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Lunar Automotive - The end is almost here!


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Lunar Automotive now have 6 days to vacate the premises on Strand Road Preston. Any equipment or machinery not removed within that time will be auctioned off by the buildings owners.

 

Staff have now filed a court case against the current owner for non payment of wages.

 

 

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fwiw ... Nice  idea, but as I see it CT members cant even have a chat about Toilet chemicals without it descending into an on-line row and handbags so building new Caravans as a mutual  ?- you sa

The rotton part of this company failure is that the emloyees have been messed about, retained without pay, and then finally told they aren't getting paid. Right before Christmas. This is disgusting.  

After due consideration "I'm out"

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Very sad but it looks like the end. Not sure that they can sell the contents if that is leased equipment though.

Getting unpaid wages might also be a problem as the owners are a South African firm.

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  • JonF changed the title to Lunar Automotive - The end is almost here!
2 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

Very sad but it looks like the end. Not sure that they can sell the contents if that is leased equipment though.

Getting unpaid wages might also be a problem as the owners are a South African firm.

The company, Lunar Automotive Ltd  is a UK limited company - South African ownership is neither here nor there but regardless, if the company has no cash or assets then sadly, there is no chance of getting unpaid wages out of it.

 

Rightly or wrongly, employees are are included in the 'preferential creditors' bracket which follows 'secured creditors’ in the pecking order.   There is I believe, at least two secured creditors,  Barclays Bank and Distribution Finance Capital Limited that will get first dibs on any assets (probably nothing).

 

 

 

 

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So sad to see another caravan manufacturer go under.  Lunar had their issues and faults like most other brands over the years but at one point they did have the edge in building Lightweight luxury tourers.  I have fond memories of the 3 Planet range models that my parents owned from 1986 - late 1990s a particular favourite being their 1993 Lunar Jupiter with double dinettes at each end.  The rear dinette made a double bed with sliding wooden doors across, yes wooden no plastic concertina cheap ones then.

 

All 3 Planet models were dry, no damp or faults just good solid but lightweight  Caravans that we made happy memories in.

 

They now have a 2014 Lunar Cosmos 462 which will be their last caravan I think.

 

The LA website is still working but for how long?

 

Goodbye Lunar 😔

Edited by thensum

2015 Swift Challenger 530SE & 2017 VW Tiguan R-line 4Motion 2.0TDI 150BHP

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22 minutes ago, thensum said:

So sad to see another caravan manufacturer go under.  

 

But this company, Lunar Automotive Ltd. has not manufactured any caravans !

 

25 minutes ago, thensum said:

The LA website is still working but for how long?

 

That website is the old Lunar Caravans website tweaked a bit after LCA  took it over.

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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One quick story of my Lunar Quazar is I had it for 6 years,yearly serviced,nothing went wrong ,no damp,nothing but the problem was a CD of Tom Jones stuck in the cd player,it was a free Daily Mail offer,every time I switched the 12v master on all I got was "You can keep you hat on" playing. Every time I hear it now I just shudder.

 

Eventually I managed to remove it by pulling it out with a thin pair of relay pliers.

 

Shame about Lunar,it just makes less choice now.

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fwiw ....

A more general point but I feel relevant.

I feel it is so sad to see & hear of seemingly very successful Businesses with active customer followings, a good prior reputation and assumed viable just slowly fail.

The apparent death throws & last gasps now of 'Lunar' are not really a surprise to me and no doubt the current & previous managers / owners / beancounters will have a long list of excuses readily to hand, for maybe the mags to copy paste & print, but it is still all very sad.

It seemed from what I read that the 'Lunar' business failure from 2 years ago was already much doomed and dead in the water.

Rant over ....

M

 

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11 hours ago, Silversurf said:

 

But this company, Lunar Automotive Ltd. has not manufactured any caravans !

That website is the old Lunar Caravans website tweaked a bit after LCA  took it over.

 

Be that as it may this looks likely to bring an end to one of our caravan manufacturers, the UK doesn't have so many manufacturing companies left that we can afford to be blase about losing one.

 

We have had a string of Lunar vans and enjoyed every one of them. Our current freelander will soldier on for a little while yet. Perhaps there might be one more in the chain when Luny Lu III retires in the years ahead. When most manufacturers offerings were getting (not unlike me) a little bloated and overweight due to the rise in popularity of SUVs it was good to have an alternative that offered larger vans which didn't need a two and a half tonne 4x4 to tow them. 

