointing news at a time when the town is undergoing significant regeneration and business improvement.

“Any employees with concerns can get in touch with me. I will be working with Scottish Borders Council and others to ensure that the necessary support is put in place for those affected by this news.”

A spokesman for the same Glasgow-based firm added: “The company, incorporated in January 2014, has multiple car dealerships based in Edinburgh and Selkirk, including Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus, Kia, Suzuki and Mitsubishi .

“After reviewing the company’s options, following a difficult couple of years for the motor trade, the directors have taken the difficult decision to appoint administrators.”

“At this stage, none of the company’s employees have been made redundant whilst the administrators assess the company’s financial position and explore the possibility of finding a buyer for all or parts of the business.”

“The company will continue to maintain a presence at its dealerships for a short period of time to ensure that any customer queries can be addressed.”

The Selkirk dealership, through Kia, last year sponsored Selkirk’s rugby and golf clubs.

Kia Motors UK commercial director Simon Hetherington added: “Kia Motors is saddened to hear that Leven Car Company have called in administrators, and we are particularly sorry for any of their customers who have been affected by this.

“Unfortunately, Leven Car Company is an independent business and a franchise holder and is not directly controlled by Kia and consequently we must await the decisions and any announcement of the administrators.”