Hong Kong investors pledge £15m to redevelop Birmingham car showroom


Owners of a luxury used car dealership in Birmingham are to invest £15m in a redevelopment of the site.

Lei Shing Hong Group, owner of LSH Auto Properties, has submitted a full planning application to Birmingham City Council for the demolition of the existing Mercedes-Benz showroom in Bromford Lane, Erdington.

It is proposing to replace the showroom with a new facility (see below) comprising car showroom, repair workshop, MOT testing centre, vehicle storage/display area, a valeting area and associated infrastructure and landscape works.

The investment will safeguard the jobs of the 40 people employed at the business and create an additional 24 full-time roles.

Lei Shing Hong Group, established over 45 years ago, is now the world’s largest Mercedes-Benz retailer.  It operates over 140 Mercedes-Benz dealerships across China, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and more recently has expanded to Europe, including Germany and the UK.

The Hong Kong-based group took possession of the Erdington facility last year when it invested a significant sum in the acquisition of a portfolio of nine Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Midlands and North West.

Since the completion of the deal in May last year, the group has been evaluating the property portfolio of these dealerships, and identified the Erdington business for significant investment.

It said the dealership currently operated out of an out-dated building which failed to meet the current operational needs of the business, and did not allow for growth.

In addition to broadening the range of facilities on offer, it said the proposed development would transform an old used car business into a modern Mercedes-Benz Used Car Centre of Excellence where Mercedes-Benz cars of all ages would be sold, serviced and repaired.

To facilitate the expansion of the business, the new development will include a vehicle servicing workshop, something lacking from the current site.

The business will also be geared up for the influx of new electric vehicles that will be received in 2019 and the proposals include a number of EV charging points for customers.

The proposals include the demolition of all buildings currently on site and the erection of two main buildings; a showroom building on the site frontage and a valet building located in the south-eastern part of the site.

The car showroom will contain the internal car display and a workshop. The valet building will contain dry prep, jet wash and office facilities. The showroom ground floor is 2,010 sqm with a mezzanine level of 1,680 sqm and a first floor of 570 sqm. The valet ground floor area is 570 sqm.

The company intends staging a drop-in session for local residents to further explain the proposals.

How the new Mercedes-Benz showroom will look