A POPULAR garage is set to close down – but will reopen as a new dealership under a major UK franchise.
Drive Motor Retail, which is owned by one of the top 100 most profitable car dealing companies in the country, has put forward plans to expand its sales operations.
DMR is set to close its workshop and part storage facility in Darlington, County Durham, in favour of a new showroom and office space.
This will allow it to add to its existing sales area, which currently represents major manufacturers including MG and Vauxhall.
An extra five cars will be able to be displayed in the refurbed retail area.
The rest of the site will remain unchanged and still offer servicing, valeting and storage.
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It will be open between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, 8.30am and 5pm on Saturdays and 10am and 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
The proposals are now being considered by Darlington Council.
A decision is expected in due course.
The news is a relatively rare dealership opening in the wake of a raft of closures.
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One popular outlet shut up shop without even telling customers, who only found out when they turned up for a service.
Likewise, one large franchise paused new store openings after being hit by millions in losses.
And earlier this month, embattled dealership chain Pendragon suffered another blow in its chaotic takeover process after a potential buyer backed out.
It comes after one motorist slammed electric cars for zapping the fun out of driving.
Meanwhile, it emerged that nearly half of speed cameras in England and Wales are currently out fo action.
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