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Heritage buys VW and Skoda sites from troubled Loders group

Heritage Automotive has completed the purchase of several Loders Garages’ dealerships after Loders suffered financial difficulties last month.

Volkswagen UK confirmed that the Loders sites in Dorchester and Yeovil now traded under the Heritage brand.

Heritage also gained its first Skoda dealership in the takeover, also in Yeovil, and a TPS trade parts depot.

Loders’ Yeovil Auto Repair Centre has been bought by Ocean Auto-motive, the Audi franchisee for Poole which had already bought Loders’ Yeovil Audi business at the start of November prior to the administration.

The takeovers have saved 170 jobs.

However, the administrators from Grant Thornton were unable to secure a buyer for two businesses, Grove Accident Repair Centre, which was a Skoda authorised repairer, and Dorchester Service Centre, which have closed with 25 redundancies.

Daniel Taylor of Grant Thornton said family-owned Loders had “made progress in restructuring operations over recent months, but continued to make losses in the face of difficult market conditions” and he was pleased the sales to Heritage and Ocean had safeguarded some 170 jobs.

Loders’ gearing had reached almost 94% since 2008 and the business had not posted pre-tax profit since 2007, according to Companies House records.

John Cook, Heritage Automotive’s managing director, said in taking on Loders’ Volkswagen car and commercial vehicle businesses Heritage has secured a significant geography across which it can represent the German group.

He was also pleased to add the Skoda business, a group brand which has strong appeal.

Heritage now has VW car dealerships in Salisbury, Weston Super Mare, Bristol, Westbury, Yeovil and Dorchester, VW van sites in Bristol, Dorchester and Westbury, Audi in Salisbury and Skoda in Yeovil, plus a Peugeot dealership in Westbury.

Its annual turnover is predicted to now exceed £130m.

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