Is the boom back? Dealership plans €20m showroom for Porsche cars
Despite slowdown in new car sales in Ireland, demand grows for premium vehicles costing up to €150,000 each
Car Dealer Joe Duffy Motors is to invest €20m in a major new Porsche showroom next to the M50 at Finglas on Dublin's northside.
The huge new showroom, which is subject to planning permission, will also cater for Volkswagen. It is a sign that in Ireland the brand has shrugged off the emissions scandal which has dogged it in recent years and it remains the highest-selling car here.
The showroom will aim to capitalise for the still small but growing appetite for highly expensive Porsche cars in Ireland. By the end of May this year 42 of the sought after sports cars had been sold in Ireland and in total 72 sold last year, according to Society of the Irish Motor Industry figures.
That compared to a total of just 18 Porsches sold between 2009 and 2013 as the recession raged. Prices for a top-of-the-range Porsche 911 are as high as €150,000, although a more modest Porsche 718 can be purchased for about €50,000.
The high profile new showroom is proposed for a 2.3-hectare site on lands close to the new Charlestown Centre. The new development would comprise three separate showrooms, with space to display over 600 new cars and motorbikes.
"As this is still with the planners, some of the information is commercially sensitive. However, what I can confirm is that the total expected investment is €20m and the development will consist of a new VW and Porsche showroom," said a spokeswoman for Joe Duffy Motors.
The planned expansion comes as business at the car seller has jumped, with the last set of financial results for 2015 showing a 60pc rise in profits. The company described its performance as "extremely encouraging" when it released the results last October, adding that the results had exceeded expectations. Turnover at the company had jumped 43pc to €240.6m and it predicted sales in 2016 of more than €300m.
"We plan to continue our current growth strategy of providing a diversified franchise base that covers both volume and premium-brand manufacturer partners," the company said.
In January 2016 Joe Duffy Motors agreed to buy Ireland's biggest Volkswagen dealership, Finglas-based Karmann Volkswagen, after the deal was cleared by the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission.
Karmann was Joe Duffy's 13th dealership, further increasing its footprint. It has continued to expand rapidly in the last two years and was appointed a franchisee for both Kia and Jaguar after it began operating out of showrooms at Airside Retail Park in Swords, which were previously operated by Bill Cullen's Renault franchise.
The company has also bought a large facility in Cork and purchased its second VW dealership in Co Meath. Nevertheless, the plans for the new development in Finglas come at a volatile time for the car market in Ireland.
Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that new car sales grew at their slowest pace in three years in April as the fall in sterling saw more buyers opt to look to the UK for cheaper second- hand imports.
Sunday Indo Business