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Drake & Fletcher to expand Kent dealerships

Kent-based Mazda and Honda specialist Drake & Fletcher has taken advantage of an expired lease on its old premises in Longfield Road, Tunbridge Wells, to build a 20,000sq ft dual franchised dealership on a two-acre site a few hundred yards away.

It will open in March and is targeted to increase car sales by 25% and service department revenue by 40%.

The company has also used the opportunity to align its variously named dealerships under the Drake & Fletcher brand to underpin its planned expansion in the county over the next 18 months.

The group expects to sell about 1,500 new and used cars at the new outlet, 460 of which will be new Hondas and 350 new Mazdas. The balance of used cars will be split evenly between the two marques – which are to be separated by a coffee shop. They will, however, share a 12-bay service workshop and a bodyshop. Within three years the site is targeted to be selling more than 700 new Hondas and up to 450 new Mazdas.

Geoffrey Seligmann, director, says: “The two franchises sit very happily next to each other, with virtually no competition, and the two manufacturers are happy to be together.”

Drake & Fletcher has another dual Mazda and Honda franchise in Maidstone, a standalone Honda dealership in Ashford and a Mazda, Hyundai and MG Rover site, also in Ashford.

It plans another dual Honda and Mazda dealership in Kent, to open by mid-2006, as well as a PDI centre to hold new and used stock for the whole group.

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