A Perth motor group has hailed the opening of a new £2 million showroom.
Strathmore Volvo’s new site on Dunkeld Road was completed last month – though it’s currently closed under the new Covid-19 restrictions.
It marks the latest in a series of multi-million pound investments by Cameron Motor Group in Perth.
Six years ago it knocked down and rebuilt Volkswagen at a cost of £2m. In 2018 it overhauled Perth Audi, an investment of £1.75m.
Flexible areas and Swedish cakes
Construction was delayed for almost a year when Dundee building services firm McGill went into administration in February 2019.
Norman Leishman, retailer principal at Strathmore, said: “We are thrilled to have unveiled our new showroom. It’s been wonderful to see the reactions of our first customers.
“Our recent refurbishment isn’t just about a change of furniture.
“It’s designed to make our customers feel relaxed in an environment that provides flexible waiting, working and assessment areas.”
The showroom features a longue area with Swedish cakes and coffee. It also allows for more new and used cars to be on display.
“The launch of Volvo Personal Service will help to connect our customers with their technicians for a smooth and efficient experience,” Mr Leishman added.
“Our focus is always on putting the customer first and giving them a high-quality service, which they know and can trust.”
The site is still operational for services, repairs, MOT and parts. The sales department is operating digitally or by phone.
Who are Cameron Motor Group?
Cameron Motor Group was established in 1930 by Ian Cameron with a loan of £300 at Bridgend, Perth, in what used to be the Perth Hunt stables.
In the 1950s, a new dealership opened in Scone where Volkswagen was located in 1953. Volvo followed five years later.
Douglas Cameron, who serves as chairman, took over the running of the business in 1970 and in 1973 signed the contract for Audi.
Premises were built on Dunkeld Road for Volvo in 1972, Renault in 1976, Volkswagen in 1984 and Audi in 1995.
Huge drop in new car sales
Figures released today show new cars sold in the UK last year fell by almost a third last year.
New car registrations dropped to just over 1.6 million, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which warned of a “rocky” few months ahead.
The trade organisation said a 10.9% decline in December wrapped up a “turbulent” 12 months.
Demand fell by 680,076 units to the lowest level of registrations since 1992.
New car sales fell by around 29% on 2019, the biggest year-on-year decline since 1943.
Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) grew by 185.9% to 108,205 units, while registrations of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose 91.2% to 66,877.
‘Lost year’ for car sales
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said 2020 “will be seen as a ‘lost year’ for automotive, with the sector under pandemic-enforced shutdown for much of the year and uncertainty over future trading conditions taking their toll”.
“However, with the rollout of vaccines and clarity over our new relationship with the EU, we must make 2021 a year of recovery.
“With manufacturers bringing record numbers of electrified vehicles to market over the coming months, we will work with Government to encourage drivers to make the switch, while promoting investment in our globally renowned manufacturing base – recharging the market, industry and economy.”
He said the last-minute Brexit trade deal was a “massive relief” to the automotive industry, avoiding a no-deal “disaster”.
But he added that companies will still face more administration and red tape.