Lookers has submitted a planning application which would unite its Mercedes-Benz and Smart dealerships in Brighton under one roof.

An application for planning permission submitted to Brighton & Hove City Council reveals that the AM100 PLC wants to demolish its two existing facilities on Victoria Road, Brighton, to make way for a two-story replacement.

The site, currently comprised of a Mercedes dealership built in 2006 and a landmark cylindrical Smart dealership, currently employs 96 people – six of which are part time – but the plans could create a further 15 roles, the application said.

Plans drawn up by Northill Associates reveal that the total floorspace of Lookers’ current Mercedes and Smart operations would decrease by around 15% if the plans were approved.

However, the new site has been planned to deliver a “customer-first experience, it said, and would accommodate: a 12-car showroom (seven Mercedes, five Smart) and a vehicle handover bay; 16 workshop bays and two MOT ramps; cosmetic spray and repair facilities; parts and tool storage; and customer parking, demo parking, and used car displays.

Northmill said: “The scale of the development is representative of the current and future needs of the business, allowing for sustainable growth while ensuring the existing needs of the business can be accommodated.”

Mercedes-Benz retailers are now operating under agency model agreements with the German carmaker, with a marketing campaign launched to communicate the changes to customers this month.

Smart, meanwhile, is preparing for a new era of electric vehicle (EV) sales with the launch of the new #1 hatchback, which this week featured in AM’s ‘most hotly-anticipated cars of 2023’ gallery.

AM recently published an in-depth brand profile feature on Smart after speaking to the brand’s chief executive David Browne.

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