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Phil West  says:

George White goes into administration

George White Motors, the UK’s leading motorcycle dealer group, has gone into administration this morning, MCN has learnt. Rumours of the closure began circulating early this morning with suggestions that staff at its dealerships in Swindon, Plymouth and Torbay had been made redundant. The shock news was then confirmed at around 11am to MCN by owner Steve Gannicott who said the...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (19 January 2012 11:42)

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Jan 10

Posts: 38

timowers says:

Au Revoir

I'll miss the always happy, always smiling petite young lady in the Swindon accessories/helmets building. Sniff.

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Nov 11

Posts: 109

sign of the times

If you look at how many companies are going under I can't see how we can bring ourselves out of the deficit. If people don't have money because of cuts in pay and increases in tax, fuel etc then these companies will fold and once they're gone how the hell will we resurrect an economy when the thing that feeds the economy are long gone. I feel sorry for those that are losing their jobs and worse having to replace them. It's only going to get worse good job it's 2012 we only have to put up with this till the end of the year.   

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Jul 09

Posts: 79

DARMHA900SS says:

I am shocked

Can't believe it.

I may live in Brazil now but I grew up in Swindon.

I traded in my FS1E for a second hand RD250B at George Whites back in 1979, when "George White" still ran the place.

Before that I used to spend my Saturdays sitting on a new Z900A4 in the shop window whenever I could.

That was when they were just a Kawasaki and BMW dealer.

I have seen many small motorcycle dealers go by the wayside in my time but I didn't ever think it would happen to them.

I guess maybe they got too big. Too many overheads meaning too many non existant sales needed.

Good luck to all involved. They will be missed!


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Jun 09

Posts: 145

OxonJohn says:

Not a lot of people know this...

I note a contributor below making reference to dealers profit on his part-exchange, especially when they've made money out of the bike he bought. We'll talk about his old bike and it's £900 mark up. First off, the government will have £150 of that in VAT. Yes, dealers pay VAT on their margin when selling used bikes. The same applies to cars. Also, when he traded the bike in did it need anything replacing that wasn't up to scratch? Tyres? Chain and sprockets? A service? Having worked in the retail motor business for 33 years now, I've yet to see a part-exchange (car or bike) that didn't need anything doing to it before putting it on sale. On top of that, trading standards laws dictate that a vehicle cannot be offered for sale until it's been passed fit for purpose in the dealers workshop. So, we've started off with a £900 mark up. Mr. Osborne's had £150, let's say the bike needed a new rear tyre @ £100, and a quick fettle in the workshop (we'll say it didn't need a service) for another £75. That leaves £575 out of £900. So all it needs now is a nice shiny new owner who will come in and pay sticker price without asking for any kind of a deal. Simples. Oh, and by the way, dealers will ALWAYS look to make money on used bikes as their margins on new are being squeezed. To imagine they won't want to make a living on a customers part-exchange just because they made a profit on the bike he bought is naive in the extreme. A big dealer could easily carry hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of used bikes, and they simply have to make a profit on that investment. This will mean the end of their motorcycle industry careers for a good few of the people working at the George White dealerships because there simply aren't the jobs out there. The worst of it is that the bike business is going the way of the car game, and dealers are now possibly more interested in flogging you finance and GAP insurance than they are interested in selling you a bike!

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Nov 03

Posts: 470

kl595 says:

grim very grim

This is a shock.

I just hope the employees can find jobs. I agree about the Slough branch comments made earlier. I had a similar experience of being ignored by salesmen while they read the paper and chatted on mobiles. Unfortunately when you get an interview, these are the people you have to impress. It's a nightmare.

Anyway, I bet there are a few worried dealers out there. The threat of cutbacks, job losses, rising fuel costs, diminishing number of motorcyclists due to age and test procedures will all contribute to the downward spiral. I just hope Osborne and Cameron get this economy sorted out otherwise there will be 60million claiming benefits before long as no-one in this country will have a job or afford to do anything.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Oct 10

Posts: 180

flookyk says:

Being from the NE

the closure of GW does not affect me but the closure of my nearest 2 Honda dealers over the last 2 years has done.

Part of the blame must rest with the manufacturers though, as after selling a bike the dealer must be able to attract the owner back for servicing and repairs and, with Honda for one, the price of spares can be extortionate in the UK.

Having an older bike and things like the alternator going wrong, which can be common on the 40A ST1100 alternator as the casing cracks through corrosion, the only way I could afford to get it back on the road was buy the parts from the USA and do the work myself, with the parts being around 1/3 to 1/2 the price of here in the UK.

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Jan 12

Posts: 1

Francisco says:

George White

This is bad news. A lot is being said about the business being too big, too impersonal and too mcuh like a supermarket, but what I will miss is the chance for a ride out to a Theatre of Dreams. This was the biggest dealer in the UK and there are few places outside of a bike show that you could see the full range from all of the major Japanses manufacturers in one place and that on any day of the week. I realised that all of my current biking kit came from GWs, helmet to boots and everything in between, so that represents a god few excuses to drop there. The coffee wasn't bad either.

I hope that another entrepreneur picks up the threads of "George's". I think it qas good for biking and my sympathy for the staff.

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Jan 12

Posts: 1

ptiern says:

Not just a supermarket - Servicing too

Most people overlook the servicing centre, when discussing George Whites at Swindon.

This was a truely friendly well run centre, and they did not care where you purchased the bike from initally.

Attention was same regardless.

Booking in was easy, not long to wait and plenty to do whilst the bike was being serviced / MOT'd.

Prices were very reasonable, unlike other places visited.

You will be sadly missed, especially by me as I have 3 bikes (2 supplied by you), which you kept maintained.

Hope you get to start up again soon.

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Sep 11

Posts: 4

ianmacphotos says:

such a shame, shows the state of bike sales in UK..Bad for everyone including MCN who get a lot of advertising revenue...hope things pick up in UK soon....

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Jan 05

Posts: 71

AlexGroves says:

So what if you've still on a GW deal??

Shame this has happended (but GW financial position has been known for some while not to be as good as it could have been, with no annoucement sudden closure of branches - such as the one in London) as there's going to be a whole lot of customers wondering the same thing as me!!!, that is I bought an XJ6 from GW on their 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 deal last year, questions are:

Don't suppose anyone is going to honour the 4 years warranty, 3 years worth of free servicing and one set of free tyres???

And my 2 years of MCN subscription (of which one year has already passed) I guess might come to a sudden end??

The 5 year interest free credit I know is secure as thats through Black Horse Finance.

The deal was always a little on the "to good to be true" side!

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