Story feature from the Bay of Plenty Times: 27 August 2020
“There is no need to look outside the Bay for a quality dealership when you are searching for a new or used vehicle. One of the country’s most awarded automotive dealer groups can be found right here in Tauranga, and it is up there with the best in New Zealand.
With 11 new car brands and over 600 vehicles under one roof, as well as a total care service that includes servicing, wheels and tyres, windscreen repairs and replacements, genuine parts and a brand new paint and wheel repair centre, customers will find everything for their driving needs at Farmer Autovillage on Hewletts Road. The family-run business was founded in 1991 as Bay Nissan. With a team of 12, the dealership on the corner of Elizabeth St and Cameron Rd won Nissan Dealer of the Year seven years in a row, and the business soon expanded with the inclusion of other brands. The initial success has been attributed to innovations such as pioneering weekend opening and an unrivalled commitment to customer service.
Mike Farmer took over from Peter Farmer as Group Managing Director in 2004 and under Mike’s leadership, Farmer Autovillage has gone from strength to strength. The construction of Farmer Autovillage as we know it today, which was the first of its kind in New Zealand, began in October 2008. Since then, the complex impressively stands on Mount Maunganui’s busiest intersection.
The buildings include 8 showrooms, state of the art workshops, a business lounge, café, carwash, along with onsite Business Managers who can help with competitive finance and insurance options on new and used vehicles. It is a true destination dealership.
Dealer of the Year with four Brands.
Farmer Autovillage’s growth along with the fantastic feedback received from so many customers over the years are just a few testaments of this team’s dedication to excellence and customer care. The raft of awards Farmer Autovillage has received reinforces it further. This year, Farmer Autovillage took away the coveted Dealership of the Year award for Audi, Jeep, Volkswagen Commercial and Nissan, alongside several individual awards. The Dealership of the Year Awards are held each year to recognise outstanding achievements in sales, parts, finance, service, marketing and customer satisfaction across dealerships nationwide.
“For Audi, we were finalists in 10 of the 12 categories which is a massive achievement,” says Mike. “We are exceptionally proud to be named Dealer of the Year, as it represents the team’s cohesive goals to achieve the highest level of service and professionalism within all aspects of the business,” he says. A team effort is what it is all about at Farmer Autovillage. There are 140 members of staff, and many of them have been part of the team for many years.
There is a vehicle for everyone.
If you are visiting to find your first car, looking for the latest innovations in driving, or if you are after a tailored solution or fleet for your business, you will find it at Farmer Autovillage.
“With our wide range of brands, makes and models all in one place, both new and used, we have a solution for everyone. There’s a knowledgeable and friendly sales team in every showroom, and we enjoy assisting our customers and answering any questions they may have. People get an extraordinary experience when they visit us. We make sure of it” says General Manager Blair Woolford.
Providing great customer care and after service are what the Farmer Autovillage team has become known for over the years and as a result, many first-time customers return to the dealership when they are ready for their next vehicle purchase.
What’s new at Farmer Autovillage?
With a growing interest in electric driving, Farmer Autovillage is also the dealership that is leading the way in the Bay of Plenty for the EV market. A 50kW DC charging station has been installed already, and a 175kW DC charger will be available onsite later this year. This powerhouse can charge an Audi e-tron to 80% in approximately 30 minutes. The charging project has been a significant investment for the company at a cost of more than $400,000 of which half has been provided by EECA contestable co-funding.
In July, the dealership’s fastest-growing brands, MG, Haval and Great Wall, relocated to the Autovillage supersite with the team of sales and service advisory specialists led by dealer principal Dave Briscoe. As a result of the move, the Farmer Motorhome Centre is now located just under the flyover at 19 Hewletts Road, which makes the site a fantastic one stop motorhome shop. Along with being authorised service agents for Volkswagen and Fiat, the Farmer Motorhome Centre is now also a sales outlet for Roller Team Motorhomes. “Roller Team represents eye-catching practical design along with innovative and reliable engineering to ensure every journey is comfortable and enjoyable. Along with the full Roller Team range available for sale, we have the T Line743 and Zefiro Sport on-site for you to see” Dave says.
To complete the exciting changes, Farmer Autovillage has also just launched a new Paint and Wheel Repair Centre in addition to their windscreen replacement service. This solution adds to Farmer Autovillage’s total vehicle care service, meaning the team can quickly and efficiently repair your curbed alloys and panel grazes in one easy stop.”
2019 AWARDS FOR FARMER AUTOVILLAGE
• Nissan Metro Dealer of the Year
• Nissan Sales Metro Dealer of the Year
• Nissan Parts Metro Dealer of the Year
• Nissan Service Metro Dealer of the Year
• Jeep Dealer of the Year
• No.1 for Ram Sales
• Audi Dealer of the Year
• Audi Service Manager of the Year
• Audi Parts Manager of the Year
• Audi Sales Specialist of the Year
• Audi Marketing Department of the Year
• Audi Sport Sales Specialist of the Year – Finalist
• Audi Sales Manager of the Year – Finalist
• Audi Customer Satisfaction Dealer of the Year – Finalist
• Volkswagen Commercial Dealer of the Year
• Volkswagen Parts Manager of the Year
• Volkswagen Service Manager of the Year – Finalist
• Volkswagen Business Manager of the Year – Finalist
• Skoda Service Manager of the Year
• Skoda Parts Manager of the Year
• Skoda Service Advisor the Year – Finalist
• Branded Financial Services Business Manager of the Year