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Molson for Hyundai

South-west dealer signs up Korean giant as it quits New Holland

Bristol-based plant dealer Molson group has signed up as the south-western dealer for Hyundai, switching from long-term manufacturer partner New Holland.

The Molson Hyundai dealership has said it intends to be the Korean giant's biggest European dealer within two years.

Molson's sister firm last week terminated its agreement with New Holland following an acrimonious dispute. The firm, Molson Holdings, is now trading in administration.

Founder Jonathan Wilson said the Hyundai franchise would offer a range of machines from 1.5 tonnes up to 80 tonner and wheeled loaders from 9.7 tonnes to 30 tonnes.

He said: "We are pleased to be working with a company that has parts and machines in stock and we have already sold machines to several major customers. We have had a very positive response."

The European Hyundai operation promises next-day availability of spare parts from its facility in Belgium and carries a permanent stock of 400 machines in Northern Europe.

Parent company Hyundai Heavy Industries claimed global sales of £6.54 billion last year.

Mr Wilson said: "The excellent build quality will help enormously to increase Hyundai's market share throughout the UK, particularly in the south-west. We believe we can sell more than 300 machines a year within two years to make us the biggest in Europe."

The firm said Molson Holdings had no option but to call in administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers following the failure of New Holland to honour an agreed out of court settlement.

Mr Wilson said: "We called in professional mediators, but even they failed to get the matter settled."

Molson claimed to be one of the largest dealers for New Holland in Europe. Mr Wilson said he believed the fact that the New Holland franchise was in administration would raise questions over warranty cover.

He said: "There are at least 300 machines Molson Holdings has sold that are unlikely to be covered by it under warranty."

This is disputed by New Holland, which said PwC would still allow Molson to trade normally.

The company said in a statement: "New Holland wants to assure customers that they will continue to have the comprehensive range of services they have come to expect."

New Holland sales and marketing director Kevin Purcell said: "We have a contingency arrangement which we can rapidly implement."