Donalds Volvo to join Audi and Jaguar Land Rover at Futura Park, in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 October 2016
Futura Park is set to become a major car sales centre with Donalds Volvo investing in futuristic Scandinavian auto centre near to John Lewis/Waitrose.
The Donalds Group has taken the first steps towards the opening of what will be their flagship Volvo outlet, scheduled to open late 2017 or early 2018.
The dealership at Futura Park will be the region’s first designed and built to the brand’s state-of-the-art Volvo Retail Experience standard.
Donalds said the development is at an early stage.
Contracts have been exchanged and outline planning permission secured but construction has not yet started – architects are now applying the finishing touches to their designs.
Donalds CEO Daniel Stone said: “We’ve purchased a three-acre site, 1.5 acres of which is earmarked for our Volvo dealership. Our intentions for the other half are to be confirmed in due course.
“Futura Park is a prestigious location, with high-profile outlets such as a combined John Lewis/Waitrose store and other premium car retailers already in residence. We’re confident, though, that the cutting edge facilities of our new Volvo dealership will create a real impact.”
The Volvo Retail Experience concept is a showcase for the brand’s Scandinavian design philosophy and, like its cars, effortlessly combines a cool and stylish exterior with a warm and welcoming interior, he said.
The showroom area will follow a typically Scandinavian open-plan theme but, crucially, 40% of the available floor space will be set aside to become the Living Room – a luxurious oasis with wood and leather furnishings where customers can meet sales consultants, wait while their car is serviced, or simply relax with a fresh cup of coffee.
Meanwhile the workshop, instead of being tucked away at the back of the site, out of view, will be clearly visible through large windows – emphasising the importance placed by Donalds on maintaining its customers’ cars to the highest possible standards.
Once completed, the new site will replace the group’s current Ipswich Volvo dealership, at West End Road.
The intention is that all staff will transfer to the new facility but, due to its increased size and capacity, it is likely that further recruitment will be needed, added Donalds.
“Although we’re only just getting started everyone at Donalds is hugely excited about this venture,” adds Mr Stone. “The Volvo Retail Experience, backed by the dedication to customer service of our hard-working staff, is going to bring a whole new car-buying experience to the Ipswich area.”
The Futura Park retail centre - on the former Cranes factory site in east Ipswich - now looks set to become a major auto centre drawing customers in from a wide area.
The retail park, off Nacton Road and close to Ransomes Europark, is already the scene for multi-million pound investment in new high tech dealerships for Jaguar Land Rover and Audi, close to the retail attractions led by of John Lewis and Waitrose flagship stores.
Marshalls Jaguar is planning to move to new premises at Futura Park, also relocating from West End Road, Ipswich while Ipswich Audi is moving to new Futura Park premises from its Bath Street, Ipswich home.
The site, on the eastern side of Ipswich, is convenient for access from a wide rural area.
Paul Isaacs, managing director of AquiGen the site owners, said it was all looking positive for Futura Park.
“The new Jaguar Land Rover for Marshalls and Audi for the Marriott Group dealerships are making good progress.
“We have other people interested in parcels of land which we are progressing. It is all looking very positive at the moment. It has been a difficult market, There were people who raised their eyebrows when we bought the site, in the recession. We had long term plans and it is coming to fruition now.”
The new motor dealerships were impressive building which would attract customers to the retail park, he added.