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Callaghan's On The Move.

  • Callaghan's On The Move.

The iconic business begins its move next week.

A new era for one of Warrnambool’s most iconic family businesses will commence next week when Callaghan Motors will start servicing cars at its new, state of the art dealership at 1165 Raglan Parade.

Callaghan Motors – a third-generation family car dealership that has operated in Warrnambool for more than 84 years – will begin stage one of the move to their new home from Monday, 16 October, just under 12 months from when construction on the new facility began.

Callaghan’s move west ends an era of CBD trading for the family-owned business, eventually relocating the entire operation from a land-locked 4,500 square metre site on Fairy Street to a 12,000 square metre home at the city’s western gateway. This move means that they will join sister companies New Age Caravans and TJM Warrnambool on the expansive site that is bordered by Rooneys Road and Raglan Parade. Even with the arrival of the Callaghan Motors crew there will still be 5,000 square metres on space on the site for further development.

Dealer Principal Steve Callaghan said that the vehicle serving and parts divisions of the business would be the first of Callaghan Motors departments to operate from October 16th at the Raglan Parade site, with vehicle sales to be relocated from Fairy St by 6th of November.

“Warrnambool has become a regional hub, and we need the extra space to add additional services that our customers are looking for. Warrnambool will continue to grow and we want to ensure that we can also grow with our customer base,” he explained.

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While the number of vehicles the dealership held on-site would remain much the same, Steve explained it was the servicing department that would change the most, with a 50% increase in the space the division would operate in. This provides more convenience in terms of pick-up, drop-off, ease of parking and other customer needs.

The impact of the new site’s construction on the local economy has been notable, and visible; Steve made it a priority to reward the region’s businesses for the loyalty they had shown his operation over the years, by seeking south-west trades, retailers and wholesalers as much as possible.

“We estimate there’s been about 180 people (34 separate businesses) working on this site and the majority, if not all of them, were local; we’ve always sought to meet the needs of this project by utilising local businesses and networks. We’ve had a lot of our town contribute to this in some way or another. Ian Bolden Construction, their team and all sub-trades are to be congratulated for their efforts over the past 11 months.”

With the new site also comes a new look for Callaghan Motors; the operation’s distinctive logo, depicting a dynamic ship leading its way through unchartered waters, has been modernised. Employees are also being kitted out in new uniforms to better represent the operation’s new era.

“It’s important for us that we convey to our stakeholders – our customers, our employees, the manufacturers whose vehicles we sell, as well as the local community – that while we are starting a new phase, we are still very conscious of where we have come from and want to acknowledge the tradition of the last 84 years.”

Lois Chislett spoke to Steve Callaghan about the move.