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New Te Rapa Site Opens in Grand Style – With Special Guests SOL3 MIO

May 2021

What a show!   It really was a night to remember on Saturday when over 500 guests gathered to celebrate the grand opening of our state of the art new premises in Te Kowhai East Road, Te Rapa.

This was a grand opening like no other.  With the staging of an original theatre piece around the 93 year history of the group in the Waikato and featuring a scintillating performance from international best sellers SOL3 MIO, the guests were entertained with more than just the splendour of the new surroundings.

Ebbett have been residents of central Hamilton since we opened our first premises in Hood Street in 1928.  Our landmark dealership on the corner of Hood and Anglesea followed on in 1957 (a building that will soon be replaced by the impressive Union Square development) so it’s a big change to head out from the city centre.

Our new premises in Te Rapa have been described as “more akin to a high-end hotel than your typical car dealership” and the site hosts Volkswagen, Isuzu, GMSV, Seat and Cupra brands as well as remaining the primary centre for Holden customers in New Zealand.

Polished concrete floors extend throughout our workshops and we enjoy an abundance of natural light, exposed timbers, luxurious furniture, fixtures and fittings that combine to create a relaxing, enjoyable and professional environment.  Full credit must go to our partners at Chowhill Architects and Foster Construction for providing facilities we couldn’t be happier with.

We really wanted to launch this new site with a BANG on Saturday night.   As our Managing Director, Ben van den Engel noted,

“We’re only moving once, so we’re definitely doing it properly!”

The evening kicked off with canapes and drinks as the guests soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the new facilities on the 25,000m2 site.  In addition to showrooms, the site features a paint, panel & tyre centre, a photography & video facility, an ultrafast EV charger, a central avenue and workshops that look more like laboratories!

At 7pm, the guests all took their seats for the show – and what a show it was.  A musical extravaganza charting the history of the Ebbett Group in the Waikato, written specifically for this event and featuring the beautiful tones of SOL3 MIO to keep the audience rapt for the next hour.

A lot has happened in the last 93 years.  The show started with the founding of the Ebbett Group in 1928 and progressed through depressions, war, recovery, a public listing, growth, contraction, the global financial crisis and finished with their successful navigation of Holden’s New Zealand departure and Coronavirus in 2020.  This truly was a rich tale of hard work, opportunism, resilience, service, community and… real life, with all its ups and downs and twists and turns.

Beautifully staged, wonderfully acted and peppered with the class of SOL3 MIO, this was a fantastic performance and really brought home the character of our business and many of the people within it.  Special thanks to Mark Ferguson for creating such an outstanding show and turning our workshop into a genuinely atmospheric theatre for the night.

“I feel quite emotional after watching that” said Ben,

“I’ve been here a long time and seeing our history brought to life in such a vivid manner really brings home to me the joy of the journey we have been on – it really was a wonderful performance.”

He went on to say “It was fantastic to re-live our history but tonight we’re here to celebrate the start of our future.  It’s a night, and a beginning, that I feel humbled to share with many of our long-standing customers, our community and the very special team we have here at Ebbett.  We are justifiably proud of our past in Hamilton but tonight, even more so, we’re excited about our future and delivering for our customers from these wonderful new premises.”

It was a fitting tribute to a unique and wonderful night. A creative, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable evening to celebrate the latest stage of our rich history and welcoming the opportunity to begin an equally long and exciting future.

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