Big wins for NZ’s largest Mercedes dealership
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First month of business at East Auckland site sees big sales
While New Zealand’s largest Mercedes-Benz dealership officially opened last night, it has already seen an influx of new customers and an unpredicted number of sales.
Mercedes-Benz Botany, situated on Ti Rakau Drive, sits on part of a 1.1-hectare site in East Tamaki, Auckland.
The Mercedes-Benz dealership covers a 5000sqm area, including a 700sqm showroom and 600sqm yard.
The dealership is part of the Armstrong Motor Group, and opened for business at the beginning of June with 60 Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in that month.
Armstrong Motor Group’s managing director, Rick Armstrong, told the 250-plus guests at the official opening last night that he “didn’t think that (number of sales) would happen”.
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific director of dealer development, Andrew Cutter, was special guest at the opening and told Driven earlier in the day the number of sales was unprecedented considering “the dealership opened with no customer data base”.
“There have been many new customers to the brand buying at Mercedes-Benz Botany, with trades in such a Lexus,” said Cutter.
Work had begun identifying the site, planning and building the dealerships about two years ago.
From left: Mercedes-Benz Botany’s dealer principal, Jeremy Spicer, Andrew Cutter, Rick Armstrong, Mercedes-Benz NZ’s Ben Giffin.
Mercedes-Benz New Zealand research had identified Botany as one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and the Ti Rakau Drive site was on one of the nation’s busiest roads.
Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO, Horst von Sanden, rang Armstrong to ask about opening a third dealership for the brand in Auckland.
“I should have taken longer than two minutes to think about it but I clearly agreed to it,” Armstrong told the guests at Thursday night’s official opening.
“Every time I come here it puts a big smile on my face.”
Rick Armstrong, standing in front of his newly built Armstrong Prestige branch in May. Photo / Matthew Hansen.
The Armstrong Motor Group began operating in Christchurch in 1993, and now represented 19 brands over 13 locations across New Zealand, including Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Christchruch and Dunedin.
Mercedes-Benz Botany is almost twice the area of the Armstrong Motor Group’s large Mercedes dealership in Christchurch.
“It is a design build from the ground up, which is unusual today because of the shortage of suitable land,” said Armstrong.
“There won’t be a dealership like it in the country.”