CUSTOMERS have been told a long-established car dealership in Frinton will be shutting up shop for good this week due to the impact of Coronavirus.

It is understood that Lookers Ford, in Connaught Avenue, will be transferring its operations to its dealership in Colchester on Friday.

The national motor retailer launched in Frinton just two years ago after buying long-established Pollendine Motors.

At the time Lookers said the dealership was “a perfect fit in terms of brand, location and culture" for the company.

But, in an email to customers, franchise director Colin Pybus said: "It is with regret that I must notify you that we are closing our dealership in Frinton.

"I am truly sorry to have to write to you with this decision, however following a review of the business, Lookers has concluded that given the projected downturn in the market and economy, as a result of Covid-19 we must make some necessary changes to the structure of the organisation to ensure we protect the future of Lookers.

"Please be assured that this is not a decision we have taken lightly.

"Although we have taken every measure we can to remain part of the community, unfortunately we have had to resort to our final option of closure and will no longer be able to operate from this site after May 29.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would like to sincerely thank you for your custom and look forward to helping you continue your motoring journey with us.

"Existing customers have been transferred to our Colchester sites, where they’ll find the same knowledge, enthusiasm and warm welcome."

Lookers said outstanding orders on new vehicles will be honoured throughout the "dealership transition".

If the delivery falls after the closing date, orders will be passed over to the Colchester dealership.

One customer told the Gazette they were sad to see the garage close.

They said: "For me it was a useful local service that I could walk to if any car problems.

"I have bought six cars in a row from them, mainly when it was Pollendines, but the latest one from Lookers.

"It’s often a bit more expensive to shop locally, but the convenience of having everything you need in Frinton outweighs that for me.

"When Pollendines ran it there was a more personal service and they knew their regular customers by name."

The acquisition of Pollendine Motors in 2018 meant Lookers was operating 11 Ford dealerships nationwide, including in Colchester and Braintree.

At the time, the company said all 15 staff from Pollendine Motors were being retained at the site.

Lookers had not responded at the time of going to press.