A buyer is being sought for one of Scotland’s oldest independent garages, James Haugh (Castle Douglas), based in Castle Douglas, which has gone into liquidation after 126 years of trading.
Founded in 1890 to hire out horse-drawn carriages, in 1909 the company was one of the first to offer a petrol driven car for public hire.
Six generations of the family have since managed the business, which has been an approved Vauxhall Service Centre since 1962 and had a turnover of around £1 million.
In addition to selling new and used Vauxhalls, including tuning and performance work, James Haugh (Castle Douglas) sold used vehicles and carried out servicing, fleet contract work, mobility servicing, repairs and MoTs.
Provisional liquidator Blair Milne, restructuring partner with accountants Campbell Dallas, is looking to sell the business and assets, and is urging the motoring trade, entrepreneurs or property developers to make contact as soon as possible.
“James Haugh (Castle Douglas) is a prominent and much-valued car dealership and service centre that has served the south of Scotland for well over a century.
“Unfortunately, in recent years the rise of internet sales has seriously affected trade and margins, and the business was not sustainable.
“We are marketing the business and extensive assets for sale with immediate effect, with the hope that if a deal can be secured swiftly, a buyer has the opportunity to start trading again.
“The business had a very wide and loyal customer base, so the liquidation offers a good opportunity for a motor trade business or entrepreneur wanting to enter this market.
“We are compiling the list of assets, which includes the garage on King Street, offices, a large yard and moveable assets including motor vehicles, ramps, diagnostic equipment and tooling.
“Alternatively, the site could also offer considerable potential for property development, possibly residential.”
James Haugh (Castle Douglas) has ceased trading with the immediate loss of 11 jobs.
Campbell Dallas is working with PACE and local employment agencies to provide support to the employees affected by the closure, including advice on how to file a claim with the Redundancy Payments Office.
Interested parties should contact Campbell Dallas in Glasgow on 0141 886 6644.
A Vauxhall dealer in the region for the past four decades, James Haugh acquired the Vauxhall outlet in Dumfries in 2000 and has operated all new Vauxhall car and van sales solely from the Dumfries site since 2004. In 2015 it was awarded the Vauxhall Customer Excellence Award for the fourth year in a row. The award recognises and rewards top performing retailers for the quality of service they give to their customers using only customer satisfaction as the judging criteria.
The family-run business, first founded in Castle Douglas in 1890 by Richard Haugh.
> Vauxhall dealer James Haugh (Dumfries) Limited has no connection with the Castle Douglas business, is unaffected by the liquidation and continues to trade normally.
Picture: Jim Haugh, managing director of James Haugh (Castle Douglas) receives the Vauxhall award from Peter Hope, Vauxhall customer experience director for Vauxhall Motors UK and Ireland in 2015.