Belfast Telegraph

Belfast staff could lose jobs over proposed Auto Trader relocation

By Margaret Canning

Staff at the Belfast office of car sales magazine Auto Trader face redundancy as its owner considers relocating jobs to England to cut costs.

Auto Trader employs around 20 people at its office in James House in Dargan Crescent.

Parent company Trader Magazine Group said it was considering moving administration and telesales from Belfast to England after a review of its Ireland operations.

A spokesman said the review was "driven by the need to provide 'value for money' advertising for our customers".

John O'Connell, managing director of TMG International, said: "TMG Ireland's publishing staff recently entered into consultation over a proposal to relocate our magazine administration and telesales activities to the TMG's centralised offices in the northwest of England.

"Should the proposal go ahead, there will be some positions at risk of redundancy in the Irish business and the Belfast office will potentially close.

"We are working closely with the staff who would be affected and any future decisions will not be made lightly.

"We are fully appreciative of the effects of any potential restructure on our administration and telesales staff, many of whom have been with Auto Trader for many years".

Pat Burns, the editor of motor magazine Car Sport, said Auto Trader was a well-established title but faced stiff competition from online rivals Used Cars NI, UTV Drive and NI Carfinder - a sister company of the Belfast Telegraph.