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Luxury used car retailer Autovogue ceases trading

Closed: Autovogue's luxury used car retail forecourt

Luxury used car retailer Autovogue has ceased trading after blaming “failing used Jaguar Land Rover vehicles” for its faltering financial fortunes.

Staffordshire-based Autovogue, founded by managing director Stuart Brown, has approached Birmingham-based insolvency firm Leonard Curtis, however AM understands that the business is yet to formally enter administration after receiving a “creditor objection”.

A meeting is now being scheduled to determine the next steps for the 25-year-old business located at Stableford, on the outskirts of Stoke.

Former customers have shared their frustration at the uncertain situation after an 'Autovogue AVR Victims' Facebook group was established to gather evidence of vehicles left with "finance markers" related to outstanding stocking loans.

Spencer Scott told AM his plans to move house were put on hold after he was forced to abort the private sale of his Range Rover Velar he bought from Autovogue in October after checks revealed it was subject to an outstanding agreement.

“I’ve been left completely in limbo – unable to set-up my mortgage – and I’ve no idea how the situation’s going to be resolved,” he said.

“So far there are 21 members of the Facebook group and I’m worried how many other cars out there might also have outstanding stocking loans that their owners don’t know about.”

A spokesperson for Leonard Curtis said that it was not able to comment on Autovogue as it had not yet been appointed as an administrator.

However, a statement posted via the Autovogue website this week apologised to customers and listed a number of reasons for the business’s failure.

It stated: “With deep regret and a heavy heart Autovogue UK Limited has ceased trading.

“Unfortunately, in recent years and with the development of the global economy after COVID-19, further compounded by Ukraine and high UK inflation the automotive sector has been hit hard with significant pressures.”

Among the issues Autovogue claimed it had faced was a £198,000 repair cost for “huge additional costs and continuing issues with failing used Jaguar Land Rover vehicles”.

It added: “After some nine months of intense investment rounds to support the growth of the business and new models to move away from Jaguar Land Rover vehicles to more stable manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche talks broke down directly due to the distressed economy/retail market and the investors ultimately decided to not proceed with the backing required, leaving no choice but to close the company.”

Autovogue’s statement said that the business was co-operating fully with Leonard Curtis and its finance partner to "lift any finance markers still to be removed from some potential car finance agreements", adding: “This is the directors’ primary concern in order to give stability, comfort and a solution for customers and in due course to be removed.”

AM has made efforts to contact Autovogue founder Stuart Brown for a comment.

In response Autovogue's allegations about the reliability of the Jaguar Land Rover vehicles it had sold, a spokesperson for the manufacturer said: “At Jaguar Land Rover we are committed to ensuring our clients receive the highest possible levels of service throughout the ownership cycle. As such we have an established Approved Used service network offering a transparent market-leading scheme for buyers of pre-owned Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles.

“We have 124 Approved Used retailers in the UK all offering a minimum 12-month Approved Warranty, 12-months of 24/7 Roadside Assistance, 165 multi-point inspection and an independent mileage and history check so that we can provide our customers’ peace of mind when buying a pre-owned vehicle. We also operate a 30 day/1,000 mile conditional vehicle exchange agreement, part-exchange service and complimentary driving experiences as standard.” 

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