Ocean Automotive has officially unveiled its £14.5 million Poole Audi showroom with the help of F1 and Le Mans legend Allan McNish and soul star Beverley Knight.
Visitors welcomed in to the 65,000sq-ft showroom at the star-studded event were given an access-all-areas insight into the facility – which boasts its own gym and a beauty salon offering customers complimentary treatments – and the business which is set to open this summer.
Built on Old Wareham Road, Poole, the new showroom is less than a mile from the former Poole Audi facility on Ringwood Road.
The move marks the evolution of a business which has grown from the 17,000sq-ft showroom bought by Ocean managing director David Kelly in 2000, to the new 24-vehicle showroom with a projected annual turnover of £79 million.
Ocean’s head of business, Mark Laming, said: “I am delighted to finally introduce the press to the new Audi Centre and also to thank our suppliers. To bring such a significant employment opportunity into Poole in the form of the country’s largest Audi Centre, one that will serve Audi customers to the very highest standard possible for many years to come, is a significant landmark in Poole Audi’s and Ocean Automotive’s journey.
“Welcoming Allan McNish, three-time Le Mans winner for Audi, to contribute to the event this evening is a real pleasure. Further to this we are delighted to present Beverley Knight MBE live to our guests.
“Naturally, it is our customers that are at the centre of this expansion and development and we now are in the position to offer an enhanced level of service and customer care, one that is pioneering, certainly in the UK, within the automotive industry.”
The new centre will display 24 new Audi models in an 8,300sq-ft showroom and there will be two HD display configuration rooms, 80 spaces for used cars and 325 service vehicle and storage spaces.
A 24-bay workshop is also part of the facility, with two dedicated MOT zones plus full valet and Clever Repair facilities.
Aftersales customers will enter into one of three drive-in bays, where the undercover environment is climate controlled.
Over 20 new jobs have been created in sales, service, parts, hosting and finance, have been created by the Poole Audi development, which will employ 110 staff.
Before the first customers visit the site, the Poole Audi team is spending a three-week initiation period in the new centre, familiarising themselves with the new environment and all-new systems.