AM Online

Palmers moves dealership

Palmers will open an Alfa Romeo and Peugeot dealership in Hemel Hempstead in October, to replace its St Albans site, which has been sold to Tesco.

The 18-car showroom will also feature another, as yet undecided, franchise. Another option is to own-brand a used car operation.

Danny Palmer, Palmers managing director, said the sale of the site came at a good time: “With the 2010 BER, I don’t think the St Albans dealership would have reached Peugeot’s standards.”

The new site, in which Palmer invested £750,000, will be “a destination dealership” with a café, internet and TV, similar to Palmers’ Peugeot and Citroën showroom in Watford.

Palmer said he expected his customers to change with the move, but that 40% of St Albans customers came from Hemel Hempstead already.

The 1.5-acre site, which was formerly a used car operation run by Masterdrive, has space for 100 used cars outside and a 16-bay workshop.

An Alamo rent-a-car franchise is already part of the building and this will continue, along with a fast-fit centre, which Palmers has taken on and will brand ‘Service Express’.

A demonstration model of Alfa Romeo’s B-segment car MiTo is due in the autumn, which Palmer said was “very well-timed with the opening of Hemel Hempstead”.

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