A NEW ‘five site superstore’ of high-end cars could be heading to Tonbridge’s industrial estate.
Plans are being considered to bring Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Bentley and Jaguar dealerships to the existing Land Rover site in Vale Rise.
The four showrooms are currently situated in Sevenoaks, across two sites. They are all owned by Jardine Motors Group, which trades under the name Lancaster.
Planning documents submitted in November already confirm the group’s intentions to relocate the Jaguar dealership to a newly built location in Vale Rise, with Land Rover vacating their current site to trade alongside them. The two brands are owned by the same parent company, Jaguar Land Rover.
The application includes a new showroom, drive-in service lane and a 20-bay workshop. The move is expected to be complete by March 2018.
But the Times understand that the other three brands are also being considered for relocation.
Sources close to the motor industry revealed that discussions were underway to move the three luxury brands into a large multi-brand retail unit.
The proposal has been spurred on by a desire to grow the brands, with the soon to be vacated Land Rover site seen as a prime location for expansion. Scaling back from five separate locations to one central base will also help cut costs.
The deal could be threatened by the rivalry of the luxury brands, as Bentley, Aston Martin and Lamborghini may prefer to not be sold directly next to their biggest rival.
There is also a concern that moving further south, away from the M25 and M20 could reduce the available customer base that the Sevenoaks dealerships currently enjoy.
Although it is hoped that the prospect of a giant multi-brand ‘supersite’ may be able to draw more people in, providing a ‘great boost’ for Tonbridge.
In reaction to the news, MP Tom Tugendhat said: “Our economy has been getting stronger year on year so it is no surprise that new car dealerships are looking to move here.
“Building on a bedrock of great schools, beautiful countryside and a strong sense of community, businesses are seeing new prosperity in Tonbridge and they are right – we’re not just a commuter town to London but, as the economic regeneration of our town shows, a centre of investment and opportunity in our own right.”
When the Times approached Jardine Motors Group about the plans, they declined to comment.