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It’s the beginning of a new chapter for the longstanding and well established Waikato Toyota, in Hamilton.
Earlier this year, the Toyota dealership changed its name to Ebbett Toyota. The dealership had been part of the Ebbett Group of companies acquired by northern districts Toyota, including Engel Toyota and Terry Booth Toyota, which merged and became the Waikato Toyota that Hamilton knows today.
Ebbett Toyota opened its purpose-built new premises in Morrinsville last year and plans are currently progressing to have a new facility at The Base shopping centre, Te Rapa open at the end of March 2018.
The new dealership will incorporate innovative design elements to maximise its site, with the added advantage of more carparks.
(Te Rapa is a mixed light-industrial, large-scale retail and semi-rural suburb to the northwest of central Hamilton. It was built on a flat area that had previously been the bed of an ancient river, the forerunner to the present Waikato River.)
CEO James Harvey has been in the motor industry for 25 years and took over the helm at Ebbett Toyota in 2015.
“The current dealership site has served the Hamilton/Waikato community for a number of years, but it is time to make a move to accommodate more customer parking and deliver a better experience to our customers.
“The current site in Hamilton’s CBD sits on 5,500 square metres, which will grow significant, with the new site occupying 11,000 square metres. Currently we have around 70 service customers through the workshop each day, and enough parking space for only 28.
“The current plans have parking for around 110 carparks, which will alleviate the stress of finding a park, and ultimately deliver a better experience for our customers.
“It will be a shift in mindset for our customers, who have become used to the location we have been in since the Waikato Toyota/ Terry Booth Toyota days.”
James admits that this will be a big shift for city-based customers who have become used to dropping their vehicles off for servicing and walking to their workplaces. Ebbett Toyota currently provide a courtesy vehicle service and will continue this at its new location in Te Rapa. Some of the innovations planned in the new build are to create a more sustainable site, which will recycle and reuse water and house new plug-in hybrid charging stations.
Also incorporated into the design of the building is a more efficient use of natural light and space, and new state-of-the-art lighting design with LED lighting.
James admits that the current building has become dated and is due for the upcoming transformation. At the time of print the foundations were expected to be laid, with progress expected to ramp up in the coming weeks.