End of an era for local car dealer: John Grant forced to sell
TOW trucks started arriving at the Ipswich Central Motors dealership Thursday afternoon, confirming a long period of slow trading had finally taken its toll.
The Brisbane St dealer of Great Wall and Kia - as well as used cars - was almost completely liberated of its stock by Friday morning.
The Queensland Times spoke to owner John Grant briefly yesterday, and while he confirmed he was selling the business, he did not wish to speak on the record.
Mr Grant's Avis car rental business at the top of town and the service department of Central Motors will remain open for the time being.
The Queensland Times understands that Salters Jeep will buy the business from Mr Grant, however no further details of the sale were provided.
Also unconfirmed is the impact the demise of Central Motors will have on its staff of 22, and whether those people will lose their jobs or be employed under the new owner.
Mr Grant has been somewhat media shy since he was involved in the so-called "ute gate" affair with then-prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2009.
The email which sparked the controversy was later confirmed as a forgery by former treasury official Godwin Grech.
Mr Grant started Central Motors with long-time associate Dave McCoy at the former Denmac Ford site in Ipswich in 2007.
He had just refurbished the old building before the 2011 floods hit, forcing him to clean up the mud and start again.
As well as the new car dealer
ship, bordered by Limestone, Gordon and Brisbane Sts, Mr Grant operated a small used car yard on Brisbane St.
Both yards were empty yesterday morning.
Mayor Paul Pisasale and Deputy Mayor Victor Attwood paid tribute to Mr Grant and his contributions to the community over the years.
"John has been one of the most valuable corporate citizens; he's been there to offer his support when it has been needed.
"The 2011 floods hit him hard and he never really recovered - even though he worked tirelessly.
"The bad news is that he has decided to sell, the good news is that he is staying in town with his other business," Cr Pisasale said
Cr Attwood said he was sad to hear of the end of Central Motors.
"I wish John all the best," Cr Attwood said.
"He has been a great business person and certainly supported the city in a lot of ways."