Motor dealership prosecuted

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DC COOK, the leading motor dealer, based in Rotherham, is being prosecuted for selling cars that have been "clocked" - a trade term for vehicles with false mileage readings.

Last week, group managing director Barry Singleton and the managers of two local dealerships, including the son-in-law of DC Cook chairman Derek Cook, appeared at Barnsley Magistrates Court to face 141 charges relating to the sale of 15 "clocked" cars. The case was adjourned for a committal hearing on 2 November. There is no suggestion that any of the cars were clocked by DC Cook.

In a separate case, DC Cook (North Yorkshire) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of DC Cook, faces charges of misleading credit advertising. The local trading standards office alleges that the terms offered by the branch on five-year car loans involved a shorter pay-back period and a higher annual percentage rate (APR) than indicated by the branch. A magistrates hearing is due in York on 10 November. An investigation into DC Cook by the British Retail Motor Industry, a trade association, continues.

The proceedings in Barnsley came the day before DC Cook, which operates 18 dealerships with franchises including including Nissan, Toyota and Renault, bucked the industry trend by revealing its new car sales for the key month of August were 22 per cent higher than in the corresponding period last year.

Plans to open a 12-acre Motor City site in Barnsley are well advanced, while new dealerships in Nottingham and Chesterfield are also in the pipeline.