Barnetts Motor Group has become the first Mazda dealer in the UK to reveal the new premium-style dealership exterior visual identity being rolled out by the Japanese manufacturer across Europe.
The final touches to the new seven-car showroom at Riverside Drive, Dundee, were completed last Friday after several months of work to extend the showroom and move the Mazda brand into a prime position at the front of the multi-franchise site.
The new visual identity for the brand, which Barnetts has represented in Tayside for 35 years, features a silver grille made up of the Mazda wing repeated on the vertical branding facia panels and the familiar Mazda logo in silver against a new glossy black background panel.
Mazda-blue light strips illuminate the entrance grilles at night. The dealership name is shown in a grey sans serif font against a glossy black background panel.
Inside the showroom, colour is kept to a minimum in favour of white, black and grey. Black Bauhaus-style laminate stools allow customers to chat with staff over a bar-style unit which includes a fridge in its side. While sitting at desk-level, more familiar office-style chairs are used, but in cushioned black-painted multi-ply laminate.
On the walls, a four-screen horizontal video wall shows Mazda videos. Nearby, a modern snug-style cushioned car configuration ‘pod’ allows customers to configure their new vehicle with a tablet computer linked to a large screen.
Next to that is the waiting area with grey cushioned chairs, individual arm-side tables and an espresso bar and fridge. The adjacent dedicated business area provides customers looking to work while they wait with a desk from which to use the free wifi enjoyed by all visitors.
In the centre of the showroom, the vehicles are arranged like a race grid – all facing customers as they enter.
The new exterior look was developed from ideas generated by members of the UK dealer forum and influenced by the store design used by non-car retail brands such as Apple.
Barnetts was keen to adopt the new style as it continues to be at the forefront of new developments – it was first in the UK with the Peugeot blue box and first in Europe with Volkswagen Vehicle Retail Concept 2.
Barnetts sees this as the first stage of a £1m investment into turning its multi-franchise site at Riverside Drive, Dundee, into a state-of-the-art showcase for the future of car retailing. Plans include a customer handover centre utilising hi-tech 3D projection mapping as well as a car photography studio.
Mazda UK network development manager Philip Eastwood said: “I am delighted to see the new design in place at Barnetts Mazda. With its premium, fresh design and 21st Century feel, it has the kerb appeal to match our stunning new models.”
Barnetts Mazda general manager Iain Robertson added: “I’m thrilled and honoured we are the first UK Mazda dealer to unveil its stylish new showroom exterior look.
“Inside, the ambience is quite different and has already drawn compliments from existing and new customers alike. We also love working in this fresh and airy showroom. It’s just oozing style and reflects the confidence of the brand, which has seen sales growth of 20% in the UK in recent years thanks to the best line-up of models in its history.
“With these cars in this brilliant new showroom we’re confident we can take the brand forward to new heights in the area and are aiming to double sales.”
The new brand visual identity is being rolled out across Europe with the UK spearheading its introduction in its 136-strong network.
Barnetts Motor Group employs more than 130 people over its sites in Dundee and St Andrews, selling more than 4,000 vehicles each year and carrying out in excess of 25,000 services annually.
Its roots are still in Dundee, with its head office at Riverside Drive on its multi-franchise site selling and servicing Volkswagen, Volvo, Mazda and Peugeot vehicles.
In 2014, Barnetts Volkswagen won the AM Award for Best Dealership in the UK.