Suffolk car upholstery firm goes into liquidation owing £310,000
- Credit: ARCHANT
A Suffolk-based car upholsterer has gone into liquidation owing more than £300,000 to creditors after the pandemic slowed the sale of new cars.
Duncan Smith Automotive, based at Tomo Business Park in Stowmarket, owed around £310,000 when it appointed liquidators from FRP Advisory Trading on December 18.
The company fitted after-market leather seats and upholstery to cars and other vehicles including motorbikes, lorries and yachts.
A spokesman for the liquidators said the business had now ceased trading and both directors and all seven staff have been made redundant.
According to an archived version of its website, which now appears to have been deleted, the company's customers included "motor industry franchises and dealerships, classic car owners".
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According to documents filed with Companies House, when it appointed liquidators the firm only had assets of £11,314 to pay creditors.
Other assets held by the company were subject to two different charges totalling around £44,530.
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The liquidators' spokesman said: "The charges represent creditors that have security against the assets of the company – which are minimal.
"The business relied on the motor trade and the sale of new cars, which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. This was the primary reason for the business entering into liquidation."
According to the company's statement of affairs, among the firm's biggest creditors were HMRC to which it owed £43,158, the Redundancy Payments Office which it owed £79,917, and a leather wholesaler Autostop Leather which it owed £67,357.
The business also owed significant sums to banks, including £57,786 to Lloyds Bank and £26,500 to Barclaycard Commercial.
Among the local firms left out of pocket is Great Blakenham-based accountants John Phillips & Co which is owed £966.
Duncan Smith Automotive is not the first Suffolk-based car firm to slip into liquidation this year. In September, Suffolk Sportscars, based in Pettistree, near Woodbridge, appointed liquidators owing more than £850,000.
Liquidators said the firms liquidation was due to a combination of pressure caused by Covid-19 and a legal wrangle with Jaguar Land Rover.