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Renault ‘not to blame for closure’

Renault UK has denied reported allegations by the managing director of the collapsed Bridges Motor Company that its headquarters in France stopped a rescue plan.

The manufacturer says it was a joint decision.

Terry Froud called in administrators because he said he could not continue trading after prolonged discussions with Renault came to an end.

The four Bridges Renault and Nissan dealerships ceased trading and 116 of the 139 employees were made redundant.

Len Curran, Renault UK commercial operations director, said: “Renault UK and RCI Banque explored all avenues with the directors of Bridges but sadly their situation was more serious than we believed.

“We were unable to implement possible rescue packages, but we are working with Bridges to look after customers.”

Bridges operated Renault car and LCV dealerships in Cirencester, Maidenhead and Newbury, plus a Renault car satellite outlet and LCV franchise in Reading. There was also a Nissan car and LCV dealership in Cirencester.

Froud was quoted by a Reading newspaper as saying: “We worked out a strategy to move forward with Renault UK, but the headquarters of Renault Credit International (the carmaker’s finance division) would not allow it.” AM could not contact Froud.

The final audited accounts for Bridges Motor Company, covering 2006, puts its turnover at £57 million.

There was no attempt to sell Bridges as a going concern and administrator KPMG is looking for ways to dispose of the assets.

Renault and Nissan said it was too early to talk about future representation in the area.

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