Lipscomb Cars is relocating its Ashford-based Fiat and Abarth showroom to its former Volvo showroom in Canterbury.
The new Canterbury-based business will carry on running new and used vehicle sales for Fiat and Abarth, but will also add other Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brands Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Fiat Professional Vans. The site will operate aftersales for all the brands, too.
The relocated business moves into a showroom that previously operated Lipscomb’s Volvo franchise in Canterbury, and centralises FCA’s representation in east Kent after the closure of rival dealer Northgate Garage in Canterbury in March.
The Volvo business has also been moved to a brand new, £5m showroom adjacent to the newly relocated Fiat Chrysler Automobiles operation.
Lipscomb says all staff will make the switch from Ashford to Canterbury and it’s also launching a recruitment drive.
The outgoing Ashford site has been sold for redevelopment.
Peter Barnes, managing director of Lipscomb Cars, said: ‘We have been working to make this happen following the demise of Northgate Garage as it made perfect sense to locate the new dealership central to the enlarged territory.
‘It has good road links and importantly being on the western side of the city has less congestion with easy access from Ashford and the coastal towns of Folkestone, Dover as well as Whitstable and the Herne Bay areas, these are all important areas to the Lipscomb Group.
‘Converting our old Volvo showrooms to house Fiat Chrysler is advancing well. This site is where we commenced trading nearly 25 years ago, so it is great to see it with a new lease of life. It has always been a successful operation through the years so it is a great opportunity.’
The relocations means Lipscomb’s business now covers Volvo and FCA in Canterbury, and Volvo and FCA in Maidstone.
Peter Barnes appeared on Car Dealer Live last month and told viewers about the challenges in moving the Volvo business to a brand new facility at the height of lockdown.
You can watch the interview at the top of this story.
- Got a beef with your car manufacturer? Love your suppliers? Tell us why in our Car Dealer Power survey here.
- Get the latest news updates in our WhatsApp group. Broadcast only, headlines direct to your phone. Send us a message and ask to join here.
- Car Dealer Magazine Issue 148 can be read for free here.