But chief executive Derek Coulson said: 'There's no truth in this. This story has been circulated in an attempt to up the share value and is simply scaremongering. Growth remains our strategy. We are proving resilient amid steady business and we are teamed with Ford, which is number one in the industry.'
Gowrings will publish its annual results on March 8. For the first half of 1998 Gowrings announced operating profits up by 33% to £721,000 and turnover up 11% to £34.6 million.