A MAJOR car sales brand with 190 locations across the UK is planning an ambitious upgrade of its dealerships.
Vertu Motors is hoping for a major redevelopment of its adjacent BMW and Mini sites in Sunderland.
They also want to represent Ducati motorcycles in the North East of England.
According to the plans presented, the bosses of the car dealership want to bring the Mini under a common roof with BMW and then build two extensions on the empty showroom.
The upgrade, if approved, would house a “motorcycle workshop and additional parts warehouse” and allow Vertu to add an “exciting motorcycle brand” to the dealership, it said Sunderland Echo.
According to the application to South Tyneside Council’s planning committee, Ducati is willing to fill the space.
According to the plans, an existing motorcycle workshop currently located at the site will be relocated to a “prominent central location within the building”.
This would create space for a new, purpose-built service reception, which would also be “connected to the new cycle workshop”.
The design and access statement states: “The expansion is proposed in response to the recently introduced new BMW Corporate Identity Standards, which have created the opportunity to relocate the existing Mini brand (Building 2) within BMW Building 1 and to provide an additional exciting experience.” Motorcycle brand to the dealer (in Building 2).
“The increasing demand for motorcycle services has also influenced the decision to expand the business.
“To enable this, the project will consist of two small-scale, single-storey extensions.”
The company says the dealership could hire nine new full-time employees once the work is completed.
As part of the project, the number of customer parking spaces for motorcycles will also be increased from five to 19.
The design and access statement continues: “The site is long established as a car and motorcycle dealership on Boldon Business Park.
“The development proposal reflects the thriving nature of the business and responds positively to the growing demands of customers.
“The proposed unobtrusive extensions, which lie largely beneath the existing structure, are designed to fit seamlessly into the existing structure of the building and provide an improved customer experience on the site.
“The proposed finishes, including the new access door and site bollards, will all be consistent with the existing ones, allowing for an unchanged overall appearance of the building.”
A decision on the planning application will be made after a council consultation phase has been completed.
Elsewhere, a 20-site UK car dealership suffered millions of pounds in losses and is halting new store openings.
A major car dealer closed after 30 years in business, blaming the failure of a popular car brand.
Autovogue, based in Stableford in Staffordshire, said it spent £198,000 repairing Jaguar Land Rover engines last year.
The used car retailer criticized JLR’s “poor manufacturing” and “failing” cars in a statement on its website.
Meanwhile, two companies are facing closure as bosses cite a “changing market” as a key factor.
Read more on the Irish Sun
The move came after the showroom’s franchise owners broke off cooperation with a well-known manufacturer.
And many filling stations for used electric cars fear that they will soon face the same fate.