When complete in the third quarter of next year, it will be the first Porsche dealership for the McCarroll’s company and the 14th for Australia.
Under construction on a greenfields site owned by the group on Griffiths Road in Lambton, Porsche Centre Newcastle will also be the first built from the ground up to the brand’s new corporate identity called Destination Porsche. The CI was first shown early last year in the US.
Two other Porsche Centres in Australia have renovation plans that include Porsche Destination architecture.
Porsche Cars Australia head of public relations Chris Jordan said these two are expected to complete their works at the same time as Newcastle.
McCarroll’s head of operations Chester Wong told GoAutoNews Premium that Porsche Centre Newcastle will be the first of a planned precinct of three luxury dealerships on the McCarroll’s property with Lexus and Volvo showrooms to follow.
The Porsche dealership, which covers 1670 square metres and includes a large workshop and customer-focused fittings, will employ about a dozen people from the Hunter Valley area, Mr Wong said.
It has a 450-square-metre showroom and a dedicated new-vehicle handover area, configuration lounge, and four customer EV-charging points with a DC-charging point for fast charging.
The workshop covers 405 square metres and has four bays for new and classic Porsche models, including the latest Taycan EV.
The turning of the first sod on the land was attended by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, councillor Nuatali Nelmes, and McCarroll’s Automotive Group CEO Simon McCarroll, his wife Nicole and group chairman and Simon’s father, Phil McCarroll.
Destination Porsche dealerships have been designed by the brand’s head office to become a central gathering place for the Porsche community and aimed at appealing to current as well as prospective customers.
The architecture is characterised by its high use of aluminium in the exterior cladding, its floor plan flexibility, its use of digital media for individualised communication, and its emphasis on brand experience, Porsche said.
The first prototype of the new concept opened last year in Palm Springs, California. The dealership was constructed within one year and has led to two more – in Dortmund, Germany and Hangzhou, China – being completed this year.
Porsche said that “an important pillar of the new corporate architecture is targeted digital media.”
“Part of it is virtual reality with which customers can virtually experience their own car configuration. Touchscreens will also make the products and services of the Porsche brand come alive in an interactive way.”
Porsche Cars Australia CEO and managing director Sam Curtis last year said that the Hunter region, of which Newcastle is the hub, had been identified as a potential sales point some years prior.
When he announced the new Porsche dealership for Newcastle and the franchise to the McCarroll’s Automotive Group, Mr Curtis said the Hunter area had strong support for the Porsche brand.
“Our ‘Porsche In Motion’ roadshow event in Newcastle remains one of our most successful to date,” he said.
“We now anticipate bringing more people into the Porsche family with this permanent presence.”
Mr Curtis said that McCarroll’s became the preferred franchisee “after extensive analysis of the market and a thorough selection process.”
“Their strong history in premium automotive retail, coupled with local knowledge and experience, will provide owners and fans alike an exciting Porsche destination in Newcastle,” he said.
GoAutoNews Premium reported last year that McCarroll’s, which has more than 40 years of automotive experience, already has numerous dealerships in the Newcastle region.
It also has a broad range of franchises – including luxury brands headed by Ferrari and Maserati – but this will be its first Porsche outlet.
McCarroll’s Automotive Group CEO Simon McCarroll said his company was “incredibly excited” to become the Porsche dealership in Newcastle.
“My family has been Porsche fans and owners for decades, so we have wanted to work with the brand for a very long time,” he said.
“To bring Porsche to a growing region like Newcastle is an honour.”
Porsche Centre Newcastle is being built by Newcastle company Reitsma Constructions in conjunction with Newcastle-based architectural firm EJE Architects, and Startari Architects, which designed the facility on behalf of McCarroll’s Automotive Group and Porsche Cars Australia.
By Neil Dowling