 

Whatever the failings of those involved in the attempt to revive the brand, which reminds me a lot of the Rover marque the name Lunar will still be missed by many. 

Edited by PMW

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

 

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1 hour ago, PMW said:

 

Be that as it may this looks likely to bring an end to one of our caravan manufacturers, the UK doesn't have so many manufacturing companies left that we can afford to be blase about losing one.

 

 

We lost "one of our caravan manufacturers" when Lunar Caravans went into liquidation!

Lunar Automotive were only ever a "rescue attempt", which seems, unsurprisingly, to have failed. Even if they had succeeded they would have been a new startup company hoping to benefit from some existing designs and brand loyalty.

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Very sad the rescue or rebirth looks to have failed.

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Looking at what happened this did look to be a genuine attempt to revive the company which  failed because of cash flow problems rather than anything else. Having just got new premises and being ready to start again the company hit the Covid crisis and had to shut down so no income with no reserves to carry them through and it never got back. It looks as though the parent company could not or would not support them through this period and simply abandoned the project. Given the way caravans are now selling, they may be regretting this but it is now too late.

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1 hour ago, Wildwood said:

Looking at what happened this did look to be a genuine attempt to revive the company which  failed because of cash flow problems rather than anything else. Having just got new premises and being ready to start again the company hit the Covid crisis and had to shut down so no income with no reserves to carry them through and it never got back. It looks as though the parent company could not or would not support them through this period and simply abandoned the project. Given the way caravans are now selling, they may be regretting this but it is now too late.

 

There are other things that have surfaced since its inception and more to come when the receivers and administrators  complete their delving, to ponder over with the now potential demise of LA Ltd.

 

The reason why they had to move premises.

 

The owner is an accountant with no expertise or knowledge of caravan manufacturing, but has access to others with wood and metal manufacturing expertise, ( see below) totally relying on the old staff, those who were left, no parts in stock, parts suppliers of Lunar either declining to supply parts or asking for cash up front.

 

Why employees were not being paid furlough money.

 

Before the Covid problems, nothing was manufactured.

 

It looks as though the parent company could not or would not support them through this period and simply abandoned the project.

 

Presuming you mean MEWA Industrial Holdings Pty Ltd  in South Africa, they are manufacturers of top quality wood and metal products, furniture etc but don't according to their info manufacture caravans or fittings, or MEWA Industrial Holdings Ltd in the UK ?

 

An interesting snippet re. the purchase of British Polar Engines, The purchaser is MEWA Industrial Holdings Ltd (MEWA) and Nicholas Marks both of the UK; MEWA Industrial Holdings Ltd is an English company controlled by Nicholas Marks and part of his South African industrial holding group.

 

And what BPE sold for. £100,000 cash for the inter company loans between ABE and BPE and £1 for 100% of the ordinary shares of BPE.

 

Taken from here:   http://www.abeplc.co.uk/images/Proposed sale of British Polar Engines Limited.pdf

 

Quite a spiders web. 🤔

 

 

 

 

 

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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The rotton part of this company failure is that the emloyees have been messed about, retained without pay, and then finally told they aren't getting paid. Right before Christmas. This is disgusting.  This should be made illegal and employers should be forced to put asside funds and garantee to pay their employees. This should not be happening in 2020. 

Edited by Ern

Ern

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6 hours ago, montesa said:

fwiw ....

A more general point but I feel relevant.

I feel it is so sad to see & hear of seemingly very successful Businesses with active customer followings, a good prior reputation and assumed viable just slowly fail.

The apparent death throws & last gasps now of 'Lunar' are not really a surprise to me and no doubt the current & previous managers / owners / beancounters will have a long list of excuses readily to hand, for maybe the mags to copy paste & print, but it is still all very sad.

It seemed from what I read that the 'Lunar' business failure from 2 years ago was already much doomed and dead in the water.

Rant over ....

M

 

The old Lunar under Brian Mellor was a victim of it's own success. It always used to tick along steadily making a good turnover. Then when the financial crisis hit just after Brian Mellor took over the whole industry started to boom. Initially some companies couldn't take the hit of the financial crash but Lunar managed to stay afloat and get the finance it needed. From their on year after year sales kept growing so Lunar had to borrow more and more money to fulfill orders which wasn't a problem until they hit a bad year in 2018/2019 when sales plummeted unexpectedly. Unfortunatley the wayLunar had financed itself it wasn't strong enough to take the hit. They were lending money against manufactured caravans that they couldn't sell. They were producing hundreds of vans that nobody wanted in the hope that things would pick up but it never did. 

