ONE of Cookstown’s best known car dealers has said sorry to his customers after his firm went bust leading to dozens of job losses.

In a major blow to the already recession-hit district, Rodney Cole Renault Dealership announced it is going into liquidation.

With just weeks to Christmas, the long-established firm’s owner posted a statement on the company website.

“It is with deep regret that I advise that the business is closed and the process of placing the Company into liquidation is in progress.

“The current economic trading environment put the business under extreme pressure leaving me with no alternative.

“May I thank all those customers who enjoyed the experience we provided and apologise to the few we did not please quite so much.

“To all the staff a big thank you for all your efforts in striving to be different.

“All creditors of the business will be contacted within the next few days to be advised of the creditors meeting venue and date,” said Mr Cole.

One of the biggest car dealer firms in the district, the company was the Renault Dealership for new and used cars in Mid Ulster

The company won a litany of awards including just last month when Mr Cole was presented with a Civic Award by Cookstown District Council chairman Sean Clarke. The award was in recognition of his contribution to industry by winning the Renault Global award.

Rumours began on Wednesday last week that there was something wrong at the Killymoon Street base as dozens of vehicles were taken away. Despite repeated attempts to contact Mr Cole, he was unable take calls from the Mid Ulster Mail.

Mr Cole’s businesses operated from two sites, a car dealership on Killymoon street and a motor parts centre at the Derryloran Industrial Estate. Mr Cole also has a car rental service.

However Mr Cole was unable to be contacted and it is unclear if one or all of his businesses are going into liquidation.

When the Mid Ulster Mail contacted the firm there was a pre-recorded message offering various options. For sales advisors, Renault Parts Department, Renault Rental and Customer Accounts there was no answer, though the phone was ringing.

The Renault Service Centre option brought you to a recorded message saying no one was available but to leave a message.

No one was answering when the Mail tried to contact the switchboard.