Sere Motors to invest £3m in four showrooms this year
SERE Motors is to invest £3m in four new showrooms creating 20 jobs, Business Telegraph can reveal.
The new and used car company is one of Northern Ireland's fastest-growing in the sector, with franchises Seat, Ssangyong, MG and Mitsubishi Motors.
The business is owned by husband and wife team Stanley and Rosemary Edgar.
A spokeswoman confirmed the company would be investing £3m in the expansion.
She added: "We expect new showrooms to be opened in October."
Its expansion comes despite a trend for falling car sales, with a 1.9% fall in new cars sold here during 2019 confirmed yesterday.
The company has submitted a planning application to more than double the car showroom and workshop at its current site on Boucher Road in Belfast.
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It’s also planning a new build at its premises at Lissue Industrial Estate in Lisburn.
SERE also has premises at Sloefield Drive in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.
According to documents filed with its planning application, the new Boucher Road building would measure 1,418-square-metres, around two and a half times the current unit.
The complex would measure around 2.3 acres in total.
The increase in size would also see an increase in staff numbers, with the planning application estimating staff at the premises to increase from 12 to 32.
Other people visiting the SERE site would also increase by 50%, going from 40 at present to an estimate of 60 when the work is completed.
The application was received by Belfast City Council on December 11.
According to its most recent company accounts, turnover at parent and group company SERE Holdings during 2018 rose by 8% to reach £52.5m, compared to £48.5m the year before.
In a strategic report filed with the accounts, the directors said they regarded the results as satisfactory.
“The group will continue to seek every opportunity to increase profitable turnover,” the report said, adding that “while the incoming year is likely to continue to be challenging, early results are encouraging and the directors expect another year of expansion”.
SERE’s expansion comes as Ford confirmed the closure of its Boucher Road dealership next month.
A spokesman said: “With newly opened Ford Stores in Lisburn and Newtownards Road now offering customers an enhanced experience, TrustFord has decided to close its smaller dealership at Boucher Road, Belfast in February.
“We are committed to redeploying all colleagues affected by this change to new like-for-like roles at one of our five other locations in the greater Belfast area.
“We will continue to look after all of our customers and will make sure we meet all their servicing and purchasing needs.”
The property at which the dealership is based is owned by an investor and is now on the market for rent through agents Osborne King.