Automotive: Staffordshire


Chambers Vehicle Conversions (CVC) found a niche in the automotive industry as a specialist ‘outfitter’ for commercial vehicles. It had established itself as the sole UK distributor for G-Brand Van Racking, a superior quality product range of in-van workshop equipment. Outwardly it was a very successful business, boasting a turnover of £1.3 million.

But despite its bespoke offer, an impressive client list, and apparently sound financial credentials, by the time that SFP was appointed as administrators, it had itself racked up debts of more than £460,000. The situation is now difficult, but not insurmountable, and SFP is confident that the business still has a future.

The UK auto parts market is extremely diverse, falling into two main sectors: original equipment and the after-market. Auto part products available in this market range from in-car navigation to car shampoo. Back in 2008, it was estimated that the market was worth £14.83 billion, which was a 5.2 percent reduction on the previous year, starting the downward spiral for the industry.

The vast number of solutions provided by CVC range from practical modular units, shelves, ladder racks and in vehicle workshop tools, to bespoke components – each custom designed and built to the highest quality. The company prides itself on being the ‘One Stop Shop’ for vans, able to meet all of its customers’ needs – even to the point of graphics and branding.

Its spacious conversion and van racking installation facility is as impressive as the range of services it provides. It has been specially adapted for the firm to be able to provide industry leading service, high quality finish to all jobs and a fast turn around, and includes a high-tech spraying facility, van racking assembly line, customisation and fabrication area, welding room, conversion deign studio, and storage for over 200 vehicles.

Indeed with its design team, engineers and assembly teams all situated in the same location, it believes it is able to convert a van, for any purpose, faster than anyone else in the country.

CVC fell into difficulty towards the end of last year, and by the Spring it was evident that outside help was needed. Simon and David Plant for SFP, the insolvency practitioners, were selected as Joint Administrators to the vehicle conversion company and immediately recognised the company’s potential. Simon Plant holds the main reason for the company’s difficulties down to problems with cash flow.

Despite the debts that have been accrued, Simon was confident that a willing buyer for the company would be found. He was especially encouraged by the quality of the G-brand range, which he saw as crucial to concluding any successful sale: “This robust Italian built racking is renowned across Europe for its superior build quality, innovative features and ease of use,” he says. “The vast range of products available is infinitely configurable allowing CVC to customise a vehicle exactly as required, converting it into the perfect tool for its job.”

As well as the ‘product’, Simon was also impressed with the company’s track record: “The company has a strong customer base which has allowed for a sale of its business and assets to have taken place on 30th May 2012, thus preserving the majority of employees’ positions within the business,” he explains.

“To have achieved a sale is a pleasing outcome for all concerned.”


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