NIDD Vale Motors, one of the best-known brands in Yorkshire, has gone into administration.
The Harrogate-based independent motor dealer, which sells Vauxhall, Seat and Mazda vehicles, employs 103 people.
Richard Jackson, non-executive chairman of Nidd Vale Group, said that work had already been carried out to secure the sale of the business and that he was “furious” at the way Santander Consumer Finance had “parachuted in” administrators from Leonard Curtis.
In a statement, the directors of Nidd Vale expressed their “serious disappointment” at the situation.
It read: “Although they had given notice to the bank of their intentions, under which an administrator could have completed a properly planned sale of the business, the directors report that the bank didn’t even discuss its intentions with them on the telephone.”
A Santander spokeswoman said: “We have been working closely with Nidd Vale Motors to try to resolve financial issues.
“However, following a failure to reach a financial resolution, administrators have been appointed to look at the best options for the future of the company and its staff.”
Santander Consumer Finance provided the business with a funding line for its used cars.
Mr Jackson is also chair of the Prince’s Trust development committee in Yorkshire and the Humber and chairman of Yorkshire Ventures. Leonard Curtis could not be contacted for a comment.