JCB has decided to drop Hemel Hempstead firm Rayner JCB from its dealer network after the surprise resignation of Rayner managing director Alan Batty.
Following Mr Batty's decision to pursue other projects, the manufacturer will split London and the Home Counties between neighbouring dealers Watling JCB and Greenshields JCB.
Mr Batty will continue to work with JCB during the transition.
The manufacturer said emphatically that it did not instigate the reshuffle and tried to persuade Mr Batty, who formed Rayner in 1998, to stay.
But its proximity to the exit of two Rayner directors to form their own plant hire company left Rayner in an unsustainable position.
Watling will run the Wymondham and Kidlington depots while Greenshields takes Braintree and Hemel Hempstead.