A dealer group offshoot of Phoenix Venture Holdings, parent company of MG Rover, was placed in administration on Monday.

On Monday night Tony Lomas, Steven Pearson and Rob Hunt, partners in PricewaterhouseCoopers and joint administrators of Phoenix Venture Motors Limited ("PVM"), announced that three dealerships in Northampton (18 redundancies) , Oxford (25) and Muswell Hill (43) London, had been closed.

In a statement, Hunt said: "These closures reflect the results of our urgent review of PVM and take into account profitability and sales potential. We will continue to work with management to establish which of the remaining sites can stay open and continue to trade so as to preserve parts of the distribution channel for MG Rover cars."

PVM had operated MG Rover dealerships from 11 sites in the Midlands, North West and South of England with 472 employees. In the year ended 31 December 2003 it had turnover of around £80 million and reported a loss of £2.5 million.

Announcing the administration proceedings in a statement earlier in the day, Hunt had said: "Following the administration of MG Rover Group Limited, which owed PVM a substantial sum of money, and our announcement on Friday that the chances of securing a sale of MG Rover Group Limited as a going concern look less likely, the directors of PVM were left with little option but to seek an administration order."

PVM dealerships are still operating in Preston, Chorley, Coventry, Rednal, Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Hatfield and Romford.