Bigger than a football pitch, the new Bowker After-sales Centre is located on a 6.5 acre site on Watery Lane.
It represents a seven-figure investment and will create more than 30 jobs at the Preston docklands BMW and MINI site in the next five years.
In a break with traditional opening ceremonies, the family-owned motor group dedicated the centre opening to its apprentices.
The group’s after-sales director Jonathan Rogan said: “We’ve dedicated the after-sales centre opening to our Preston apprentices. It’s a simple gesture to recognise the important role they - and all our staff - play in the future of the business.
“With such a massive investment, it would be easy to focus on the bricks, mortar and equipment.
“But this will transform the way we all work in the future. And our apprentices are a big part of that.”
The centre has 30 ramps, two dedicated MOT lanes and a state of the art laser wheel alignment machine. Car servicing times have reduced and servicing capacity has tripled.
Ceara Holmes was one of the six apprentices. She said: “It’s incredible to see the massive changes here in such a short time. It’s fun to be part of it. I think everyone is enjoying working in the new after sales centre. There’s much more space. And some of the equipment is the most advanced in the country.”
The new centre has the latest servicing technology including machines which measure tyre tread instantly and wheel alignment in 90 seconds . Its opening has coincided with national recognition for the group’s performance in after-sales customer satisfaction. Their BMW and MINI centres on Trident Park in Blackburn and on the docks in Preston finished first and second respectively out of 40 in the North.