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Bill Cullen to close two motor dealerships

Twenty-nine jobs to go in Galway and Ennis.

Bill Cullen with British  'The Apprentice' star and businessman Alan Sugar
Bill Cullen with British 'The Apprentice' star and businessman Alan Sugar
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TWO OF BILL Cullen Motor Group’s Renault dealerships are to close, with the lost of  29 jobs.

The dealerships in Ennis and Galway will close shop on the second of July, a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie. Twenty jobs are to go in Galway and another nine in Ennis, “because it operates as a subsidiary to the larger Galway operation.”

In statement, the company said its two dealerships in Dublin would continue to operate as normal. The statement read:

Renault will announce separately its plans to distribute Renault vehicles and parts in the areas previously serviced by the Bill Cullen Motor group. Bill Cullen will continue to be a Renault dealer in Liffey Valley and Airside in Dublin.

Cullen’s motor group has been hit hard by the recession, with Renault taking over direct control of car distribution for the the car maker in 2007. However, he held onto dealerships in Liffey Valley, Airside, Galway and Ennis.

New car sales across the industry have continued to fall in Ireland, falling 19 per cent in May according to Simi, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. It says sales of new cars are down 8.7 per cent over the last year. It predicted 75,000 new car sales this year compared to 90,000 in 2011 and 151,000 in 2008.

Cullen has had other more recent travails too. Last month TV3 pulled the plug on the ‘The Apprentice’, which Cullen fronted as the hard-nosed businessman.

Born into a family of 14, Cullen began working in the car industry as a messenger boy with Waldren’s Ford Dealership in Dublin. 9 years later he was running it, eventually becoming the largest distributor of Ford cars in Ireland. He bought the Renault franchise in 1986 for £1, eventually opening six dealerships across the country.

Read: You’re fired! The Apprentice will not be returning for fifth season >

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