Mercedes-Benz dealership aims to establish new-car central in Botany, Auckland

Botany showroom represents investment of $20m. It's the third Mercedes dealership for Armstrong Group.
DAVID LINKLATER/FAIRFAX NZ

Botany showroom represents investment of $20m. It's the third Mercedes dealership for Armstrong Group.

The red ribbon was cut at New Zealand's largest Mercedes-Benz dealership on Thursday.

Mercedes-Benz Botany, owned by Armstrong Group, has been in development for three years. It's built on a 1.1-hectare site in Ti Rakau Drive, in an East-Auckland area that has been identified as a growth corridor for automotive retail by Mercedes-Benz Australasia.

It's the third Mercedes dealership for Rick Armstrong - the other two are in Christchurch and Dunedin - and a key element in a portfolio of Armstrong Group automotive businesses that represent 19 different brands in 13 locations across NZ.

Armstrong Group owner Rick Armstrong, speaking on launch night at Mercedes-Benz Botany.
DAVID LINKLATER/FAIRFAX NZ

Armstrong Group owner Rick Armstrong, speaking on launch night at Mercedes-Benz Botany.

A second showroom alongside will be home to an Armstrong Hyundai dealership.

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One of two showrooms on 4800 square metres of floorspace. The other will be for Hyundai.
DAVID LINKLATER/FAIRFAX NZ

One of two showrooms on 4800 square metres of floorspace. The other will be for Hyundai.

Across the two facilities there is display space for 24 cars, 21 service bays and seven grooming areas.

According to Armstrong the development started with a very short phone call.

"Horst von Sanden, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Australasia, called me when I was driving around Auckland one day around three years ago.

"It was a very quick conversation: he asked if I'd be interested in opening a new dealership in Auckland. The call lasted about two minutes and I'd agreed to do it.

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"They did a study in this area and established what they thought was the perfect place for a dealership. We're standing about 200 metres away from the spot where they put the pin on the map."

The dealership has actually been open for business since the start of June. In less than four weeks, it has sold nearly 60 cars.

"While a number of dealerships have been represented in the Botany and East Tamaki area over the years, it is still lacking a central automotive hub that areas such as Newmarket and Greenlane have developed.

"We are confident that the Ti Rakau area will now become that central point. "

 - Stuff

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