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Arnold Clark aims to educate rather than sell to buyers with new electric vehicle ‘Innovation Centre’

Time 10 months ago

Arnold Clark has opened a new electric and hybrid car showroom that’s been designed to educate customers about the benefits of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs).

The Arnold Clark Innovation Centre, located on Dumbarton Road in the West End of Glasgow, has been created in partnership with Transport Scotland, OLEV, Scottish Power, Energy Saving Trust, Go Ultra Low, Strathclyde University and The NVT Group, and has cost more than £5m to develop.

The dealer group – which was recently named the most profitable dealer in the UK in the Car Dealer Top 100 – says the new centre has been created to educate customers about switching to AFVs, as well as providing training for Arnold Clark employees.

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Product geniuses are on hand to advise customers, whether private or business, and offer test drives of electric and hybrid cars and commercial vehicles.

Arnold Clark chief executive and group managing director, Eddie Hawthorne, said: ‘There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about EVs. And this is something we as an industry need to educate our customers about, which is what we’re trying to do.

‘We’ve invested well over £5m in our Innovation Centre in Glasgow. It’s not a site we are selling anything from. It’s specifically an innovation, information and educational centre.

‘The centre displays alternative fuel vehicles from all the manufacturers we represent, plus some we don’t. We currently have 60 vehicles on-site. These include fully electric, plug-in hybrids, hybrids, and commercial vehicles that are also alternatively fuelled.’


Hawthorne added: ‘We ask the right questions. “What’s right for you? What do you need? What’s the best vehicle and package that works for you?” And then obviously we want to talk to them about charging, infrastructure, where they’ll charge it, and that’s why we’re partnering with other people.

‘What we’re trying to do at the Innovation Centre is just showcase everything that’s out there, and it’s not just about electric vehicles.’

Hawthorne was recently interviewed by Car Dealer after coming out on top in the Car Dealer Top 100. You can watch the interview at the top of this story.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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