Staff Update 7th July 2020


To:All Staff
From:Andrew Hulcoop
Date:7th July 2020

I’m now able to confirm that we have completed the planned redundancy and restructuring process and this is a summary of what has happened.

A number of roles were reviewed and all those involved in these positions have been spoken to as part of the consultation process. Following the period of consultation and consideration of all proposals submitted by the relevant employees, we have now actioned any intended changes. Unfortunately, the actions have resulted in some redundancies which are a mix of voluntary and non-voluntary. In other cases, we have managed to find alternative employment within the business or reduced job hours to fit within our plans.

There are no further redundancies planned, albeit none of us know what is around the corner and the second spike is something that may or may not happen. Leicester is a prime example of what can happen and as you are probably aware, the City has gone into a virtual lock down for the second time. Other than an outbreak in Weston Super Mare, the cases in Herefordshire and the South West have not been anything like in other areas of the country and who knows, even with a second spike we may regionally be allowed to continue to operate. One thing for certain is that as long as we are doing everything we can to adhere to the latest guidelines, there is little we can do to influence what may or may not happen with the virus. We have a responsibility as a business to ensure adherence to the guidelines and you as an individual have responsibility outside of the business to ensure you are doing everything to prevent the spread of the virus.

We continue to be pleasantly surprised at the quantity of customers that we are seeing through the doors. In the five weeks since we’ve re-opened, we have sold a staggering 700 retail cars and in excess of 50 motorcycles. Our aftersales teams have also been busy with our service departments costing approximately 5,000 jobs in the last five weeks including an all-time record month for Motorrad. Parts and Bodyshop haven’t been left behind and have all reported budget levels of performance for the month of June. This overall level of business is not expected to continue long term, we are however, expecting the second half of the year to replicate as a minimum the volumes of business that were reported in the same period last year.

The June performance has really helped the business and I’m pleased to report the business is in a positive position in terms of cash and therefore out of imminent danger, but there are no guarantees we’re safe. The recent performance has only happened by you all throwing yourselves into the job and there has been some fantastic efforts. I know how hard many of you are working and the general attitude in the business has been amazing. I personally thank all of you who have gone above and beyond during the last few weeks and can assure you that your efforts have contributed massively to the survival of the business.

I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel but we don’t know if there is another tunnel to follow. Closing the business down and furloughing 95% of all staff results in a monthly loss of £600,000, if we didn’t have the option of furlough then the cost would be well over £1,000,000 per month which clearly isn’t sustainable. The more business we do, the safer we are and I ask that you do everything you can to ensure we don’t miss any opportunities. Unfortunately, if business falls short of our planned volume then we may have to take further action and make more redundancies. We would however rather plan to succeed than do what many other businesses are doing which is to strip out cost, taking away their ability to do business. I spoke about protection of the core and the recent restructuring actions we’ve taken are absolutely in line with this objective.

The business has lost money in the first six months of the year, albeit far less than I was expecting a few months ago. It’s important that we have a good second half of the year and I believe we can, but we need everyone to work hard and play their part if we have any chance at all of achieving our objectives. There are many businesses in the UK that either have or will face bankruptcy during 2020 and whilst the year won’t go down as one of our better ones we will (subject to achievement of our second half year plans) survive.

Thank you for your continued efforts and the genuine support and care that many of you have shown during the last three months.