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Benham £7m redevelopment scheme right on schedule

Former BMW UK executives Nigel Payne and Steve Mills are redeveloping their Benham BMW and Mini dealerships in Wolverhampton.

The £7 million redevelopment is expected to be completed by the end of the year and is part of BMW’s dealer standards to separate BMW and Mini showrooms.

Building is in its ninth week and so far everything is running smoothly with no disruption to the business.

A new 21-car showroom and 21-bay service workshop for BMW is being built alongside Benham’s existing site in Raby Street.

That, in turn, will be refurbished in early 2009 as a standalone Mini showroom with space for 12 cars and an eight-bay workshop.

Payne said the larger BMW garage would take most of the service work in the short-term, working on both Minis and BMWs.

The Mini garage will then take on more work when the site grows with more customers.

He said: “We see the potential of Wolverhampton and the redevelopment for the site is an investment for Benham’s future.

“Our new and used car sales will be boosted significantly above where we’re at now as a result.”

Payne said his aspirations beyond the completion of the redevelopment would be to expand its partnership with BMW and Mini to some more sites, but couldn’t say when that would be.

Mills, Benham joint owner, said: “Our present site is one third of the size it needs to be to cope with our increased sales and services.

“We sell over 2,000 cars a year and deal with 60 service customers every day.”

The expansion plans will add an extra 30 jobs to Benham’s current workforce of 90. Payne and Mills left BMW to buy Benham in 2005.

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