A new multimillion-dollar car dealership being built in Rotorua will bring more than 75 jobs and boost business confidence in the region.
The Ebbett Group will be built on Te Ngae Rd, near the intersection with Vaughan Rd, and will create 45 jobs in construction and more than 30 full-time positions when it's fully up and running.
The purpose-built 7650 sq m development is situated at 270-276 Te Ngae Rd, with access also available from Vaughan Rd. Developers were unable to confirm the exact price of the development, other than to say it was a "multimillion-dollar" project.
The site also brings at least one new brand to the city in Skoda and adds a new sales function for Volkswagen.
The new dealership will be home to Ebbett's current Rotorua Kia dealership and is expected to offer a fourth yet-to-be-named brand.
The development has been given the green light based on the investment and economic growth expected for the city in the coming years, plus Ebbett's early experience of Rotorua, with its Kia dealership on Lake Rd.
The site for the new dealership is owned by local Rotorua developer Ray Cook, of the R & B Property group, who is also developing the 1.4ha site at Eastgate Business Park.
"We are looking forward to creating this very exciting development at the entrance to Rotorua. With the timely upgrading of Te Ngae Rd by NZ Transport Agency this will also add to the impact of the new dealership," Cook said.
R & B will be using local sub-contractors and suppliers and the site will be open for business in late 2022.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Bryce Heard said it was great news for the Rotorua community.
"Another big company coming in with a significant investment and bringing real quality
brands and service into our city. It's a beautifully stylish building that adds significantly to our environment. It will create new jobs and it supports Rotorua, so we're delighted."
The Ebbett Group, founded 93 years ago in Hamilton, has 18 dealerships around the North Island, from Pukekohe to Wellington, including a presence in the Bay of Plenty with its Ebbett Tauranga Hyundai and Isuzu dealership.
Managing director and majority shareholder Ben van den Engel, who joined the group as an apprentice technician more than 50 years ago, has overseen much of the growth of the business.
"We've had a great experience in Rotorua so far with our Lake Rd Kia dealership. The community have been great with us and we feel really settled already, so this new
dealership is something we're terrifically excited about.
"Rotorua is a city on an upward trajectory and it's a great opportunity to bring in a couple of really strong European brands with Volkswagen and Skoda. These brands sell extremely well here, even though people have previously had to travel to acquire them. We're convinced that having a flagship dealership in the town will not only help more people consider Volkswagen and Skoda but will also be a great resource for existing owners to service or upgrade."
Ebbett Rotorua branch manager Ricky Brackfield said he couldn't wait to get into the new site.
"This is exactly what Rotorua needs – a great facility with great brands. Kia is the number two passenger vehicle brand in New Zealand, Volkswagen is the world's largest car company and Skoda has gone from being the hidden gem of the New Zealand car market only a couple of years ago to a strong player today."