A 50-year-old car dealership in Norfolk, Howes and Sons Ltd, has today been placed in administration.
Well known in the region, the company can trace its routes back to 1784 when the business started as coach builders.
Trading as Howes of Fakenham, the £3 million turnover Peugeot dealership is located on Norwich Road.
The joint administrators Julian Pitts and David Wilson, of Begbies Traynor in Leeds, will continue to trade the business as normal while a new owner is sought.
No immediate redundancies of the 13 staff are currently planned.
“This is a long established business with a good reputation and some valuable assets including a large leasehold site in a prominent location in Fakenham, comprising a well-maintained showroom, offices, and workshop facilities,” said Pitts.
“The directors and shareholders of the company very much regret that they have had to come to the decision to place the company in administration.
"Following the sad deaths of two long-serving employees and the imminent retirement of its managing director there is no natural successor to what has hitherto been a family run company.
"The company is also facing a substantial, albeit disputed, liability to make up an alleged deficit in its part of the motor industry pension fund following re-assessments of the pension fund’s requirements.
"These circumstances have led to the need for an orderly disposal of the company’s business and assets.
“With its strong brand and prime location within the town, we are confident that we will be able to sell the business as a going concern.”