A used car salesman has taken legal action after claiming he was thrown on the scrapheap by bosses who felt he was too old – at 52.
Gary Hawkins, from Sutton Coldfield, was told his career at a dealership was over because of his advanced years, an employment tribunal heard.
He is now seeking compensation for age discrimination and unfair dismissal.
But bosses at CC Automotive Group Ltd, which trades in Wednesbury as Carcraft, denied booting out the car sales manager because of his age.
They said Mr Hawkins was sacked for failing to motivate his team and train them to the “required standards”.
The firm’s “pressurised environment” was outlined to the Birmingham hearing.
Mr Hawkins alleged two managers were sacked in one day by a boss, while another resigned.
He had been on “a high” following the sackings,” he said. “He was looking for another to be dismissed. The third to be dismissed was me.”
Mr Hawkins insisted he was shown the door because of his age and had earlier been told: “You are too old at 52.”
He denied his showroom performance had been shoddy and stressed there were regular team meetings, where ways of improving sales were discussed, along with training techniques.
But the company stressed age was never discussed and Mr Hawkins was never told he was over-the-hill.
There had been issues over a “number count” of customers and sales logs, it claimed.
Other roles had been offered to Mr Hawkins, the tribunal heard, but he refused a move.
The firm admitted, however, heads had rolled, with others losing their jobs.
Tribunal judge Peter Rose QC asked the ages of other managers, past and present. Mr Hawkins had been the oldest in his field, it emerged.
The tribunal’s decision is expected next month.
Outside court, Mr Hawkins, who has since found another car sales job, declined to comment until the case had finished.
But his 48-year-old wife Heather said: “We have a four-year-old daughter. Gary is very young at heart.”
Carcraft would not comment when contacted by the Birmingham Mail.
Article from Birmingham Mail