A manufacturing giant based in Altrincham has put two of its businesses into administration.
The Cartwright Group broke the news to 800 S Cartwright and Sons Coachbuilders and Cartwright Fabrications staff members at around midday on Tuesday afternoon.
480 of those roles were immediately slashed as the commercial trailer manufacturer cut its losses following a dismal trading period in the wake of Covid-19. However, a deal struck with leasing giant Zenith will save at least 260 jobs.
A commercial vehicle titan
With sites across Cheshire, Leeds, Glasgow, and Aldridge, the 68-year-old manufacturer has enjoyed a tight hold on the UK commercial vehicle industry, though this news will spell tough times ahead in an already troubled period for the automotive sector.
In a letter to staff, a spokesperson for the group wrote,
“As a result your employment will terminate with immediate effect today by means of compulsory redundancy for economic reasons.”
Michael Magnay and Dan Smith of accountancy powerhouse Deloitte have now been tasked with spearheading the administration process, and have so far completed a sale of the business and assets of Cartwright Fleet Services and Cartwright Rentals to a commercial vehicle division of Zenith.
Whilst Magnay saw no reason to celebrate, he did express a degree of optimism.
“The Cartwright Group is a well-known and established company in the Cheshire area. While we are pleased that a total closure of the group has been avoided, we regret that today’s announcement includes a number of redundancies,” he said.
“Our thanks go out to all the employees at what we appreciate is a difficult time, and we are providing support to those affected.”
Months of inactivity ahead
Deloitte added that because the group had been ‘heavily impacted’ by the pandemic, the closure of the manufacturing site will lead to many months of inactivity.
The Cartwright Group’s recent troubles will come as no surprise to industry analysts. The first six months of the year saw car manufacturing sink to its lowest levels since 1954.
With lockdown restrictions reducing the need for vehicle use, and a drastic fall in consumer spending plummeting demand for the sale of cars and the parts needed to manufacture them, a negative ripple effect is now wreaking havoc on companies just like The Cartwright Group.
In a statement issued on their website, The Cartwright Group confirmed the appointment of administrators Deloitte LLP.
The statement read:
‘The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Joint Administrators Michael Magnay and Dan Smith of Deloitte LLP, who act as agents of the Company and without personal liability. The Joint Administrators are authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. All licensed insolvency practitioners of Deloitte LLP are licenced in the UK.’
The news comes just four years after the company invested in an onsite £1.5m panel production plant.
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