General Motors’ decision to stop selling new Holdens in New Zealand and Australia will not affect Ebbett’s new development at Te Rapa Gateway, says the Group’s managing director, Ben van den Engel.
The huge new development near The Base was earmarked to house their fast-growing Volkswagen business and relocate their existing Hamilton city-centre Holden dealership. The current Ebbett Holden site in Anglesea St is to be replaced by the recently announced, multi-million dollar development, Union Square.
“General Motors’ commitment to 10 more years of servicing and warranty for the many thousands of Holden vehicles in the Waikato means there will still be a huge demand for service, parts and used vehicles for many years to come,” van den Engel said.
“Our purpose-built Te Rapa facility will ensure we are extremely well-positioned to meet that need, with greatly improved capacity and efficiency-enhancing the customer experience.
The Te Rapa development was always intended to be an “Auto Hub” with additional on-site services such as paint, panel and tyre shop, providing a more comprehensive service to customers.
“On the new vehicle sales side we’ll continue to offer HSV product and we expect that to grow with the potential of new Chevrolet opportunities becoming available. Seat, part of the Volkswagen group, will be represented at our new site and we’ll also be actively looking for new franchise opportunities. I’m sure such a prominent building will be attractive to many manufacturers.”
Change is not new for a group that has been operating in Hamilton since 1928 and now represents more than 13 brands in eight cities and towns around the North Island. Indeed, this is another challenge for Ben, who joined the group almost 50 years ago and took control during the 1987 stock market crash.
“Notwithstanding GM’s decision to withdraw from the new vehicle market, I am really excited about the new development,” he said. “We’re a solid company with stable leadership, great people, strong core values and a focus on customer service. It’s a combination that has served us very well for the last 92 years and one that means we can really look forward to playing a major role in New Zealand’s mobility needs far into the future.”
The Ebbett Group expect Volkswagen to move into their new premises at Te Rapa mid-2020, with Holden moving towards the end of the year. Ebbett also plan to move their head-office functions and Carshare venture LOOP to the new development, creating an improved hub for their growing business.
– Supplied copy