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Vauxhall steps in to rescue loss-making Trident

Trident South, the independent Vauxhall dealer that went into receivership last month after losing £1.7m in 1999, has been sold to Plotsafe, a Vauxhall Motors Holding investment company, for more than £2m.

Receivers Nigel Ruddock and Duncan Swift, Grant Thornton partners, said the move safeguarded the jobs of 120 people at four sites: Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford Forum and New Milton. They had already made 54 employees redundant after closing satellite dealerships at Wimborne, Ilford Bridge and Avon, and the bodyshop at Poole.

Mr Ruddock, who blamed “slowing sales” caused by the new car pricing issue for the collapse, said the sale “ensures that the requirements of Vauxhall customers can be addressed locally and with confidence”.

Trident was formed a year ago from the merger of three Vauxhall dealers in Dorset – Grand Parade Motors, Tice & Son and Ilford Bridge Motor Company – with ambitious plans to become the UK's largest Vauxhall group by turnover. But last year it sold a fraction of its 5,000 new-car target, retailing 1,200 cars on a £35m turnover.

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