Perrys has closed its Ford dealership in Retford as part of the car manufacturer's plan to close almost half of its UK franchised car retail locations.
Councillors expressed their disappointment at the loss of the Nottinghamshire market town’s last new car retail outlet following the closure of the facility on London Road on October 31.
It follows Vertu Motors’ decision to close its long-standing Honda franchise in the town last spring as the Japanese brand also took steps to reduce its UK representation.
Announcing news of its Ford dealership closure on its Facebook page, Perrys stated: “Due to the national restructure of the Ford Dealer Network, we’re changing how we sell Fords in the Nottinghamshire area, and have now made the decision to close our Ford showroom in Retford from October 31.
“We really appreciate your loyalty to Perrys Ford in Retford and have worked hard to make sure that all of your new and used car sales and servicing needs are still being taken care of close by.”
Customers of Perrys Retford can continue to trade with Perrys Ford at the AM100 car retail group's dealership in neighbouring Worksop, nine miles away.
Speaking to the Retford Times newspaper, local councillor Jim Anderson, said: “It is a shame. That is the last major car dealer in the town.
“That is a real shock. We only lost Honda last year.
“Perrys has a lot of history. The Hodgsons garage was there for years and years.”
AM reported back in February this year on Ford’s decision to close almost half of its 400 UK franchised car retail sites as part of its ‘Ford 2025 dealer plan’.
The plan, revealed to investor partners at a conference, will result in the loss of between 160 to 180 dealerships as part of a bid to build a “stronger and more sustainably profitable Ford sales and servicing network for the future in the UK”.
Speaking to AM after meeting with the brand’s UK franchise partners former Ford president and chief executive Andy Barratt said that the ‘Ford 2025 dealer plan’ had been developed around a map of the UK that would see dealerships accessible to 90% of customers within a 30 minute drive time.
However, he said that a "local and personalised aftersales service" would hopefully be retained, with the majority or all of the franchisees departing the network as new car sales locations remaining as aftersales providers, with an option to sell used vehicles.
Barratt said: “I would be happy if we retained all those partners.
“There will be no terminating of contracts as part of this plan and I fully appreciate and value the relationships that we have with our retailers.
“Many have invested family savings and generations of work into their businesses. I really do hope that we will continue to work together moving forward.”