Drive for the future
A MULTI-million dollar redevelopment of Llewellyn Motors' iconic Holden showroom is another major show of faith by the company in Ipswich.
Llewellyn Motors, celebrating 20 years in 2011 since owner Ross Llewellyn took over, has been constantly updating and renewing the business in recent years and general manager James Sturges said the latest revamp was the next step in the process.
"We've been on a constant development program for the last seven years," Mr Sturges said.
"In that time we've redeveloped the Toyota and the Subaru building. We started the process with the Hyundai building ... and this is the next one on the schedule. We think it's important to keep investing in Ipswich and the Holden brand. These are hard economic times ... but you've got to bank on the future."
The demolition has already started, with the new showroom set to be opened in May, 2012.
The Holden sales area will be downstairs with administration upstairs.
"The new building will be moved out an extra 10 metres and we are taking it up a level. We'll have a big showroom with a dedicated kids area and a refreshments area," Mr Sturges said.
"There are some new Holden national dealer standards that have recently been released so we'll also be one of the first dealerships nationally to have the new Holden look," he said.
One infamous item in the old building was unable to be salvaged - the purple carpet in Ross Llewellyn's office, which Mr Sturges said had been there for more than 20 years.
"And the architects didn't seem too keen on reinstating any purple carpet in the new building either," Mr Sturges joked.
Ipswich, with the drags and V8 Supercars on the calendar at Willowbank, has always embraced the intense rivalry between Holden and Ford.
"We do call it motor city ... and we'll obviously be doing everything we can to hold up our end of the bargain as far as all those sports fans are concerned.
"Holden is a major part of our business and has always been in a market leadership position."