Motorline has moved its Audi dealership in Canterbury to a larger 40,000 sq ft site in an £8.5m investment.
Formerly in Ashford Road where it was known as East Kent Audi, the showroom is now three miles away in Broad Oak Road, reopening on October 5 as Canterbury Audi and boasting enough space for 12 vehicles.
It took nine months for the development to be built, after the pandemic held things up for two months.
Motorline chief executive Thomas Obee said: ‘We are thrilled to open the innovative Canterbury Audi centre in our family home city and close to where the Motorline Group originally began.
‘Located in the heart of Canterbury’s motor district, the new building is one of the very first Audi centres in the UK to incorporate the new Audi internal design and showroom finishes, which will further enhance the experience of customers visiting this outstanding facility.
‘We want our customers to discover the wide breadth of Audi and Audi technology in superb surroundings, but most importantly, safely and comfortably.
‘We look forward to welcoming customers to experience this stunning new building and are offering exclusive full-access tours to help showcase all areas of the facility and to meet our knowledgeable team, who have many years of experience working with the Audi product.
‘To align the new location with our Audi centres in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, this move has seen a change in trading name from East Kent Audi to Canterbury Audi.
‘This new name signifies the final step in our journey to deliver the ultimate Audi experience for our customers.’
The number of staff is expected to increase to some 55 from 40, reported Kent Online.
It quoted chairman Glen Obee as saying: ‘The site was not previously developed and had been a Victorian tip so the ground was contaminated with things like broken glass.
‘We had to clear a lot of top soil and get it appropriately disposed of, which was quite expensive.
‘We also wanted the building to have a very low carbon footprint in the way it operates, which added to the cost.’
He added: ‘We are very excited about the new site and feel we have relocated to the right part of the city where the heart of the motor trade is based.
‘It is also the first new dealership we have created in 10 years.
‘The larger premises will allow us to display more new and used cars from the increasingly growing Audi range, which includes their new electric vehicles.’
Motorline bought East Kent Audi from Inchcape in July 2018, and Canterbury Audi is now one of the first Audi centres in the UK to have a drive-through digital service reception.
It also has more than 75 approved used cars on display, with the new building’s large open areas making it easily accessible.
In addition, there is a 16-bay workshop as well as 30 customer parking spaces plus six electric vehicle chargers.