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Dundee to switch Levi’s for Toyota/Lexus thanks to Eastern Western development

The Lexus UX300e electric vehicle (EV)

Planning officials in Dundee have given Eastern Western Motor Group permission to redevelop the city’s former Levi’s jeans factory site to accommodate new Toyota and Lexus car dealerships.

Dundee City Council gave its approval for the new development at a meeting late last week, almost a year since the location off Dunsinane Avenue, near to Peter Vardy Carz used car dealership off the A90 in Dundee, was cleared by bulldozers.

In the original planning documents submitted to the authority in July this year Gray Planning and Development revealed that Japanese car brands Toyota and Lexus had approved Eastern Western’s plans to establish new franchise points in the city due to its green credentials.

It said: “EWMG has attracted the new-to-Dundee Lexus brand along with Toyota to trade from this proposed new location, with Lexus UK preferring Dundee as the location compared with Aberdeen owing to Dundee’s persuasive low carbon and green energy strategy credentials and its support for developing new skills within this low carbon economy – an ethos at the heart of Lexus and Toyota’s ‘Beyond Zero’ lowering carbon footprint future.”

Toyota and Lexus have both launched their first fully electric vehicles (EV) in the UK this year, the former introducing the bZ4x and the latter its UX300e.

Gray Planning and Development also highlighted the creation of commercial premises capable of accommodating a number of business types in submitting plans for the new Eastern Western dealership site, which could create around 50 new jobs.

It said: “Eastern Properties (Scotland) Ltd (EPS) and Eastern Western Motor Group Ltd (EWMG) has purchased the site with plans to regenerate and use all the site for a range of commercial uses.2

The dealership premises itself will offer offices on ground and mezzanine floors and a workshop associated with the motor brands, it said, along with a generous provision for EV charging in recognition of the City’s aim for a low carbon future, and for visitors to the new premises.

The application added: “It is important to highlight that this is a suitably large site for EWMG to accommodate all the commercial operational needs for Lexus and Toyota and CDW.

“As owner of the Barnetts of Dundee brand, they operate the Riverside dealership franchises and are custodian of pre-sale car stock currently stored (under short lease arrangements) at a remote site west of the Riverside dealership.

“The proposal for Dunsinane is also therefore to relocate that existing presale stock to the new site.”

Last week AM reported that Eastern Western had grown its pre-tax profits by 102.5% to £32 million (2020: ££15.8m) and turnover 23%, from £665m to £818m, during the 12-month period to December 31.

The results follow a 33% rise in profits during 2020 despite a 14.1% decline in revenues from £774m in a heavily COVID-impacted 2020.

Eastern Western's latest planned development also follows its recent opening of a new Volkswagen dealership in Edinburgh, which signalled its entry into the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles franchise.

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