Site secured for new dealerships

Three new car dealerships, including flagship Volkswagen and Volvo showrooms, are to open in Solihull.

The dealerships will be based on the former Dave & Busters restaurant site on the Stratford Road after it was acquired by Johnsons Cars.

Colliers International acquired the four acre site which includes a 50,000 sq ft building, from Gallagher Developments on behalf of Johnsons Cars. The building has lain vacant for ten years, since the closure of Dave & Busters. It had previously received planning consent for a B&Q warehouse and was earmarked as a potential location for a new casino. Colliers International also assisted Johnsons to obtain planning permission for the new dealerships.

Johnsons Cars now plan to extensively refurbish the building, with work due to start on site in November. When finished the building will accommodate a 30 car Volkswagen showroom – its largest format in the UK.

Established in 1999, Johnsons Cars is one of the UK’s top 50 car dealership groups. The company is based in Redditch and operates 21 dealerships in 15 locations across the UK, including existing Volkswagen dealerships in Birmingham city centre, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth.

This latest acquisition represents a £10 million investment by the company.

Mike Berwick, group operations directors at Johnsons Cars, said: “Opportunities to represent new motor manufacturers in the Solihull area are scarce due to the demand for land in prominent roadside locations. This development was created from a tentative enquiry into short-term storage space. Johnsons and Colliers International have once again delivered a fantastic project by combining teamwork and vision outside the normal box.”

John Roberts, a director in Colliers International’s automotive and roadside team in Birmingham, said: “This particular stretch of the Stratford Road is well known as a centre of vehicle retailing in the West Midlands, with Audi, Honda, Toyota, Land Rover, BMW and Porsche already well established in the area. Johnsons Cars and the addition of a Volkswagen dealership will further enhance the area’s growing reputation as a destination for new and used cars.”