Cartwright Group has gone into administration today resulting in 490 redundancies at S Cartwright & Sons (Coachbuilders) and Cartwright Fabrications and the sale of subsidiaries Cartwright Finance, Cartwright Fleet Service and Cartwright Rentals to Contract Vehicles, the commercial vehicles division of leasing and fleet management firm Zenith.

The sale of the businesses and their assets also sees 259 employees transferred to the new owner. They will continue to trade as part of Zenith.

The move creates the UK’s largest HGV and specialist fleets with over 50,000 vehicles and one of the largest trailer rental fleets in the UK.

Martin Jenkins Zenith

Commenting on the acquisition, Martin Jenkins, chief executive of the HGV and specialist vehicles division and group strategy director at Zenith, pictured, said: “We are backing a talented management team and people across the three Cartwright businesses we have acquired, and we look forward to working with their customers, employees and suppliers alike.

“The businesses have a good reputation in their sector and are a great fit with the customer-first culture at Zenith. Bringing these operations together is an important step in our strategic growth plans and supports our position as the leading provider of fleet services across all asset types in the UK.”

Michael Magnay and Dan Smith, restructuring partners at Deloitte, who were formally appointed as joint administrators to the Cartwright Group today (22 September 2020) said that Cartwright Group had been “heavily impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure of the manufacturing site for several months.

The Altrincham-based trailer manufacturer, which also provided trailer rentals and fleet services, had rental depots across the UK including in Leeds, Glasgow and Aldridge. The group employed around 800 people.

Joint administrator Michael Magnay said: “The Cartwright Group is a well-known and established company in the Cheshire area.

“Whilst we are pleased that a total closure of the Group has been avoided, we regret that today’s announcement includes a number of redundancies. Our thanks go out to all the employees at what we appreciate is a difficult time, and we are providing support to those affected.”