Taking the wheel in Nelson – launching new concept store for customers

Taking the wheel in Nelson – launching new concept store for customers

Honda New Zealand is pleased to announce it will be investing in a brand new retail concept store at its Nelson site on Elm Street - as part of a transformation to deliver an enhanced customer experience in Nelson.

It is commencing construction of a bespoke, new customer service centre in August and will amalgamate all its operations to its Stoke site from late November.

Honda New Zealand’s Managing Director, Nobuya Sonoda says: “Honda New Zealand has a long and proud history with the Nelson community. We started out with our manufacturing facility here in 1980, initially for our Honda Civic model, and eventually transitioned into our current national distribution and fit out centre on Elm Street."

“Over the past 40 years our relationship with our customers has been incredibly well supported through a trusted partnership with the Bowater family. Today, we’re announcing that this partnership is coming to an amicable end, where Honda New Zealand will be “jumping into the drivers’ seat and taking the wheel” here in Nelson."

“We know the most common reason customers come to any Honda site is related to the car they already own – dropping it off for a service, popping in to get a part replaced or a warrant of fitness."

“We want to shape our operations to meet future needs and demands of our current and potential customers and we have chosen our Nelson site as the ideal place to showcase this,” says Mr Sonoda.

The amalgamation and consolidation of Honda NZ’s full suite of services in Nelson will start from November 2020.

Bowater Motor Group Director and Chief Executive, Chris Bowater says: “While I’m personally sad to see Honda leave the Bowater Group after more than 40 years, it has been a privilege to work so closely with the senior Honda NZ team and I’m very pleased that all our valued staff are being looked after in these changes."

“Honda’s vision to get closer to their customers in Nelson is an exciting new journey for them, and we wish them all the best. Our goal is to ensure we are in a strong position to continue to serve the Nelson / Tasman  region for another 75 years and beyond.”

Bowater Motor Group is a local family business established in Nelson in 1945.

Mr Sonoda added Bowater Motor Group have been an outstanding dealership to work with and have served the Honda brand extremely well in the region.

“This week we have written to each of our customers to let them know that by November this year all Honda NZ services will move to our Stoke site. We will retain all of our assembly and fit out operations, and we will have service and sales onsite,” adds Mr Sonoda.

Nelson City Council Mayor Rachel Reese acknowledged the change in the relationship and welcomed
Honda’s New Zealand’s investment and ongoing commitment to the community.

“Honda has been a part of the Nelson economy since the mid-1980s and it is great to see them strengthening their roots at this uncertain time for our economy, including helping to support local jobs. I wish them and the Bowater Motor Group the very best with their future plans,” she said.