AN award-winning South Tyneside company has lost its role as a main dealer for car giant Nissan after more than 20 years, it was revealed today.
Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd has sold vehicles made by the Washington-based car company since the early 1990s, but that arrangement will end on May 5.
Owner Vic Young admitted he is “disappointed” by the move, which is believed to be the result of a strategy change by Nissan and which has also affected other independent car dealers in the North East and other parts of the UK.
Mr Young’s links with Nissan stretch back more than 30 years, to when the company first established a base in the region.
But the popular borough car dealer, based in Newcastle Road, South Shields, insists it will be business as usual, and that the loss of the Nissan dealership will not affect more than 60 jobs at the firm.
Managing director Mr Young said: “Due to a change in strategy by Nissan GB, we will no longer be acting as a main dealer for Nissan from May 5, 2014.
“I believe Nissan GB’s decision has been driven by geographical considerations rather than performance-related factors, as we still hold the position as one of the most profitable independent Nissan dealers in the UK.
“Although we are disappointed by this decision, we look forward to continuing our long-standing association with Nissan, whom we have worked with since 1980 and helped to establish in the North East. We will remain a service dealer for Nissan.”
Mr Young was the recipient of a special award at last autumn’s South Tyneside Business Awards, and his company has picked up a string of commercial accolades in recent years, including a dealership prize at Disabled Motoring Awards 2013, and was a finalist at both the national Motor Trade Industry Awards 2013 and the North East Business Awards 2014.
He added: “The dealership also remains committed to supporting the local and wider communities, through our work with charities, including St Oswald’s Hospice, Help the Heroes, Grace House Hospice, St Clare’s Hospice and Westoe Rugby Club, and by providing opportunities for young people through our apprenticeship scheme and close relationship with South Tyneside College.
“We are continuing to invest in the business and look forward to serving customers for years to come.”
The South Shields company’s portfolio also includes Vic Young Motability and Northern Truck Bodies, which develops unique conversions for various specialist vehicles, including those for full motability approval.
A spokesman for Nissan GB said: “We do not comment on any specifics relating to our arrangements with our business partners.
“Nissan constantly reviews its market representation in order to offer the very best sales and service experience to our customers.”