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Ebbett Hamilton opens in grand style – with special guests Sol3 Mio

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What a night! The Ebbett Group put on a show to remember on Saturday when over 500 guests gathered to celebrate the grand opening of their state of the art new premises in Te Kowhai East Road, Te Rapa.

This was a grand opening like no other. With the staging of an original theatre piece around the 93 year history of the group in the Waikato, featuring a scintillating performance from international best sellers SOL3 MIO, the guests were entertained with more than just the splendour of the new surroundings.

A stalwart of the Waikato, the Ebbett Group has been an icon of central Hamilton since they opened their first premises in Hood Street in 1928.  They went on to open their landmark dealership on the corner of Hood and Anglesea in 1957, a building that will soon be replaced by the impressive Union Square development.

Their new premises in Te Rapa are something to behold.  More akin to a high-end hotel than your typical car dealership, the site hosts Volkswagen, Isuzu, GMSV, Seat and Cupra brands as well as remaining the primary centre for Holden customers in New Zealand.

Polished concrete floors that extend throughout the pristine workshops, an abundance of natural light, exposed timbers and luxurious furniture, fixtures and fittings combine to create a relaxing, enjoyable and professional environment.

It’s no wonder Ebbett wanted to launch this new site with a bang on Saturday night. As Managing Director, Ben van den Engel (a 50 year veteran of the company), noted “We’re only moving once, so we’re definitely doingit properly!”

The evening kicked off with canapes and drinks as the guests soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the incredible new facilities on the enormous 25,000m2 site.  In addition to showrooms, the site features a paint, panel & tyre centre, a photography & video facility, an ultrafast EV charger, a central avenue and workshops that look more like laboratories!

Then we all took our seats for the show – and what a show it was.  A musical extravaganza charting the history of the Ebbett Group in the Waikato, written specifically for this event and featuring the beautiful tones of SOL3 MIO to keep the audience rapt for the next hour.   

A lot has happened in the last 93 years. The show started with the founding of the Ebbett Group in 1928 and progressed through depressions, war, recovery, a public listing, growth, contraction, the global financial crisis and finished with their successful navigation of Holden’s New Zealand departure and Coronavirus in 2020.

This truly was a rich tale of hard work, opportunism, resilience, service, community and… real life, with all its ups and downs and twists and turns.   

Beautifully staged, wonderfully acted and peppered with the class of SOL3 MIO, this was a fantastic performance and really brought home the character of a business that prides itself on its strong values and “Customers for Life” vision.

“I feel quite emotional after watching that” said Ben, “I’ve been here a long time and seeing our history brought to life in such a vivid manner really brings home to me the joy of the journey we have been on – it really was a wonderful performance.”   

Richard Ebbett, Ben van den Engel, Richard van den Engel, Walter van den Engel

He went on to say “It was fantastic to re-live our history but tonight we’re here to celebrate the start of our future.  It’s a night, and a beginning, that I feel humbled to share with many of our long-standing customers, our community and the very special team we have here at Ebbett. We are justifiably proud of our past in Hamilton but tonight, even more so, we’re excited about our future and delivering for our customers from these wonderful new premises.”

It was a fitting tribute to a unique and wonderful night. A creative, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable evening to celebrate the latest stage of a group with a fantastic history and, no doubt, an equally long and exciting future.

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