Lookers is close to completing a £3 million major redevelopment of its Volkswagen Teesside dealership in a move that will bring car and van sales together at a single site.
The AM100 PLC - profiled in the February edition of AM magazine - will close its existing Volkswagen Van Centre at Thornaby and consolidate its VW operations in the area at the expanded and upgraded Newport Road site when the project is complete.
Lookers said that its project also aims to better facilitate Volkswagen’s blended retailing offer, which combines a digital and showroom experience that takes customers on a seamless retail journey.
In May last year the VW Group confirmed a switch to an agency retail model for sales of its elelctric vehicles (EV) by 2023 as it transitions to a new era of sales processes.
John Cuthbertson, Lookers Volkswagen franchise director, said: “Lookers is delighted to be redeveloping our Volkswagen dealership in Teesside, dramatically transforming the way our customers buy and take care of their cars and vans all under one roof.
“This significant investment seamlessly integrates our local Volkswagen car and van sites, including sales and aftersales, in one established, convenient location.”
The new Lookers Volkswagen car dealership will feature a 10-car showroom, spacious consultation rooms and a relaxing hospitality area equipped with WiFi and Apple TVs for customer use, in addition to two dedicated handover bays.
In total, more than 100 used cars and 45 used vans will be on display on site, the group said, with a team of more than 60 staff employed to look after customers’ needs.
Volkswagen Teesside’s new aftersales department features 10 ramps for servicing, diagnostics and MOT testing, meanwhile, and the site features five electric vehicle (EV) charge points for both cars and vans.
Lookers said the investment in the Volkswagen franchise was the latest show of its commitment to Teesside, an area it expanded into with the 2018 acquisition of Jennings Group.
In 2019, Lookers completed the development of Teesside’s first-ever FordStore in a £3m renovation and extension project led by the group then led by Nas Khan OBE.
Lookers’ chief operations officer, Duncan McPhee, welcomed Lookers’ latest investment.
“We’re excited to further invest in Teesside, in our customers, staff and facilities and directly into the local economy,” he said.
“As a forward-looking, ambitious company which puts customers at the heart of everything we do, this latest investment underlines our commitment to the area and to motorists from Teesside and beyond who can enjoy the entire stellar Volkswagen range of cars and vans in bright, modern surroundings where customer service is paramount.”