Gilder Group is counting down to the opening of the first half of its £15 million flagship site in December after spending more than a year on the build.Sheffield Audi, which is the first half of the Gilder development in Meadowhead, will open on December 1.
The second phase of the build will be Sheffield Volkswagen which is due to open on January 2.
Peter Gilder Audi and Audi Approved Chesterfield will close on November 29 and November 30 respectively as a result of the new dealerships.
Gilder is considering its options for the future development of the two sites.
Peter Sutherland, Gilder Group’s property director, said: “The new Sheffield Volkswagen site will be an amalgamation of our existing sites at Banner Cross and Hillsborough, which will both close at the end of December.
“They were built in areas that have now developed as residential areas, so expansion at these sites has always been limited.”
Sutherland said Gilder had decided to invest in the new build because of the enormous growth the Audi brand had seen since its first site opened in Sheffield in 1996.
He said: “Our Audi site in Sheffield was among one of the first solus Audi Centres in the UK following brand separation.
“Because of the enormous growth in this period there has been a need to upscale for some time.”
The Gilder Group head office will also relocate from its current location at Gilder Volkswagen in Chesterfield to the Meadowhead site during December and January.
The retail and servicing operation at the Chesterfield site will remain to look after local customers.
The new Audi and VW showrooms will have separate showrooms, receptions and workshops.
Sheffield-based contractor JF Finnegan, which has overseen the entire build, has incorporated a customer café between the two retail centres. It will display a selection of classic cars.
There is space for up to 14 cars in each showroom and more than 100 used cars on each of the forecourts.
Environmentally friendly dealership
Sutherland made it clear that the new dealerships would have to include sustainable features.
He said: “From day one, we wanted to include as many ‘environmentally friendly’ solutions as possible during development.
“These include more than 500 tonnes of recycled glass bottles turned into grit sand and used in the forecourt and parking areas and, instead of heading for landfill, 95% of the derelict Meadowhead School that previously occupied the site was used as hardcore for the foundations.”
The site also has an underground tanker at the rear of its valet bay which holds up to 65,000 litres of rain water that staff can use to wash up to 400 cars when full. An incorporated wind turbine generates electricity for the showrooms.
Both the Audi and Volkswagen workshops will incorporate self-dimming lights which Sutherland says will provide a 65% saving on energy bills.