Deliveries to motor factors have dried up since administrators from Smith & Williamson were called in to Bougicord UK in Chichester on July 17 and ordered the business to cease trading.
Managing director Ian Riley told AM the business had changed its name in March from Pegasus Auto-motive Systems in expectation of an acquisition by France-based Bougicord Group by the summer.
“They knew the financial situation of the company, and if they didn’t buy it then it would go into administration. I had a letter of intent, but then they decided not to buy it.
“I think they want to supply direct from France,” said Riley.
He initially tried to maintain supplies to major customers, but was told to stop by the administrators, who hope to be able to sell the company’s customer database to Bougicord.
Riley said the £750,000 turnover business had made a profit in 2007 but had been loss-making in prev-ious years.
Its core products were engine management sensors, ignition leads and coils, and its significant customers included Euro Car Parts, LSUK and GSF.
“Everyone knows how much ignition coils should cost and the market drives the prices rather than the supplier.
There’s been a huge impact since the Euro strengthened too, and with big suppliers such as Valeo not putting prices up we struggled to compete,” he added.
Three employees have been made redundant. Riley does not plan to return to automotive – he has a second electronics business outside the sector.