Cunningham Higgins becomes another casualty of Ireland’s financial mess

The prolonged recession and lack of government support has been cited as the reasons for the closure of a city based car dealership.

Cunningham Higgins in Ballybrit yesterday became what it described as yet another casualty of Ireland’s financial mess when the company officially announced its decision to close with immediate effect. The business was closed Monday and Tuesday to allow time for an in-depth review, unfortunately in a blow to local jobs and retail industry the doors are now to remain closed.

In a statement directors Joe Higgins and Niall Cunningham said the closure of their business “is directly attributable to the prolonged recession that we find ourselves in and the affects that it is having on the retail environment.

“As a result of, and in addition to the economic downturn, the motor industry in Ireland is fraught with difficulties including lack of demand, severe downward pressure on prices, rapidly depreciating used stocks, un-saleability of both petrol and old road tax cars, and a total lack of finance for buyers. Coupled with these factors are unsustainable costs of business including taxes, levies, insurances, fuel, rates, and also lack of government support for sustaining employment.”

With revenue falling from €22 million in 2007 to around €6 million this year the company said that such a reduced turnover made it “neither physically nor financially possible to employ the many measures needed to give level of service” that it was known for.

The statement continues: “Despite rumours that are circulating, this closure is entirely voluntary on the part of ourselves as directors of the company and, separately, as owners of the building. Likewise the closure is not due to any loss of the Mercedes franchise from our business, we remained a Mercedes dealer up to this week and acknowledge the trust that Mercedes Ireland put in ourselves to represent their brand in Galway for the past two years. Unfortunately there has been a large reduction in demand for luxury items, such as Mercedes-Benz cars, in this recession and we do not foresee any change to this customer reluctance in the near future.

“This is a tough horrible decision to have to make on both our parts but the reality is that the financial mess that Ireland finds itself in has caused many casualties of which we are only one,” said Mr Higgins and Mr Cunningham who thanked customers, suppliers, lenders, staff and their families, for the loyalty, support, and dedication over the past 12 years.


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