New showroom 'sign of faith in Dunedin'

Marking the opening of Cooke Howlison Toyota's new South Dunedin showroom are (from left) Oakwood...
Marking the opening of Cooke Howlison Toyota's new South Dunedin showroom are (from left) Oakwood Group managing director John Marsh, Steve Prangnell and Neraj Lala from Toyota, and Cooke Howlison Toyota chief executive Adrienne Ensor. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
An expansion three years in the planning was celebrated last night, as Cooke Howlison Toyota opened its new showroom.

The new building, large enough to comfortably house eight new vehicles, demonstrated the firm's commitment to South Dunedin, John Marsh, managing director of dealership owner Oakwood Group, said.

"Toyota is the No 1 car brand in New Zealand - a quarter of all cars in New Zealand are Toyotas - so it had to be something big," he said.

"It's a sign of faith, not only in Toyota but in Dunedin. If we didn't think Dunedin was prosperous and growing and had a bright future we wouldn't be doing it."

Construction firm Cook Brothers spent 15 months demolishing the former building, building the new one with its distinctive high ceilings, and linking the new building with the existing service and parts departments.

Around 50 staff would call the new showroom their workplace, Mr Adams said.

No sooner had tools been downed on the showroom, than the firm started on Cooke Howlison's next venture.

"At our Isuzu enterprise on Teviot St we've bought an adjacent lot which was a bit run down and will revamp that for heavy trucks, which is quite a big part of our business."

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