Euro Car Parts faces a shakeup as founder Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia has resigned from his position as the executive chairman of the company and as director of parent company LKQ, following an alleged dispute with its American owner about cost-cutting plans.
This news comes in the same week the car and van parts giant announced that ECP Group chief executive, Martin Gray, was also leaving the business. The company’s head of trading is also understood to have resigned.
All three exits have come amid concerns that its American parent company is drawing up plans to scrap hundreds of UK jobs.
Andy Hamilton, who previously held the role of Chief Commercial Officer, has now been appointed CEO of the ECP Group, effective immediately.
The former LKQ director, Ahluwalia, founded Euro Car Parts 40 years ago, growing the company to become the industry-leading car parts and accessories distributor, with over 200 locations across UK and Ireland. In October 2011, the company was bought by LKQ Corporation for £255 million.
His departure comes at a time when the business is looking to implement a “swingeing cost-cutting programme”. It is suggested that the LKQ plan is to make changes aimed at saving millions of pounds annually after a 40% fall in LKQ’s share price within the last 12 months.
However, with around 12,000 staff working for ECP, the business has denied claims that “large scale lay-offs” would be incorporated in these cost-cutting actions, refuting these rumours as “false”.
Dominick Zarcone, President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation, shared his views on Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia departure:
“Sukhpal has been a key partner with LKQ over the past seven years as we have quadrupled the size of our business in the UK, and he has served as a valued LKQ board member. While we will miss his insights, we respect his desire to spend all his time focused on the family property business and wish him nothing but the best in those endeavours.”
Motor trade professionals that depend upon Euro Car Parts in order to meet the demands of their customers and hit tight turn around deadlines will be hoping that the disruption at the head of the company doesn’t affect the smooth running of their stores.