Proposed closure for Wetherby car dealer

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Dozens of Wetherby workers are at risk of redundancy after a car dealership announced its proposed closure this week.

The Ford Benfield Motor branch on Deighton Road announced this week that a 30-day staff consultation has started, with the company proposing to shut down the dealership.

A spokesman for the company told the Wetherby News: “The proposed closure decision has not been taken lightly and follows a number of difficult and loss making years for the dealership.

“We are doing everything possible within our powers to keep the dealership open but unfortunately it has become clear that the territory and area the dealership covers is not large enough for a main Ford Dealership of this size.

“There are presently 29 staff employed at the dealership covering administration, sales, service and bodyshop roles and they have been fully briefed about the proposed decision and the options available going forward.

The spokesman added the 30-day staff consultation is currently taking place with the hope of staff being moved to other Ford dealerships in the region.

He said: “During this consultation period we are hoping, should the dealership close, to be in a position to redeploy a number of staff within our other dealerships and businesses around the region and group.

“At this stage, until this 30-day period is complete, it is not possible for us to confirm the number of people that may be made redundant.”

Wetherby resident and post office owner Nish Kanabar told the News that the proposed closure was a ‘blow’ to the town.

He said; “With what Wetherby has gone through in the last 18 months, we will lose another employer in town.”

The dealership has been in operation in Wetherby for the last 15 years, after being bought from Hartwell Ford in 1997.

Benfield Ford currently has five dealerships in the Yorkshire region.