BENHAM BMW has begun developing a new dealership in Wolverhampton city centre at an estimated cost of £7m. Due for completion this Christmas, the site is set to create 30 new jobs and will be one of the largest MINI dealerships in the country.
The site will be located next to Benham’s existing premises in Raby Street, which in turn will undergo a full refurbishment ready for MINI early in 2009. The total site will extend to three-and-a-half acres with 200 metres of frontage to Wolverhampton’s Ring Road and the A4123 Birmingham New Road.
Benham has been established on the same site in the city for 15 years and currently employs 90 staff. Directors Nigel Payne and Steve Mills acquired Benham in 2005. Both Nigel and Steve are former employees of the BMW (UK).
Dealer Principal Steve said: ‘Our present site is one third of the size it needs to be to cope with our increased sales and services. We sell over two thousand cars a year and deal with 60 service customers every day.
‘When Nigel and I acquired the dealership, we committed to building it into one of the best in the country. We are fortunate to have a very loyal customer base and we treat our customers as friends, spending time with them so that they purchase exactly what they want.
‘We recognise that buying a car is a big investment and, for some time, we have wanted to provide a better environment, which is more representative of the BMW and MINI brands. We also have an excellent team, with many staff having been here for more than 10 years.
‘They are looking forward to the opening of the new flagship development and to being an essential part of the finest BMW and MINI dealerships in the region. It is fantastic to have taken one significant step closer to this goal.’
Nigel has been working with Wolverhampton City Council for over two years on a land swap, with a view to developing the land next to the existing Benham dealership that has lain dormant on the Ring Road for some years.
Nigel said: ‘Steve and I are delighted to be at the forefront of the regeneration of this part of the city and we hope this may be a catalyst for others to follow suit.’
The main contractor, Talbot Construction, started a few weeks ago building the new BMW dealership. It will comprise over 40,000 square feet of accommodation, including a 21-car showroom and a 21-bay workshop.