A field beside the railway tracks at Glover Road and the Langley Bypass is being turned into a $9.5 million luxury auto dealership and service centre.
The Mercedes/Smart Car business is on a 3.8 acre site and will feature a 46,500 square foot building.
Work crews were already on site with heavy equipment when dignitaries gathered Sept. 6 for the ground breaking ceremony.
Dilawri Group, which has 41 dealerships from Ontario west, will operate the Mercedes/Smart Car dealership.
The representatives of Mercedes Canada and Dilawri weren't concerned about the international economic situation.
"The luxury business is very strong right now in Canada, very strong in B.C.," Ajay Dilawri commented.
Mercedes plans to add more dealerships across Canada.
"We're embarking on a tremendous growth strategy in Canada," Mercedes Canada president and CEO Tim Reuss said.
When looking around for where to put a new dealership, they zeroed in on the vacant Langley site.
"Our research has shown that Langley has a strong economy," Dilawri said.
When the dealership opens, it will employ just over 100 people.
"Years ago, this was all fields around here," Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender said about the commercial and industrial area around Glover and the Langley Bypass.
He said the dealership offers another choice for consumers, and that having several luxury brands near each other (the dealership is across the street from the Collection auto mall) will encourage people to come here.
Reuss said Mercedes opted for a stand-alone dealership, not going in with other brands in the auto mall.
Mercedes wanted the site on busy roadways. Reuss pointed to the passing traffic, which includes light industrial and commercial trucks, noting that Mercedes makes work vehicles as well as luxury autos.
"It's between two major arteries," added Dilawri.
Planning for the new facility started more than two years ago, the height of the international economic crisis, but that didn't stop the project.
"I would have to say what crisis, at least in Canada," Reuss said.
Mercedes sales have increased nine per cent and demand is strong for luxury brands, he explained.
"The potential is there. The market is there," he said.
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