The contract means a return to the Japanese brands for the family-owned business. It had represented Subaru in Attleborough during the 1980s to mid-1990s, but replaced that business with Toyota in 1996.
Managing director John Dingle said the additions ought to succeed in Norfolk’s rural and agricultural community, particularly as Subaru’s first Boxer diesel engines are due this year for its 4x4 vehicles.
Crucially for profitability of the 0.5% market share franchise, Dingles’ investment will be small-scale. It will add a standalone six- car showroom at its site near Norwich Airport which is already occupied by its Toyota dealership, and a single workshop will provide aftersales for all the brands.
“It’s going to have a fabricated showroom from Servaccomm which, once the groundworks are completed, should be up and open within a couple of weeks,” he said. “It was actually recommended by Subaru. The cost is a fraction of what we would have to pay for a normal build.”
Dingle expects the operation to take a year before it becomes profitable. Annual sales expectations are around 100 new and 100 used units.
Subaru was previously represented in Norwich by Constitution Motors. AM understands that Subaru terminated its franchise contract after the business relocated from a main road dealership to a less prominent location.
Dingles has taken on technical and parts staff from Constitution Motors to ensure Subaru’s representation is unaffected.
Nathan Wride has been appointed Subaru and Isuzu sales manager, joined by sales controller Richard Dunt.