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Saturday, 12 January, 2002, 18:24 GMT
Kwik-Fit sale claims dismissed
Kwik-Fit employee
Kwik-Fit employs some 12,000 people
Reports that Edinburgh-based car repair company Kwik-Fit is to be sold have been dismissed as "pure speculation" by its chief executive.

The chain, which was bought by Ford in 1999, employs almost 1,700 people in Scotland.

Its owner has announced plans to put a number of its non-core businesses on the market as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Ford is also closing five American plants with the loss of 20,000 jobs, a move which will take the number of job cut by the company to 35,000.

Kwik-Fit logo
The company was sold to Ford in 1999
The Kwik-Fit chain of tyre and exhaust centres was set up in Scotland more than 30 years ago by Sir Tom Farmer, who sold the firm to Ford for 1.4bn.

Along with its insurance wing, the company now employs 12,000 staff across Europe.

Sir Tom, who is still the firm's chief executive, denied that any decision had been taken to include Kwik-Fit in the Ford sell-off.

He told BBC Scotland: "If Ford decide to sell off Kwik-Fit I will be as supportive as I possibly can in whatever decisions that Ford actually make.

"I will move heaven and earth to make sure that the future of Kwik-Fit is very very secure and that the 12,000 people who make up the Kwik-Fit team have a great future lying ahead of them."

A decision on the company's future is due to be taken within the next couple of months.

And Sir Tom has not ruled out the possibility that the firm could return to Scottish ownership.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Pamela Haveron reports
"A decision on Kwik-Fit's future is due within the next couple of months"
See also:

11 Jan 02 | Business
Ford takes job cuts to 35,000
11 Jan 02 | Business
Ford hit by 'perfect storm' of woes
12 Apr 99 | The Company File
Ford's Kwik-Fit fix
12 Apr 99 | The Company File
Farmer reaps Kwik-Fit rewards
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