Dealerships , ,

MAJOR Singapore car retailer Eurokars Group has made its first foray into the Australian automotive market, buying a prominent Perth suburban Mazda dealership and announcing its intention to make more Australian acquisitions.

Eurokars Group is Singapore’s biggest privately-owned car distributor.  It is owned by executive chairman Karsono Kwee and has dealerships in Singapore, Indonesia and China.  

The group bought the 55-year-old Wood Bros Mazda in the north-eastern suburban Perth corridor at Bayswater and has just reopened it as Bayswater Mazda.

Mr Kwee said the acquisition “is the first stepping stone to the Eurokars future in Australia.”

The acquisition is the first stepping stone to the Eurokars future in Australia … and is targeting Japanese and prestige brands

The dealer principal for Bayswater Mazda is Peter Merks who has been responsible for upgrades to the premises.  He told GoAutoNews Premium that Eurokars was “actively looking” for new acquisitions in Australia. It was targeting Japanese and prestige brands.

Mr Merks said that since taking over the Bayswater premises, the building was renovated and expanded; adding used cars to the premises. But he said still more room was required.

“We have been surprised and delighted by the reception from customers since we opened,” he said.  “Sales of new and used are already up about 50 units a month on previous figures.

“The plan has always been to maximize customer service in line with the car-buying experience in Singapore, and we’re achieving early goals,” he said.  

Mr Merks is the son of Perth car dealer identity Hans Merks.  He has worked for WA dealerships and groups including WA BMW distributor Auto Classic and retailer AHG.  He was involved in car retailing in Singapore for three years before moving to the Perth Mazda outlet.

Mr Merks said that staff changes at Bayswater Mazda included increasing the number of women employees.

Bayswater Mazda

Bayswater Mazda

“We’d like more,” Mr Merks said.  “About 65 per cent of Mazda sales are to women. A lot of our women clients prefer to deal with women in sales and service and we agree that it’s an important part of car ownership.”

Eurokars was started in 1985 by Mr Kwee, first as a Porsche distributor in Singapore. It retained its links with the prestige edge of the car market and expanded with dealerships in China and Indonesia.

It now has 26 dealerships and employs more than 1300 people.

In Singapore it distributes Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Mini, Mazda and McLaren.

In Indonesia it has five Mazda outlets and distributes BMW (including a shop exclusively for BMW “M” brands), Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Maserati. It is also Indonesia’s national distributor for 3M products.

Eurokars has an equity stake in a Rolls-Royce dealership in Nanning, China.

By Neil Dowling

Mazda dealership

Mazda dealership

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