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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Racing driver's showroom closes
Brundle's Toyota dealership in King's Lynn
Brundle's Toyota dealership in King's Lynn is closing
Norfolk racing driver Martin Brundle has closed his car dealership in King's Lynn, making 28 staff redundant.

Mr Brundle, also a well-known racing commentator, ran the 30-year-old family business with his brother Robin.

But they lost the Toyota, Peugeot, Honda and Skoda franchises - which went to bigger dealers.

A spokesman said 17 workers have been found new jobs at Brundle's Volkswagen dealership and repair shop in North Lynn.

Directors Martin and Robin Brundle blame sweeping changes in the way that new cars are being marketed and sold.

Martin Brundle
Martin Brundle is a well-known racing commentator

Managing director Robin Brundle said that it was a sad decision, especially when 28 people had to lose their jobs.

Martin Brundle stressed that it still had a "very financially secure company" but had been forced to switch direction because of the way that the market was changing.

He explained that rural businesses were coming under pressure from manufacturers who now prefer to put their franchises with major companies in central locations in larger towns or cities.

He said that they were "appalled" to learn that they were to lose the Toyota franchise they had held for more than 30 years to a Peterborough-based company.

Peugeot also went elsewhere and the remaining Honda and Skoda business was not enough to sustain a two-acre site with major overheads.

"The big groups are coming in and taking over. We have seen it happen with other companies round here and it will happen again," he said.

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