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35 jobs go as Richardson closes sites

Richardsons Group, one of the longest-trading independent car retailers in the UK, has collapsed, leading to the loss of 35 jobs at its two Seat dealerships in Somerset.

The closure of the Plymouth and Wellington outlets leaves the area’s Seat owners facing a 30-mile journey to Yeovil or Exeter for their nearest alternative franchised dealership and workshop.

The company, which was founded by John Richardson in 1897 and bought by the Baker family in 1957, was unable to pay its employees for August, and called in administrators at Grant Thornton of Bristol at the beginning of this month.

Nigel Morrison, who is acting as joint administrator, says remaining assets including stock, equipment and parts will be sold, but the Plymouth dealership was leased and the Wellington site, which includes a fuel forecourt and is owned privately by the directors. Earlier this year the Richardsons Group sold its Rover dealership at Tiverton to the Exeter Motor Group – claimed to be the oldest in the country.

“The directors said the company was loss-making because of poor profit margins, a high level of overheads and substantial arrears to creditors which it was unable to pay,” adds Morrison.

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