Deposits on bikes in doubt after George White folds

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Britain’s biggest motorcycle dealer could default on dozens of deposits placed on new bikes after going into administration.

A source at a major bike manufacturer warned George White Motors was unlikely to complete outstanding orders after the chain’s six branches unexpectedly closed last Thursday.

The chain had branches in Swindon, Plymouth, Torbay, Bolton, Donington and Slough, selling bikes from Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ducati and Aprilia.

A source at one of the bikes makers to supply the chain said: “It looks unlikely that they’re going to complete deliveries. The noises coming out of there are that the doors are shut and that’s it.”

An official statement from another manufacturer appeared to confirm the doubts. Kawasaki UK’s statement appeared to suggest the manufacturer would step in to complete orders.

Michael Johnstone, Kawasaki’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said: “These situations are never easy. That said, we are doing our very best to ensure that Kawasaki customers who have paid deposits on brand new machines and are expecting delivery will not be disappointed and suffer as little inconvenience as possible.

“As things progress, we will ensure that machines are supplied by the affected customer’s nearest Kawasaki dealer.”

A Kawasaki spokesman said customers to pay by credit card had “already made arrangements with their card issuer to recover their funds.

“Kawasaki is now contacting all other customers via the administrator, Deloitte.”

Other manufacturers advised customers worried about deposits to contact Deloitte in the first instance.

Those experiencing problems over a new Ducati, Yamaha or Honda were advised to contact the manufacturer directly. 

A statement from Deloitte blamed “poor trading results over the last two years” for George White’s closure.

Read more in MCN, on sale now.

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell