Sydney led the charge with the auto-tenants. Tesla opened its first retail store in Westfield London in 2013, followed by Tesla at 20 Martin Place in Pembroke, Sydney in 2016. This was followed by GPT, which set up the first Toyota retail store in downtown Rouse Hill in 2017.

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In June 2019, Genesis by Hyundai opened its first retail store at Sydney Arcade in the bustling Pitt Street Mall, while carexpert.com.au opened its first 960 square meter space in the mall last year Westfield Warringah with no salespersons or sales – just car experts. .

Automall by Eagers Automotive opened in the AMP Indooroopilly shopping center in Brisbane in December 2021 and includes a 12-bay rooftop ‘quick service’ facility, with drop-off and customer pick-up in the centre’s car park existing business.

This allows customers to have the car serviced on site while they shop, and just below the service bay is a 2400 square meter car sales showroom, with a play area for children and a coffee.

Marco Ettorre, head of retail and investment at AMP Capital, said the opening of the automotive district as part of a $40 million investment in AMP Capital’s Indooroopilly shopping center is the latest example of the diversification underway in Australian malls.

He said the precinct will host showrooms for more than eight automakers in the mall in an Australian first for auto retail.

“The Automall West neighborhood in Indooroopilly will allow consumers to purchase a new car or service their existing vehicle without leaving the mall,” Ettore said.

“It’s this kind of innovation that will be needed to keep shopping malls attractive to consumers who want convenience and as we emerge from COVID-19.”

Eagers Automotive chief operating officer Keith Thornton said at the time of the lease agreement that the Automall West in Indooroopilly is the perfect complement to the Automall BNE, which Eagers is building next to the expanded Brisbane airport.

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“We know what customers are looking for in a car buying experience has changed,” Thornton said at the time.

“By bringing our car sales operation into the familiar environment of a mall, we are simply modernizing our offering. It’s an Australian first that we couldn’t be more excited about.

Ford also plans to open its next Smart Lab concept showroom in Australia in the medium term. Smart Lab is present in shopping malls in Quebec, Canada, Turin, Italy and Brussels, Belgium, as well as pop-up test drive kiosks in China, Germany and the Ford Hub in New York.

Alamsyah said while some brick-and-mortar mall retailers were closing their stores and shifting to online sales, car showroom leases were headed the other way, to physical retail.

“These sites are staffed by automotive experts who are focused on helping customers get to know the brand, have a test drive experience, but without an inducement to sell, which helps alleviate the anxiety often associated with the new car buying experience,” he said. .

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