The decision follows a strategic review by owner Masterlease, part of GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors. It was most likely sparked by GM’s decision earlier this year to sell a 51% controlling stake in GMAC to a consortium.
Nick Browning, chief executive of the Masterlease Group, says: “We have decided to proceed with the sale of CarLand and we are looking for a suitable buyer or buyers that are committed to taking the business forward.”
AM understands that GMAC will close the businesses if no buyer is found by the end of the year.
An employee told AM that staff have been informed of the impending sale but that they are still uncertain about whether or not their jobs are safe.
CarLand has outlets in Glasgow, Manchester, Cannock in Staffordshire, Enfield in Middlesex, Chertsey in London and Lakeside in Essex. Its focus has been to retail vehicles remarketed from Masterlease’s fleets.
In April Masterlease hired Ian Allen, formerly of Motorhouse 2000, as managing director of Carland. Speaking to AM at the time of his appointment, Allen said he planned to expand from selling just used cars to pre-registered and nearly new vehicles. However, Allen only remained with the company for one month.
Following his departure, Philip Walker, who has been with CarLand for seven years, was made acting managing director.
Meanwhile, Masterlease, which operates fleet funding and management companies across Europe, will continue to focus on investment in its core businesses.