Motorline opens Gillingham Skoda dealership and unveils Audi Canterbury plan

Motorline Group has moved into its new Skoda car dealership in Gillingham and revealed plans for a new Audi showroom in Canterbury.

The developments come less than two months after securing planning permission for a £12m development that will bring together its Toyota Patchway and Lexus Pioneer Park dealerships in Bristol to a site on Cribbs Causeway, where they will be joined by a training academy.

Motorline moved its Skoda dealership in Gillingham from its previous site on Hoath Land to a new facility on Grosvenor Road, Gillingham Business Park, this week.

The new dealership site features an 11-car showroom, space for 65 used cars, a 10-bay workshop and 40 customer parking bays.

Speaking to the Kent Messenger newspaper, Motorline group operations director, Tim Murphy, said: “By relocating the Skoda centre to this prominent location with a new and much larger facility, we will further enhance customer experience for both sales and aftersales.”

Motorline is also planning to open a new East Kent Audi dealership facility in a move that will see it vacate its existing location in Ashford Road, Chartham, in favour of a new purpose-built, Audi Terminal on Broad Oak Road, Canterbury in early October.

The group, which acquired the franchise from Inchcape in June 2018, and later doubled its Audi representation with the further acquisition of businesses in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells from Inchcape.

Commenting on the creation of a new dealership site to accommodate its East Kent Audi franchise, Motorline said that the new building would “best showcase the exciting Audi product range and further enhance our customer experience and service levels”.

The new East Kent Audi site will be equipped with a drive-through service reception and digital check-in and will allow customers to relax in boutique-like surroundings, Motorline said.

It added: “To align the branding with our Audi centres in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, our move will also see a change in our trading name from East Kent Audi to Canterbury Audi.

“This new name signifies the final step in our journey to deliver the ultimate Audi experience for our customers.”

Back in June AM reported that Motorline Group was set to open consultation with its workforce over a 10% cut to employee pay in response to challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

AM understands that the Canterbury-based AM100 retail group informed staff about the move as car showrooms across England re-opened to customers.

“Consultation will start shortly, but the firm is expected to push through the pay cuts without much delay,” said a source.

AM has attempted to make contact with Motorline’s directors, but did not receive a response.

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