THE staff of Mazda’s UK head office have transferred to a stunning new building in Dartford, Kent – in a move described by managing director Jeremy Thomson as ‘a fabulous turning point’ for the company.
And the new offices, representing a multi-million-pound investment by the company, were designed very much with the manufacturer’s 137-strong dealer network in mind.
Staff moved into the ultra-modern building on Monday – and yesterday they attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Thomson; Jeff Guyton, Mazda’s European president and CEO; and Yuji Nakamine, director and senior managing executive officer .
The new HQ, in Crossways Business Park, is just a few hundred yards away from the old base, but is a world away in terms of design, technology and environmental credentials.
Having lain empty for eight years, the 25,000 sq ft building now features sustainable carpeting made out of fish netting, 100 per cent eco-friendly LED lighting and ‘Millboard’ decking.
There’s a state-of-the-art showroom area, in which the cars in the Mazda range are on display; space to display models from the manufacturer’s heritage collection; and well-equipped offices and breakout areas, with room to grow for the future.
Explaining that dealer principals would be visiting the new HQ building early in 2016, Thomson said: ‘There is so much to be gained from this facility. Almost from the start it is going to give a return to the business. If anything we do reflects the Mazda blueprint, this is it, because it’s about sharing our passion.’
Thomson said he was unsure about the thinking behind the ‘showroom’ element of the new offices to begin with but added: ‘Our dealers are really pleased about it because they can see that we’re investing money in the same way that they have.
‘They’ve been investing in our brand with our new corporate identity and this is an unapologetic equivalent of what they have been doing.’
Pictures: Drew Gibson
Guyton, Mazda’s European boss, praised Mazda’s UK dealers and staff for making ‘a fantastic contribution’ to the manufacturer’s global business. Addressing head office staff, he added: ‘First of all, this place honours the contribution that you have made. Creating a stimulating working environment for you has a direct relationship on how the dealers will feel about the brand and therefore how the customers are going to feel about the brand.
‘If we’re going to continue to grow the business in the UK, make more profit and so forth, we’re going to have to meet those customer expectations in the future at a much higher level than we do now.’
Nakamine-san outlined Mazda’s commitment to the UK market, saying: ‘The UK team made a tremendous contribution to Mazda’s global business in terms of the volume and the profit. I want to say thank-you on behalf of Mazda management and at Mazda headquarters we will do our best to support this market. You deserve this fantastic office.’
The past year has proved a successful and busy one for Mazda. As well as a tranche of new model launches such as the iconic MX-5 and CX3, sales are running more than 20 per cent up at the moment and the Mazda2 was voted Car of the Year at Car Dealer Power in the summer.
Find out more about how dealers will benefit from the new HQ building in issue 94 of Car Dealer, out mid-December.
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