If they'd structure d the way they financed the company better so that they could ride out any small storm then today they would be booming again as the market has picked up again with people holidaying at home. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

There was never anything wrong with it as a business other than they got greedy and tried to have their cake and eat it under Brian Mellor.

I believe that it could still have been a viable business today if someone with the finances and vision had taken it over.

 

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IMHO.

 

Lunar failed to take advice and change its construction methods. The quality issues around damp were creating a high warranty contingent liability burden to the balance sheet. This plus their arms length attitude to customers made things worse. Anecdotes on here of customer service issues and long delays on spares and indifference to end users  meant in a world with internet reviews and forums like this they couldn't hide.

 

This all meant other manufacturers were more successful. Add this to the reported financial issues stated above and this  leads to where they are today. Other manufacturers should watch and learn from this experience, or you could be next.

Edited by Fenester
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14 minutes ago, Kepler said:

I believe that it could still have been a viable business today if...............

 

Now, what if all the members of CT divvied up X pounds each, purchased the shell company and re started production, there is, apparently, or allegedly, plenty of folk on here with all the expertise needed from management, to production, to materials knowledge, to accountancy, to legal knowledge, to customer service, to quickly solving why things went wrong and getting them right first time. 🤔

 

I know what you are all thinking and it could be true.......................the ramblings of a madman.😵😂🤣

 

But stranger things have happened.😉

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

Now, what if all the members of CT divvied up X pounds each, purchased the shell company and re started production, there is, apparently, or allegedly, plenty of folk on here with all the expertise needed from management, to production, to materials knowledge, to accountancy, to legal knowledge, to customer service, to quickly solving why things went wrong and getting them right first time. 🤔

 

I know what you are all thinking and it could be true.......................the ramblings of a madman.😵😂🤣

 

But stranger things have happened.😉

fwiw ...

Nice  idea, but as I see it CT members cant even have a chat about Toilet chemicals without it descending into an on-line row and handbags so building new Caravans as a mutual  ?- you said it ....ramblings of a madman !.....

 

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15 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

Now, what if all the members of CT divvied up X pounds each, purchased the shell company and re started production, there is, apparently, or allegedly, plenty of folk on here with all the expertise needed from management, to production, to materials knowledge, to accountancy, to legal knowledge, to customer service, to quickly solving why things went wrong and getting them right first time. 🤔

 

I know what you are all thinking and it could be true.......................the ramblings of a madman.😵😂🤣

 

But stranger things have happened.😉

There almost certainly are people on here who could do it, but "X" is a very big number and very few of us have that much money to risk!

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2 hours ago, Stevan said:

There almost certainly are people on here who could do it, but "X" is a very big number and very few of us have that much money to risk!

After due consideration "I'm out"

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3 hours ago, montesa said:

without it descending into an on-line row and handbags

Excuse me?  You are not allowed to use ‘handbags’ as a descriptor of minor squabbles any more.  

 

Quote

Piers Morgan fumes at the BBC for suspending commentator over ‘handbags’ comment...  See Here

 

On behalf of somebody somewhere who really doesn’t care a fig either way about ‘handbags’,  I am offended.  Who should I report my ridiculous outrage to?

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21 hours ago, borrowdale said:

One quick story of my Lunar Quazar is I had it for 6 years,yearly serviced,nothing went wrong ,no damp,nothing but the problem was a CD of Tom Jones stuck in the cd player,it was a free Daily Mail offer,every time I switched the 12v master on all I got was "You can keep you hat on" playing. Every time I hear it now I just shudder.

 

Eventually I managed to remove it by pulling it out with a thin pair of relay pliers.

 

Shame about Lunar,it just makes less choice now.

Apparently, it's not unusual......... 

 

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35 minutes ago, Dobloseven said:

Apparently, it's not unusual......... 

 

Tom Jones 1965 :D

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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  • 2 weeks later...

Given what has gone on I doubt they would cough up, it looks as though they simply abandoned the project and left what assets there were to the mercy of the liquidator. Pity as the company could have recovered given the upturn in the market, although the failure to use a modern construction method undoubtedly cost them sales.

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