Eastbourne Motoring Centre (EMC) has applied for planning permission to expand its existing Vauxhall dealership to add a Fiat franchise for the South coast town.
EMC, which has Vauxhall and Suzuki dealerships in Eastbourne and expanded into the nearby East Sussex town of Uckfield in 2017, hopes to create a multi-franchise Stellantis car retail location at its existing site on Bourne Street.
In plans submitted to Eastbourne Borough Council EMC said that the development would create six new jobs. It would also expand the group’s electric vehicle (EV) sales offering through the addition of the Fiat 500e.
The Sussex Express newspaper reported that the plans would see the conversion of existing adjoined buildings – currently used as a warehouse and offices on the ground floor, with a fitness centre on the first floor – into an extension of the existing showroom.
This would create an additional 182 square metres of floor space, allowing a Fiat dealership to work alongside Vauxhall under the same management, the plans say.
Under the plans, EMC - already an approved repairer for Abarth and Fiat - would also create a customer collection point, reducing congestion around the main entrance, it said.
Public consultation is currently underway, with a decision set to be made by planning officials on May 9.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) new car registrations data for March showed that Fiat's volumes grew by 88% in a market down 14.3% last month.
The zero-emission 500e delivered 1,609 registrations as brand's volumes rose from 3,213 in March 2021 to 6,044.