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Race is on for dealers to fill gaps left by failure of CRMS

PLANT

CASE Construction Equipment is close to signing up a replacement firm to take over the key London area vacated by former dealer CRMS, which went into administration in May.

The territory is one of the last two CRMS areas remaining to be filled, along with Oxford and the Home Counties.

If both are given to new dealers, Case would have five different firms covering CRMS's former territory, putting into practice its new strategy of having more dealers and smaller franchises.

FT Construction Equipment, Bredy and M&M Plant have already been lined up to take on parts of the CRMS empire.

The manufacturer believes a more local service will enable it to build market share in the competitive UK market.

CRMS' administrator KPMG has given up on trying to sell the firm as a going concern, and is now disposing of the f irm's assets piecemeal.

Among the assets are over £1.5 million worth of used equipment and a depot in Hook, Surrey, which CRMS bought f rom Case in 2002.

Other manufacturers represented by CRMS are also working on filling the hole left by the £40 million-turnover dealer.

Both telehandler giant Manitou and dumper specialist Neuson said they expected to make announcements on replacements by the end of the month.