A WELL established car dealership closed its doors for the final time today after a decision to “increase focus towards online sales”.

Underwoods, which began trading in 1981 and also runs Vauxhall, Kia and Mazda dealerships in Colchester, has represented Skoda in Colchester for more than 19 years.

Its managing director, Gerry Wiggins, emphasised the decision was out of the firm’s hands and added that the closure is part of “changing times within the motor industry”.

“It is great sadness that we must confirm the closure of Skoda in Colchester,” said Mr Wiggins.

Gazette: Thank you - The business thanked its loyal customersThank you - The business thanked its loyal customers (Image: Underwoods)

He continued: “The decision to close was not one of Underwoods making, as we have been successfully representing Skoda for over 19 years.

“As I am sure you are aware these are changing times within the motor industry, including online sales.

“Skoda has decided to reduce the number of dealers in their network, with an increased focus towards online sales.”

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Lancaster House, in Wyncolls Road, Colchester, has been the home of Skoda showroom since Underwoods purchased the building, which is next to the company’s Scotts Corner site on Ipswich Road, in 2004.

Skoda initially shared the site with its Mazda colleagues, who moved to Scotts Corner, which was already home to the Vauxhall dealership, four years later.

The motoring group has promised to continue serving its Skoda customers, albeit at other locations.

Gazette: Long-standing - Underwoods has represented Skoda in Colchester for more than 19 yearsLong-standing - Underwoods has represented Skoda in Colchester for more than 19 years (Image: Underwoods)

“We will continue to provide maintenance and warranty repairs at our authorised Skoda garages in Sudbury and Clacton,” added Wiggins.

“[Our customers] will be contacted as usual when [their] vehicle is due to be serviced or an MOT is required.”

Most of the staff at the dealership have retained their jobs.


The business thanked its loyal customers, with its boss saying: “We greatly value our customers and would like to thank all the Underwoods customers who have been so supportive over the years, returning time and time again for their next vehicle and servicing.”

Customers can book maintenance and warranty repairs in Sudbury by calling 01787 372301, and in Clacton by calling 01255 222444.

Skoda has been approached for comment.