Eastern Western Motor Group Dundee Lexus showroom artist's impression from EWMG websiteEastern Western Motor Group Dundee Lexus showroom artist's impression from EWMG website


£10m car dealership stuck in fireproofing row limbo finally opens its doors

  • New Eastern Western Motor Group showroom was supposed to open on December 1
  • But it got embroiled in a wrangle over fireproofing that put things on hold
  • Dealership was finally allowed to open on Wednesday – after ‘bizarre conditions’ were met
  • Group MD estimates that delay cost company a month’s profit

Time 7:19 am, January 14, 2024

A £10m dealership that had its opening postponed indefinitely because of a wrangle over fireproofing has finally managed to welcome customers.

Eastern Western Motor Group’s Lexus and Toyota site in Dundee had been due to open on December 1 but, as reported by Car Dealer last month, there was a disagreement over a fireproof ceiling

It led to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) refusing to issue it with a safety certificate, and the city council wouldn’t grant it a temporary occupation certificate and used car licence.

The problem arose after somebody raised concerns about flames possibly making their way round where the fireproof wall met the fireproof roof, Eastern Western group managing director Keith Duncan was quoted as saying by the Courier and Evening Telegraph.

He labelled building control ‘nightmarish’, adding: ‘Considering building standards are moving on, everything you build is better than the last. We’ve built this to a standard we’ve never built a dealership before.’

The emergency service had a two-month backlog of applications, though, and the council wouldn’t approve it without hearing from the SFRS first.

However, the Dunsinane Road site, operating under the Barnetts banner, was at last able to throw open its doors after it was given the temporary occupation certificate, ending a 41-day deadlock and after ‘bizarre’ conditions were imposed.

Eastern Western claimed the delay had cost it in the region of £20,000 a day, wiping out a month’s profit, with staff also having to be found work elsewhere for the duration.

The Courier and Evening Telegraph quoted Duncan on Thursday as saying: ‘We have some bizarre conditions such as remove the doors from some glass offices and tape up our glass walled offices on our mezzanine floor, our meeting room, general manager and accountant’s office, which have the doors off in any event.

‘The costs associated with the delay wiped out our entire company’s…December profitability. It has had a serious impact.’

But he said the Lexus and Toyota showrooms plus used car outlet Car Deal Warehouse were now all open.

The city council has been asked for a comment.

Pictured at top via the Eastern Western Motor Group website is an artist’s impression of the Dundee Lexus showroom

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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