Chief operating officer of AP Eagers, Keith Thornton, told GoAutoNews Premium that the sale was triggered by the option of extending a lease on the property at Ashmore, on the Southport Nerang Road.
“We didn’t own the property and it was a stand-alone business on a very big site,” he said.
“Together with the reduced sales of Holden, we couldn’t see a strong business case in the future.”
Mr Thornton said Von Bibra had neighbouring dealerships and was a natural choice to take over the Holden and HSV showroom.
“For us, it was definitely not a brand decision,” he said of Holden.
“We looked at this and asked what the business would be like in 10 years time if we extended the lease on the property.
“Surfers City has sold plenty of Holdens and has excellent gross but it would perform better with the economies of scale that Von Bibra provides.”
He said that AP Eagers had a policy of looking closely at all of its businesses.
“We’ve always done this. The finance and insurance changes, for example, force us to reappraise our business and make restructures where necessary.”
The Holden dealership, which was signed over by AP Eagers on June 1, is Von Bibra’s second for the brand after Robina Holden.
Von Bibra has 11 franchises on five locations in the Gold Coast region, while AP Eagers retains 11 Holden dealerships.
By Neil Dowling