Growing consumer demand in the Hartford region for Germany's BMW automobiles is behind a $5 million expansion of the marque's showroom – and eventually staffing -- in the city's North Meadows.
Construction is underway on the eastern face of New Country Motor Cars Inc.'s BMW new-used car showroom-service center at 1 Weston St., directly across the road from the $3 million New Country Mini showroom that bowed in 2014.
Tim Parker, New Country vice president in charge of its three BMW, Mini and Mercedes-Benz/Sprinter Van showrooms clustered together in the meadows, said completion is set for later this summer.
"We've kind of outgrown our space over the last 10 years,'' Parker said. "All three of our facilities will now be modern and updated.''
New Country BMW's service center previously underwent an extensive renovation/expansion, and the showroom upgrade -- totaling several thousand square feet -- is the final piece of the project, he said.
Among the enhancements to the BMW facility, elements of which reflect parent BMW's "future retail program,'' Parker said, will be installation of a three-lane driveway leading to the service department. He said that will help accommodate the 80 to 100 vehicles arriving daily for service.
Inside, BMW showroom and service customers will have access to more well-appointed waiting areas, as well as canteen space to be known as the Isetta Coffee Bar – a tribute to BMW's iconic, three-wheeled "bubble-car'' of the 1950s.
Florida-based Autobuilders General Contractors Inc. is the builder. Penney Design Group, of Bethesda, Md., is architect.
The New Country Mercedes-Benz dealership site also houses inventory and service center for the Sprinter, a commercial van brand that posted record sales in 2016 for New Country, Parker said.
As a result, work will soon get underway, he said, to expand the service-shop area to accommodate more Sprinter repairs, Parker said.
Finally, the BMW and Sprinter expansion will result in the hiring of about a dozen more sales-service staff for both marques, he said.
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