Fleet managers ringing the company's hotline earlier this week were met with a message that nobody was available to take calls and that they should refer to their insurer or fleet provider to find an alternative provider for outstanding bookings or new window replacements.
The company's 280 employees were told of the move last Monday morning, with many being sent straight home. It is not known how many were made redundant, but all its 57 centres have been closed.
The firm has been part of the Kwik-Fit Group since 1999. A spokesman for the Kwik-Fit Group, Simon Rigby, confirmed that Silver Shield had not been put into liquidation and that there was a 'strategic aim to sell'.
Jeff Jones, a partner at Silver Shield's administrator BDO Stoy Hayward, said: 'A number of people have been made redundant and the firm has ceased to trade. It is our intention to protect as many jobs as possible. We are confident we will sell a good proportion of the business.'
A last ditch attempt to sell the company as a whole had been made over the weekend, according to Jones, but had fallen through.
A year ago, the firm unveiled a multi-million pound business plan aimed at doubling the firm's fleet business by the end of the 2003. Under the management of the Kwik-Fit Group, the firm recruited a five-strong fleet relationship team based at a new fleet support centre in Coventry.
This followed a £2 million investment in a 170-strong Ford Transit mobile fitting fleet, the opening of 14 national centres, and a Technical Training School in Chester during the two previous years.