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Courier Mail: Welcome to the car yard of the future

Buying a car should not be a chore. In Brisbane, one innovative dealership is making shopping for cars an experience to remember.

Brisbane is leading the world into a new automotive era. It’s much more than just cars, as the $100 million new home of Mercedes-Benz Brisbane is intended to be an upscale lifestyle shopping and relaxation precinct with everything from fine dining to a yoga studio.

The giant glass-panelled edifice on the banks of Breakfast Creek, which opened August 1, looks more like a luxury apartment complex than a car dealership and that is no accident.

The LSH Group, a low profile global company with an annual turnover of more than $25billion from operations at 118 cities in seven countries, believes that 21st car buyers are looking for much more from their automotive experience and is investing heavily in a different approach to retailing.

That perspective is reflected in a five-storey dealership which has an automotive heart but is surrounded by everything from a boardwalk cafe to a dedicated floor for lifestyle tenants including an upscale real estate agency, and a five-star rooftop restaurant. Welcome to the car yard of today.

LSH has only been operating in Australia for five years, but is on a rapid growth path and also looking to change the automotive business. It has revitalised retailing in its other major hubs, from Asia to England, and is now pushing the boundaries with the creation of its Brisbane flagship.

“It’s a world first. What we are doing is developing a new way of interacting with customers,” says the CEO of LSH Auto Group Australia, John Good.

“Bricks and mortar are important, but so is the interaction with customers. It’s different to what you get in a traditional dealership.

“By creating this lifestyle concept, we are creating a new way to interact with customers, and a unique experience. What people can expect is premium dining, cooking schools, health and wellbeing, and shared office services.

“It is a day in the journey of a customer.”

Mercedes-Benz Brisbane is a reflection of the LSH Group’s commitment to Australia and also its ambition to create a new automotive approach that can be transplanted across its growing global network.

“Breakfast Creek is the first of its kind. We’re ahead of other markets with the lifestyle development,” says Good.

“It’s being benchmarked in the industry and the LSH Group. What we learn here we’ll be able to emulate in other markets around the world.”

Read full article here…