The row between Land Rover and KPMG exploded after it emerged the firm, as receiver of Midlands-based engineering company UPF, tried to force the Ford subsidiary to make an upfront payment of #45m before it would continue supplying the chassis for the company’s Discovery model.
The demand infuriated Land Rover’s chairman Bob Dover who is reported to have called for other car manufacturers to blacklist the Big Five firm.
But it appeared the action had left KPMG’s larger motor manufacturing clients, which include BMW and DaimlerChrysler, unmoved.
Though neither of the car giants would comment, it is believed the row was seen as an internal dispute between Land Rover, Ford and KPMG in the UK. One insider said: ‘We don’t see why we should change auditors – if we dropped our accountants every time something like this happened, we would have no accountants left.’
KPMG’s Mark Orton, one of UPF’s receivers, said Land Rover’s reliance on UPF was a valuable asset of the business, for which he was required to get the best price. ‘While I understand Ford’s concerns, I hope it will understand our legal duties and take us up on our offer to reach a negotiated settlement,’ he said.
A spokesman for Land Rover confirmed the company was back at the negotiating table, but said: ‘Opinion (of KPMG) is quite low at the moment.’
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