ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST – V&J LATEST

Published by Nick on February 24th, 2012 - in NEWS

The latest news on the V&J closure, a story broken by BG at the beginning of the week.

LATEST

24/02/12 15.00    Administrators confirmed: Milsted Langdon, 01823 445566.  Anyone with money down for parts, bike deposits or with their own bikes in situ at V&Js for servicing etc. should contact them  in the first instance.  If the query relates to Honda goods, Honda UK should be the next port of call (01753 590510).

V&J director David Hopgood issued a statement which suggests that the Honda franchise was withdrawn prior to closure, thus confirming the extent to which the original multi franchise operation had become Honda dependent.  Prior to that, Suzuki and Kawasaki franchises had been relinquished.

The whole franchise system is creaking at the moment, which implies new sales are still way below targets nationwide.  We suspect that the bottom end of the market, older used bike and specialist retailers (classics and so on) are best placed to survive, since they don’t have the same overheads that cripple the big boys, and their customers aren’t faced with the level of investment involved in buying new.  One dealer told us that even zero rated interest packages over three years weren’t attractive, since the average customer is apprehensive about longer term commitments.

THE ORIGINAL STORY

We’re based in SW England, and rumours are flying around down here today (20/2/12) that a local multi franchise operation – V&J Superbikes – has gone into administration.

V&J Superbikes have outlets in Taunton and Bridgewater, Somerset, and the latest we have is that neither store opened this week.

Rumours of this demise have been predicted for a while – their outlet at Mudford near Yeovil closed last year, and the Kawasaki and Suzuki franchises disappeared. Honda kept them going in Bridgewater, but stock had recently become very limited at the Taunton branch.

This kind of scenario will be all too familiar to our UK readers: it’s only three weeks since the country’s biggest multi franchise operator, George White, locked its doors for good.

Our main concern in covering this story is for those who have money down on V&J product. BG have also been told that staff had problems with wages recently. It is unclear as to whether or not they have been paid in full. Watch this space for updates.

UPDATED 21/2/12    11.00. V&J website down, shops closed, still no official confirmation but looking grim.  20:00 UPDATE:  Just received from reliable source V&J ceased trading last weekend – but still no statement.  Which isn’t good enough if they are holding deposits.

 

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10 Responses

  1. nick says:

    Reliably informed that v&j lost their Honda franchise late last week. This meant that they would have to return stock not paid for & pay for anything sold. Final straw I suppose. They may have had their faults but no one would wish this on a family business.

  2. jools says:

    Kinda gutted myself..
    Paid for there ‘service saver’ 2 yrs servicing in advance 🙁
    Guess i can wave goodbye to that.
    I hope people who have bikes/money rtc tied up with V & J can get some kind of outcome from this

  3. Nick says:

    nick, they were a family business but it is important customers are kept informed.

    Jools, you ought to give the administrator a bell.

  4. jools says:

    thanks nick, will give them a bell in the week…
    Shame really, as i always had good service down there.

  5. Carole says:

    So very sad to hear this news. Things are very difficult in the motorcycle industry at the moment, and a number of very respected well known dealers have closed, either voluntarily or forced into liquidation in the past two years. Anyone that still thinks there’s big money in motorcycle retail, and therefore a lot of margin to give away needs to think again- retailers need to make a reasonable bottom line to survive- thats a fact. Its sad if customers have been left in the lurch- but equally sad that a very long established name has had to throw in the towel.

  6. Steve says:

    Family business I care not! They were trying to sell my bike for and amazingly managed to get a sale on the day they closed??? funny as now I am just a creditor who will see probably next to nothing rather than get my bike back. No doubt my bike will appear for sale at David Hopgood’s next bike shop which will probably be opened up in his wife’s name. Seeing as there are rumors flying around he has a tent full of bike bits in his back garden he may have a healthy stock!!!!!

  7. Nige says:

    I should have guessed they weren’t going to last as they were perpetual liars in y experience. My bike went into the Bridgwater store in Nov for warranty work (corrosion on the wheels, rear shocks and final drive case cover) and was fed a pack of lies about why it was taking so long. I was eventually told it would be ready shortly only to find that they had gone bust. My bike is apparently in pieces and immobile in the workshop. Hilstead Langdon are useless, mainly because they are being denied access to the property by the landlord, London and Southwest Estates. It also appears that said landlord is charging people up to £100 each to get their lawful property back! My insurance won’t cover this so I will somehow have to finance its recovery and rebuild myself and try to claim back my expenses from the administrator as one of the company’s creditors, but as a private individual I’m guessing I won’t have much success. If the Hopgoods ever do get back into business in this area I can promise them a visit! My only hope yet is to contact Suzuki to see if they will help but again I am not holding my breath.

  8. shane says:

    well i have worked there from last 2011 every weekend and thy owed me 826 of my wage and i cnt get a penny of it for the amount of work id did for tht place on bikes is alot but i cn say i had more arguments than i did work cos of the owner wanting to cut corners in my opinion it was best for tht place to close down as thy are realy crap and dont care for there costumers when i allways put them first just makes me angry tht thy cn do tht to ppl

  9. your mum says:

    Their Yeovil store sold me a piece of shit that was borderline roadworthy for well above what it was worth. They were dodgy rip off merchants and the world is a better place without them.

  10. alan selway says:

    hi v&j honda sold a bike for me just before they west bust for £600.every time i went to se them in bridgwater for the money they said we will have to pay you with a cheque i said ok but when i got the cheque after a long wait the cheque bounced they new they was going bust but still gave me a bounced cheque.

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