Mercedes Benz, Stockport
The engine is starting for a new journey in the motor industry
LSH Auto UK, part of the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz dealership (LSH International), is set to open a brand-new Mercedes-Benz retail space in Stockport, Greater Manchester, complete with industry-leading facilities. Stockport will reap the economic benefits of LSH Auto UK’s ambitious plans, in terms of a significant financial investment in the area and employment safeguarding and new job creation – with 55 new jobs created at Mercedes-Benz of Stockport.
Martyn Webb, Managing Director of LSH Auto said:
“We have nine businesses across Manchester and Birmingham, and Stockport is going to be the flagship site for north, and it’s also going to be our head office for the north market. When we looked at Stockport we knew it had always been a successful site, but when you look at the area it’s got fantastic rail links, and a road network close to Manchester and the airport.
“One thing that we identified with this project was that we know our industry fundamentally has not changed for many years, but customers obviously have more choice than ever before. There’s also the online element which can be the forefront at purchasing cars, so we recognised that.
“One thing I was keen to do is if people are going to actually make a choice of coming to visit when time is precious nowadays, this site has got to be different from anything else to make it really worthwhile. We didn’t want to replace what was already a typical car dealership with just another car dealership.”
This facility will be a destination in its own right. The 10.5-acre site will be a showcase for 140 vehicles, and will incorporate a dedicated AMG suite, whilst displaying 100 approved used Mercedes Benz vehicles in a purpose built indoor showroom.
Opened in the summer of 2019, the site off Brighton Road, with a state-of-the art purpose-built three-story facility, will form LSH Auto UK’s Mercedes-Benz hub for the entire Manchester area.
The site will also feature 30 workshop bays, plus dedicated configuration areas, allowing customers to create their personalised new car. It will also display the Mercedes Benz new Electric range – EQ. LSH will become the benchmark in supporting Mercedes Benz EQ strategy in the UK. Two buildings that will form the flagship site – a 13,492sq m dealership and 17,166sq m purpose-built high-tech body and paint repair centre, as well as LSH Auto UK’s regional Used Car Preparation Facility and Parts Distribution Centre.
“What we’ve done is start to have a look at space in general and outside of the industry and how customers behave in spaces; we wanted to create a space where guests could come and have a look and spend time in that space and then become our customers.
“That’s where the train of thought came from when trying to create something very different, hence the reason to put a bistro and other things within that space. We’ve also got an event space and open plan business meeting areas.
“It’s been an 18 month journey in terms of us understanding the different spaces we were trying to achieve, we started the project October 2016 when we acquired the land, and we ended the project summer this year.”
This is a significant development for LSH Auto UK, as the site is aligned with the brand’s promise – ‘You Come First. Always’, which focuses on putting the customer, and the customer experience, at the heart of everything they do.
The brand is committed to changing the landscape of automotive retailing, and by creating spaces that are designed to be destinations rather than traditional retail spaces.
“We’ve been a lot more customer centric in our thinking, we’ve embarked on a real journey in understanding what customers want, how they interact and what they expect, and then put a training formula around our colleagues to meet those requirements. So it’s not just moving into a brand new facility, it’s also behaving very differently, and encouraging people to go beyond; to put the customer first as far as we can really.
“We want customers to feel they’re in a very different environment, and we want the team to buy in and be the springboard for this new way of being customer centric. It’s been a fantastic project and it’s been an exciting start, we’re hoping we can change the way that motor retailing and customers buy cars going forward.
“We want this destination for customers to be unlike any other experience they’ve had before and for colleagues to want to come and work for us: it’s a nicer, more transparent environment.”