Sorry to hear that, Karl. But given the amount of crap they've been publishing of late I'm not entirely surprised they're retrenching - it looks to me like Old Man Haynes has put his foot down and insisted they go back to what they know and understand.
There's been some coverage of this in the local press, but it mainly concentrates on the closure of the distribution centre, which is just about the only employer of any note in Sparkford. Given that they're saying that they're going to realign the manuals business towards online and digital, I suspect that puts the print works in doubt as well. Ultimately that could leave the whole Sparkford site at risk so in due course I would fully expect to see what remains of editorial relocated to the museum site just up the road ...
Well, that didn't take long - although I somehow missed the fact that they'd sold the print works already ...
Haynes to close Sparkford headquarters and distribution centre
Car book publishers Haynes is closing its distribution centre and headquarters in Somerset due to falling sales of its books.
The headquarters in Sparkford will move to new premises and the company's in-house distribution centre will close, with work outsourced.
Haynes said job cuts would affect a "relatively small number of roles".
The company said it would now focus on workshop manuals for professional mechanics and on its digital platforms.
Chief executive Eric Oakley said its current headquarters, which employs about 70 people, "no longer meets the requirements of a modern information publishing business".
"The book distribution market has changed significantly," he said.
"The investment that would be needed to upgrade the UK facility for the requirements of a modern-day logistics operation would far outweigh the future benefit to the business.
"The board has therefore concluded it is no longer commercially feasible to maintain a UK distribution facility and the process of transferring this part of the business to a third party logistics provider will begin shortly."
In 2009 the firm sold its printing press to JF Prints but it closed down two years later.
No further details of the job cuts have been released.
Mr Oakley said: "Whilst any business decision which impacts on our existing and often long-serving employee base is difficult to make, the board believes that the changes to the UK operations are vital at this time to put the UK business back on a firm financial footing from which we can grow the business."
The company has said it is still looking for a new site for its company headquarters.
Sales of Haynes' car manuals fell 7% last year, while its general publishing sales were down 18%.
Haynes Publishing Group has reported falls in revenue and profit in its results for the year ended 31st May 2013.
Revenue at the publisher, which specialises in car repair manuals, stood at £27.6m, down from £29.8m in 2012, a fall of 7%. Operating profits in 2013 were £3.8m, a 25% decline from 2012's £5.1m.
However, the profits were ahead of market expectations which stood at £3.6m.
Chairman J Haynes said the results were the result of "soft" demand for its traditional print manuals in the UK, but that its professional range, rebranded last year from Vivid to HaynesPro, has seen "strong revenue growth".
He added: "As a group, for the most part, we were able to weather the early impact of the economic downturn and, whilst it was unrealistic to expect sustainable growth during this period, we were able to maintain group profitability. However, over the last two years we have faced a strengthening headwind in our core automotive manual markets and more recently a significant slowdown in the UK general publishing market."
Earlier this month, the publisher, based in the West Country, announced it would restructure its editorial teams, and close its distribution centre in Yeovil, leading to what it called "a small number" of redundancies.
The moves came after a six-month strategic review of the business, which will lead the publisher to focus on "areas with the largest growth potential—DIY manuals; information systems for use by professional mechanics; and the expansion of its digital offering, including the development of additional digital platforms."
Haynes said that the review of the company would "help return the group to revenue and profit growth".
This month, the company also announced the acquisition of Clymer and Intertec Manuals, a US motorcycle repair manual publisher. Haynes said the group would continue to review new acquisition opportunities.
My money would still be on the museum site though. AFAIK the building which was originally earmarked for the museum's never-opened archive is still pretty much an empty shell.