Lismore car yard to be region's biggest
By NERIDA BLOK, Lismore City Reporter
THE countdown is on.
In six days, Damian Doyle will swing open the black iron gates to the new $4.5 million Quayside Motors dealership in Lismore.
The 34-year-old general manager said the 9000 square metre South Lismore site would change the way cars were sold on the Northern Rivers.
With space for 150 vehicles, Quayside Motors in Lismore, formerly owned by John Chant Motors, and now owned by Toowoomba-based couple Mark and Tracey Crampton, will offer new Subaru and Holden vehicles, as well as a range of used cars.
The new dealership is being relocated from Quayside's current Ballina Street site in Lismore, which is leased.
It will be equipped with cappuccino machines, lounges and 42-inch television screens to watch DVDs while customers think about 'making the second-biggest purchase decision in life'.
"It will be the biggest automotive franchise anywhere in Northern NSW," Mr Doyle said.
"I'm actually told we will be the biggest dealership in regional NSW. It's a pretty significant investment. We have so much confidence in the economy in the Northern Rivers, particularly Lismore, and we think there's a lot of growth here."
Two-and-a-half-years in the planning and seven months under construction, the dealership will open for business on Monday ? six weeks behind schedule because of rain delays before Christmas.
Mr Doyle said he envisaged attracting customers from as far away as the Gold Coast and Port Macquarie.
"It's a case of creating a casual environment where clients feel totally relaxed," he said.
Despite operating a car yard just down the road, Brett Robertson, of North Coast Wholesale, was supportive of his new competitors.
"I think it will be great," Mr Roberston said.
"It will reinforce this southside as the place to buy cars."
However, Jason Thompson, of Jontom car sales in Dawson Street, was not so positive.
"I think it looks fantastic, but it's a huge investment in Lismore and that puts pressure on them to sell motor vehicles," he said.
"There are not many locally-owned businesses anymore and it brings in the city mentality the way they deal with people. One thing the car industry has always had is the stigma of high pressure car salesman ? that will be unavoidable around there with such huge overheads."