Growing demand from locals and international visitors who have a residence in Queenstown will see the opening of the first premium SUV dealership in the area.
Over the past year, Jaguar Land Rover sales have reached record levels throughout the country as the British car maker introduces more technology-led models to the local market.
Jaguar Land Rover NZ general manager Steve Kenchington says Queenstown is one of the fastest growing towns in the country and like many other areas around New Zealand, the upward trend in property values has had a positive impact on demand for premium vehicles.
“Over the past couple of years Queenstown has had some of the nation’s highest property prices – which is one of the key economic variables which underpins demand for premium SUVs.
“Unprecedented rates of tourism growth and off-shore holiday home ownership trends have also helped provide a strong foundation for new vehicle sales,” he says.
Steve says Jaguar Land Rover in conjunction with the Giltrap Group are currently seeking expressions of interest from an experienced car retailer to open their eighth outlet and service centre in Central Otago.
“Queenstown is the ultimate playground for Land Rovers. With record sales in the last financial year up 14 per cent on the previous period and the introduction of new Defender arriving in 2020 it is the perfect time to capitalise on this opportunity.
“The Jaguar range with its traditional sport cars heritage now offers world class SUVs culminating in a record year up 34 per cent in FY2018/19. The imminent arrival of the new fully electric I-PACE, having recently been awarded World Car of the Year; will bring technology, range and capability to the region like no other,” he says.
Steve says the landscape in the Central Otago region is increasingly being seen by senior Jaguar Land Rover executives throughout Asia Pacific as the ideal environment to showcase the performance of their vehicles.
“Over the past 12 months, we have hosted corporate visitors from our APAC regional offices including Singapore, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and a number of other countries.
“They have toured New Zealand and identified Queenstown as literally the perfect landscape to demonstrate the off-road capability of our SUVs,” he says.
Steve says the seasonal conditions and topography in the area are diverse; providing steep inclines, snow, gravel and mud that can provide a suitable challenge to the vehicle’s capability and, at the same time providing the most picturesque backdrops and high quality hospitality infrastructure for their corporate guests to experience.
“The next stage for us in establishing this area as the Asia Pacific region’s preferred showcase and testing ground for our vehicles is to build a full sales and service facility in Queenstown,” he says.
Steve says the dealership will be constructed to the latest Jaguar Land Rover architecture standards with a yet to be agreed lease term and a future right to purchase may be given to the successful operator.