Nowadays, vehicle manufacturers will introduce a variety of different measures to bring their dealerships or ‘centres’ in line with the expectations and needs of the modern customer. This may include incorporating aspects of the urban environment such as café areas or lounges, drive-through drops-offs; or by creating brand-new environments with the likes of virtual reality visual aids or indeed new layouts and designs to reflect the brands’ retail culture.
Few dealerships in Scotland or indeed the UK opened with quite such a bang as Macklin Motors new showroom in Glasgow on December 9.
Built at a cost of more than £5 million, it was officially opened by David Crane, Chief Operations Officer of Macklin Motors’ parent company, Vertu Motors plc, and Nissan brand ambassador Sir Chris Hoy. On the night, Sir Chris Hoy set a lap time on full-size racing car simulators and the 150 guests were treated to the delights of Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kitchin. There were also GTR’s which had travelled specially to perform a fantastic display during the event. The showroom opening was also a launch evening for the ‘Cash For Kids’ charity. Guests had a chance to tour the new facility, built on the site of the old DC Thomson printworks, which incorporates a stunning new car showroom, on site café and state-of-the-art workshop.
The opening of the new outlet further cements the relationship between Nissan and Vertu Motors, which now operates 11 Nissan outlets nationwide. It also strengthens Nissan’s presence in Central Scotland.
Robert Auld, Dealer Principal of Nissan Glasgow Central spoke to Scots Auto Scene about the new centre and the headline-grabbing computer-controlled eight-story glass tower.
Q – The new site is stunning. It must have taken a good number of years in the planning for Macklin Motors?
A – It has been just short of two years from start to finish, from purchasing the site to planning through to final completion.
We had a temporary dealership in the north of the city, so the majority of our staff relocated from there, so we have around 50 of our staff here and approximately 15 sub-contractors etc.
Q – The prominent glass tower will undoubtedly be the centre of attention – how does it work?
A – The tower is actually a German design, the form of which was carefully planned by Macklin Motors together with Nissan.
As an extension of the brand-new showroom, the structure can hold 30 cars, and is fully automated – it really is a fascinating thing to see working!
The tower is operated from pads on the ground floor and the showroom floor. We reverse the car in to the bottom of the tower, we input the make/model of the car into the system, which then locates the appropriate space on one of the levels and then lifts the car up and rotates into position. It certainly is state of the art.
As it is a 30-car display facility, it means we are able to showcase the full Nissan range in one stunning structure. And it is also illuminated at night to give it added presence.
We also have the option where, if a customer is visiting us to pick up their new car, they can stand at the glass door and we are able to pre-position their car in a slot, press a button and the car will be presented to them as the ultimate handover!
Q – What services and facilities will the new premises offer?
A – We have new car and retail, as well as a new fleet department offering cars & LCV’s, our full electric vehicle range, a used car department, service and parts.
The workshop here is absolutely magnificent; it’s nearly as nice as the showroom! In the workshop, we have 13 bays on site as well as an MoT station and commercial ramps. The new site will also be a NISMO centre for sales and for service, and will cover the same area for NISMO customers.
The dealership naturally adopts Nissan new retail customer experience concept which features ‘halos’ in the showroom, mood lighting and sleek modern furniture, etc.
Q – The dealership will really benefit from its fortunate location?
A – Without a doubt. We are a road-width away from the M8 and so passers-by have been able to witness the construction of the tower, which has certainly generated a lot of interest.
And we are also minutes away from Glasgow City Centre, so we could not have wished for a better site for this dealership. Thanks to our location, our territory covers all of central Glasgow and the north of the city.
For more information: www.macklinmotors.co.uk/nissan