Ford of Britain’s chairman and managing director Mark Ovenden has officially opened Benfield Motor Group’s new £5.8 million Ford dealership in Sunderland.
It is one of the largest Ford dealerships in the North East region.
Ovenden said: “It is a great pleasure for me to come to Sunderland to open Benfield Ford’s new dealership. This significant investment by Mark Squires and his team has a special meaning for me because I appointed Mark’s father John to their first Ford franchise in Leeds over 20 years ago, and it is great to see how they have grown with Ford.”
Mark Squires, Benfield’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted with this impressive new Ford development and to be a strong presence for Ford in Sunderland.
“The Ford brand has a great and successful history in this region. Moving into Sunderland in this way is a natural geographic fit for Benfield and we are very much looking forward to developing and expanding the Benfield brand and reputation in Wearside."
Squires said the development has taken eight months to complete and has also created 45 jobs.
Benfield’s relationship with the Ford brand includes four dealerships in West and North Yorkshire and it has have been operating a temporary showroom on the Newcastle Road site since the spring of 2012 while awaiting the new-built permanent facility.
The showroom has space for 10 cars and four vans displaying the full Ford range and the development includes a new workshop with the latest diagnostics technology and Class 4 and Class 7 MOT ramps.
There is also space for over 80 used cars on the site and the dealership will provide a full aftersales service with plenty of customer car parking.
The dealership also boasts a Transit Van centre and business user facilities.