The pandemic is forcing one of the country’s longest-established family dealerships to leave its home town after nearly a century in business.
Quest Motor Group, which was founded in Maldon by the Gozzett family in 1924, will be leaving the Wycke Hill Business Park site on May 31, as it adapts to the challenges arising from ‘rapidly changing consumer behaviour’, reported the Maldon Standard.
The new and used car dealership, which holds the franchises for Citroen, Suzuki and Vauxhall, was established on the High Street, with a second dealership opening in Braintree in the 1950s.
The High Street showroom relocated to the business park in 2007, and the group said it hoped to keep redundancies to a minimum, as it was looking to transfer as many of the Maldon staff to the Braintree site as possible.
Directors Robin and Martin Gozzett were reported by the Standard as saying: ‘The Maldon dealership’s relocation was a difficult but necessary decision.
‘We must adapt our business in line with rapidly changing consumer behaviour, ensuring we continue to meet customers’ expectations while strengthening our business for the future.
‘Over the past few years, we have been investing in our digital strategy, with the ability to buy or finance your car online.
‘We feel confident that with the great reputation we’ve built in Essex, our customers will continue to take advantage of our more convenient and affordable options at our Braintree dealership.’
They added: ‘Our Maldon customers will soon be receiving a letter from us, explaining that our Maldon dealership will be closing and our commitment to continue to support them for all their vehicle requirements going forwards.
‘We have enjoyed working with the Maldon community for almost 100 years, and we hope all our lovely customers will make the short journey to visit our Braintree dealership, where we will make them most welcome, or use our convenient online options.’
Quest Motor Group’s latest accounts, filed with Companies House in February this year, show it made a pre-tax loss of £23,917 for the year ending May 31, 2020 versus a profit of £367,222 the year before.
Revenue, meanwhile, was down from £35.1m to £28.3m.
The number of new cars sold fell from 679 to 461, while used car sales dropped from 1,964 to 1,633.
However, it pointed out that its sales departments were physically closed between March 26 and June 1, 2020 because of the first lockdown.
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