Jobs at risk as Renault pulls out

UP to ten jobs could be lost at an Ipswich garage when the Renault dealership is taken away from the Sterling Motor Group at the end of next month, The Evening Star can reveal today.

UP to ten jobs could be lost at an Ipswich garage when the Renault dealership is taken away from the Sterling Motor Group at the end of next month, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society-owned group has had the Renault franchise for more than 30 years but due to European competition legislation the manufacturer has reviewed its network and decided not to renew the deal with Sterling.

Mike Faulkner, society secretary, said it is a great disappointment after their long relationship with Renault at the Green Ace Garage in Norwich Road and although some jobs could be lost, many other staff could be found work at their other garages in the area.

"Staff at Norwich Road were told last week of the decision by Renault to transfer the dealership elsewhere. It is hoped most staff will be retained by Sterling Motor Group either for the Nissan dealership at the same site or at other franchises operated by the group," he added.


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The news of the loss has been tempered, he said by the bringing back of Station Garage in Burrell Road to deal with Daewoo and Kia vehicles.

"The garage has been brought back as a dealer for these makes, albeit lesser-known, but nevertheless it is good news. Kia vehicles should be coming in this week and the franchise is due to start next week.

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"All other garages are unaffected, it is just at Norwich Road. On that same site we operate a Nissan dealership too and it is hoped that with that side of things expanding some of the jobs can be switched to cover that, they were interlinked," Mr Faulkner added.

Any Renault vehicles bought from Norwich Road will still be able to take their cars back for servicing.

Chris Hodgkinson, Sterling Group manager said their association with Renault has spanned many years but they remain committed to providing customers with excellent service and good value for money.

"We will be retaining our used car sales and servicing facilities together with the Nissan dealership and petrol forecourt at Norwich Road."

Sterling Motor Group has five Peugeot dealerships in addition to Citreoen, Vauxhall, Nissan, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Daewoo and Kia franchises.

Some of the Norwich Road jobs could be saved by redeployment to any of these, Mr Hodgkinson added.

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