CarOne declares bankruptcy, leaving customers without money, vehicles – Kingston

The agency that regulates car sales in Ontario says it’s investigating the sudden closure of the CarOne dealerships in Kingston and Belleville.

Global News has confirmation that the local CarOne dealerships have filed for bankruptcy.

The closure has not only impacted employees, but many customers say they’ve been left scrambling to get access to their vehicles.

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“We called numerous times, Kingston and Belleville,” says Brian Bradshaw, a Belleville CarOne customer.

“Still no communication at all.”

It’s been just over two weeks since CarOne suddenly closed its doors, and some customers, like Bradshaw, are still trying to get their vehicles — or their money — back.

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Bradshaw purchased a 2018 Ford EcoSport from CarOne’s location in Belleville on Jan. 14th with a $1,000 down payment.

He was meant to pick up the vehicle Jan. 23rd, but he says the company has been giving him the runaround.

He says he still has no car, and the company still has his $1,000.

“We’ve been up to the business on Saturday, and there’s gates on the driveway there,” says Bradshaw.

The dealership’s owner, Trevor Cotton, emailed Bradshaw on Monday and referred him to a licensed insolvency trustee.

Global News reached out to Cotton for comment at the business and over the same email account, but Cotton has yet to respond.

Click to play video: 'CarOne Kingston customers growing frustrated about lack of communication'

CarOne Kingston customers growing frustrated about lack of communication

Along with the two dealerships, Cotton launched a third business last August called Vendde, an online automotive sales platform.

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But according to Quebec-based insolvency trustee firm Raymond Chabot, CarOne has filed for bankruptcy.

“A numbered company, operating as CarOne, filed a voluntary assignment in bankruptcy on Friday, Jan. 27,” says Raymond Chabot in a statement to Global News.

“At this time, we are working with the company in order to gather the information required before communicating with affected customers.”

The firm is inviting any potentially affected customers to contact them directly.

A former employee of Cotton’s told Global News it’s no surprise the business appears to be bankrupt.

Global News has agreed to protect their identity over concerns about future career repercussions.

The former employee claims that layoffs were made at both businesses in November.

“It’s just a shame that more people weren’t let in to try to help, or even offer advice,” says the former employee.

“You know, like your employees can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on.”

While the doors at CarOne are locked and the business is listed as inactive with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Vendde is still active.

It remains unclear whether the online platform has also stopped business — calls to Vendde go unanswered, and the doors at the downtown Kingston storefront are also locked.

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“[OMVIC is] aware of the situation pertaining to the dealership,” says OMVIC in a statement.

“Consumers affected by the closure are encouraged to contact OMVIC.”

Meanwhile, former CarOne customers like Bradshaw are left wondering if they’ll get what they’re owed.

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