Spiralling land costs, satisfying CSI’s and making sure the dealership is somewhere staff want to be, make picking a site with maximum potential vital.
Honda’s latest UK brand centre sits just off the M55 on Lytham St Annes Way, Blackpool, Lancashire. Owned by DJ Cox group, the site is four miles from the group’s previous premises in the town, on Devonshire Road.
The move opened up a wealth of opportunities for Blackpool Honda and inspired staff, says dealer principal Geoff Stothert. “It has given them a nice place to work. The enthusiasm is invaluable for morale and retention,” he says.
Together with the Honda sites in Kendal and Lancaster, DJ Cox’s new Blackpool dealership is helping the group dominate new car sales in Lancashire. In Morecambe it has a 10% share of the market; Kendal is around 9% and Blackpool 7%. Honda’s national average is just over 4%.
The significant gain in space offered by the new Blackpool site was another driver for the move. Within 18 months of purchasing Devonshire Road from John Hall and Sons, Honda Blackpool had outgrown the site. As it looked for alternative premises, it was approached by a developer.
Stothert explains: “They actually offered us a dealership on the Lytham St Annes Way site, but we thought: ‘why don’t we buy the site ourselves and build the dealership we want?’.” The plot of land was bought at the beginning of 2005 and construction commenced in August. It opened this month.