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Whitehouse jobs on line after loss of VW franchise

Whitehouse Group is battling to save 80 jobs after losing the Volks-wagen franchises in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

It is also giving up the VW LCV business in Sidcup and selling a bodyshop near Tunbridge Wells.

Patrick Conway, Whitehouse chief executive, is looking to redeploy many of these staff within the group, although it’s likely that some will be made redundant.

“We are expanding with Mercedes-Benz and will use the Volkswagen premises to house one of our sites, keeping some of the staff on,” he says. “We are extending our Chrysler Jeep franchise in Tunbridge Wells ready for the launch of Dodge."

Conway is in negotiations with Volkswagen to become an authorised repairer for cars and LCVs, and has already identified one site near Tonbridge which will become a service-only facility.

He says the handover of the VW franchise is around four months away, and adds: “We do not know who has been granted the franchise for that area.”

Whitehouse has also sold an Audi site in Aylesford, Kent, but is hoping to expand with the carmaker around its retained sites, which stretch from Dartford to Southend.

Conway rules out acquiring the St Albans business in Hertfordshire from Pendragon, however.

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