The automotive sector, from retail showrooms to original equipment manufacturers and their considerable supply chain, has faced major challenges with both business and private demand for new vehicles waning. Many businesses in this sector have adopted a number of measures to combat challenging financial conditions including shortened working weeks and squeezing the margins of other companies within their own supply chain. Although intervention has been welcome, such measures are short term in nature and have failed to address the fundamental issues within the sector.
Our understanding of the unique value locked within the automotive sector allows us to implement restructuring strategies that can, where possible, free up cash, improve performance and release assets before problems become insurmountable.
We take a holistic approach to working within this sector and draw upon a complete toolkit of expertise to enhance the outcome of our clients. Our restructuring experts work alongside a range of operational experts within the automotive sector, who have previously occupied senior positions within the sector.
When instructed to work alongside a distressed business, we will work very closely with the current management team, or, if appropriate, the relevant investor in order to assess the situation, and produce a number of viable options to get the business back on track.
Typically our priority is to stabilise short-term cash flow and then produce a coherent restructuring and turnaround solution which addresses the long-term needs of the business, and puts the business back on the road to not only financial recovery, but also growth.
Businesses within the automotive sector often have to call upon their credit insurers during troubled times and our relationships with underwriters, brokers and claims professionals in this market is second to none, ensuring they obtain the maximum value owed under any given policy.
By their very nature, motor trade and automotive companies may have limited assets other than their premises, with vehicles, machinery and equipment very often leased by finance companies. Our financial consulting services include strategic planning and valuation advice which can help realise the value of any property assets to enable ongoing business success.
The words ‘product recall’ are many manufacturers’ worst nightmare, and such recalls are becoming more common as society becomes more litigious. Recalls can severely affect the financial performance of the business and, therefore, require a coherent strategy to minimise the impact on brand equity. We work with companies and their media advisers to ensure everyone who needs to be is fully briefed and able to convey approved messages to the press.
Investigation and Intelligence
The automotive sector is incredibly competitive and research is proving a key way of differentiating a manufacturer’s offerings. Previously, we have been instructed to assist manufacturers in suspected cases of ‘industrial espionage’ – where vital data has been leaked to a competitor. In these instances we have successfully traced the sources of leaks and made recommendations to prevent such incidents in future. This skill is supplemented by e-discovery expertise, which is playing an increasing role in instances of fraud.
Our advice includes:
Related Case Studies
The automotive supplier Scheeff, based in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, had to file for insolvency some years ago. The PLUTA insolvency administration team kept the business going for almost one year and implemented important restructuring measures. Some 1.5 million euros had to be invested during the insolvency proceedings to meet official and other requirements. Following intensive negotiations, a solution was found for the company. A well-known group of companies from the region with over 1,000 employees acquired the foundry and kept on more than 100 of its employees. Creditors received a recovery rate of more than 20%.
GfI Gesellschaft für technische Ingenieurleistungen mbH
GfI employed many highly qualified people, but sales still declined, as its focus on customers in the automotive sector proved to be a problem. In order to best position itself for other industrial sectors as well, GfI filed an application for debtor-in-possession insolvency proceedings. Management remained in charge and guided the company through the crisis itself. A PLUTA expert was appointed as insolvency monitor by the court to protect the interests of the creditors. The company was restructured during the proceedings and was sold to and integrated into an engineering service provider group with international operations.
QSSL Industrieservice GmbH
QSSL Industrieservice GmbH, based in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg, was a provider of quality assurance services as well as various services for the automotive sector in particular. The company, with several /our-firms in Germany, had to file for insolvency in 2019. Just two months later, the PLUTA restructuring experts managed to find a follow-up solution which ensured that all jobs were saved. The business has been acquired by TRIGO Böllinger Technik from Bremen, the German subsidiary of the renowned TRIGO Group based in France.
Townsend Jaguar Rover
We were appointed the financial adviser to the debtor in the Townsend bankruptcy cases. The dealerships were in a heated dispute with the manufacturer leading to the BK. The team were able to market the dealerships in the BK based on the projected future profitability rather than the recent historical profitability. As a result, the dealerships sold for one of the largest goodwill prices ever paid for Jaguar Rover stores. GlassRatner won a category Middle Market Deal of the Year Award for this transaction.