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Exeter: Motor dealership construction work gets underway in Europe’s largest automotive hub

The next generation of state of the art car showroom premises is taking shape at Matford Green Business Park in Exeter, cementing the city’s growing reputation as Europe’s leading automotive hub and kick-starting development on one of Exeter’s primary development sites.

Construction work has begun on a new 35,000 sq ft showroom and workshop for VW, which will relocate from its current showroom on Trusham Road, Marsh Barton later this year.  Work will also commence soon on a new 24,000 sq ft Toyota Lexus facility for Snows Group which will also move from its base on Marsh Barton.

There are strong indications that a fourth marque will soon confirm terms for a new dealership on the last remaining showroom plot.

Exeter is now home to over 30 car showrooms representing brands including Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi, Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover along with the more mainstream brands like Vauxhall and Volvo.  The majority are located on Marsh Barton Trading Estate to the south of the city.   

The decision by VW and Toyota Lexus to upgrade and relocate to prime frontage plots on Matford Green reflects a commitment to showcase their brands in larger, purpose-built facilities.  The two new dealerships are the first buildings to be built on Matford Green, a 27 acre site which has planning consent for up to 500,000 sq ft of employment space and 30,000 sq ft for a public house, restaurant and small-scale retail facilities.

The showroom relocations will generate spin-off opportunities for unrepresented brands and complimentary occupiers keen to establish a presence in the city on the business park. 

Ralph Collison, partner at Alder King which, together with Colliers International, is instructed to market Matford Green, says: “2014 was a record-breaking year for the new car market, which benefited from improved consumer confidence, competitive pricing, strong finance initiatives and increased footfall to showrooms.  With forecasts for 2015 looking strong, forward-thinking dealerships are taking the opportunity to upgrade and extend their floor space to showcase an increased number of new models.

“Exeter has acquired a well-deserved reputation for having Europe’s greatest concentration of dealerships, with prospective purchasers travelling from around the UK to visit the many showrooms in one visit. 

“Investor appetite within the automotive sector is also very strong and we wouldn’t be surprised to see investor interest in both the new and older showroom facilities in Exeter over the next 12 – 24 months.  There is no doubt that the motor industry makes a significant contribution to our local economy.”

Design and build packages are available for a full range of commercial buildings on leasehold and freehold terms at Matford Green.  Further details are available from Alder King in Exeter on 01392 353080 and Colliers International in Bristol on 0117 917 2000.

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