Operating from two units in Redditch near the old Liveridge location, the team of six is now specializing in Land Rover restoration, as well as servicing and repairs. Astwood’s new premises include a bodyshop and Autologic diagnostic equipment.
Astwood boss and former Liveridge man Chris Howard blames the collapse of the previous business primarily on difficulties with the American market, which had become the mainstay of their business. USA customs drastically tightened up their import criteria, explains Chris, in response to some Defender importers falsifying a vehicle’s age by putting old VIN plates on newer Defenders. Some officials even began querying otherwise-legitimate imports with replaced tyres or window glass, says Chris. ‘Essentially, that made any restoration work difficult.’
‘Then there was that video a few months ago showing an imported Defender being crushed by US customs, and the phone started ringing with customers cancelling orders.’
But the continuing team is now keen to re-focus on the business of restorations. ‘We’ve got this lovely new unit now, only a few miles from where we were before,’ says Chris. ‘The customer response has been amazing, and we would like to say a big thank you to all our loyal customers and also for all the support from our suppliers.’
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