What the enormous new building at Tanjong Penjuru means for Mazda, McLaren, Mini, Porsche and Rolls-Royce owners…
SINGAPORE — The car industry has a huge new building in Singapore, and it’s called the Eurokars Aftersales Centre. By huge we mean enormous. The facility at 27A Tanjong Penjuru has a gross floor area of 430,000 sq ft.
All that space is for the Eurokars Group’s back-end operations, involving its Mazda, McLaren, Mini, Porsche and Rolls-Royce businesses.
If you drive a car from one of those brands, you can look forward to faster servicing and repairs now — “aftersales” refers to the part of a car dealership that deals with looking after customers’ ownership needs.
But there’s plenty more to the Eurokars Aftersales Centre, especially when you have a look deep inside its bowels. The building will have its official opening on October 26th, but CarBuyer has had a sneak peek inside. Follow us into the parts of the building that the public isn’t supposed to see…
When Porsche owners drive into the service reception area, a valet takes their car to what’s called a “direct dialogue bay”, a parking space with a hoist where they can examine the car together with a service advisor. Note the Porsche accessories placed strategically to catch the customer’s eye!
Entering the workshop itself, the first thing you notice is that the place is spotless. The new Porsche workshop is already servicing nearly 30 cars a day, but it’s immaculate inside — so much so that Stuttgart Auto (the Porsche subsidiary within Eurokars) is thinking about hosting welcome dinners for new Porsche customers inside the place.
What strikes you first is how bright, airy and spacious it feels. Powerful but energy efficient LED lamps provide plenty of cool light, and huge fans keep the air moving inside.
Eurokars has future-proofed the facility in some ways. There are 26 work bays for Porsches but it has set aside space for eight more.
The current workshop at the Porsche City Centre in Leng Kee will continue to run, but the Tanjong Penjuru facility doubles Eurokars’ workshop capacity — there are nearly 6,000 Porsches on the road in Singapore to service, and the same workshop refurbishes more than 200 used Porsches for sale a year.
The workshop is also E-Performance ready, meaning it’s equipped to handle Porsche’s growing range of hybrid cars and its upcoming electric models, such as the Taycan.
E-mobility is growing in importance for Porsche, and several bays in the workshop are ready for 22kWh chargers to be installed. That’s not as straightforward as it sounds — when Wearnes Automotive launched the electric Renault Zoe here, its charger kept tripping the workshop circuit breakers for days.
There’s a special high voltage room for intricate electrical work to take place, and outside the building there’s a standalone shed that’s 5m away from any other structure — it’s there to store lithium ion batteries safely.
Customers have access to a charger in the service reception area, too.
The new workshop is the only one in Asia-Pacific to have E-Performance certification from Porsche so far. But of course, this is a brand with some heritage behind it, and Eurokars has had more than 30 years experience with Porsche. That entails some interesting finds, like a library full of these classic workshop manuals and specifications booklets.
People tend to hang onto Porsches for much longer than they do regular cars, too, which means Eurokars keeps an inordinately large spare parts warehouse for them.
On Level 4 of the Eurokars Aftersales Centre the Porsche spare parts warehouse takes up a whopping 22,000 sq ft.
For perspective, the Toyota parts warehouse in Singapore is less than four times bigger even though there are 24 Toyotas for every Porsche here.
It’s actually not uncommon for people from overseas to look for Porsche parts at Eurokars, as they search for obscure or discontinued bits for their classic cars.
For all that, it’s Mazda customers who will probably welcome the new Eurokars building most.
Level 2 is mostly dedicated to the Mazda business, and it contains a service reception, customer lounge, and its own bright, busy workshop.
Currently Eurokars services around 60 cars a day here, but can eventually ramp that up to 150.
The group’s Ubi and Leng Kee facilities work on 100 and 50 cars a day respectively, so the new Tanjong Penjuru building can double its throughput, but there’s been an immediate effect on waiting times — customers used to have to wait as long as seven days for a servicing appointment, but now they can get one immediately.
There’s a shuttle bus to take customers to (and from) Jurong East MRT station, but many stick around in the lounge to wait while their cars are serviced. Eurokars has a sorting code that prioritises cars in the workshop if the customers are on the premises.
If you’re waiting for your car you can have a meal on the house. When CarBuyer was there, nasi lemak was on the menu.
Given that Eurokars takes care of more than 20,000 Mazda customers, the new building will likely be serving up enough food to feed an army.
The parts of the facility that customers are unlikely to ever see involve PDI, or “pre delivery inspection”, the process that new cars go through when they’re prepped for customers. Brand new Minis are inspected on Level 4.
The new building will take on PDI for Eurokars’ brands, and eases a logistic headache — it’s nearer the ports where the cars arrive from overseas, and it has room to warehouse well over 300 cars. That’s significant — if a logistics company charged just S$10 a day for storage, that would come up to S$90,000 a month for that many vehicles.
The new building’s sheer size also affords it the luxury of a large body and paint shop — the Eurokars Bodycare Centre can repair as many as 500 cars a month, but scale is not its only strength.
There’s a special booth for aluminium repairs, for example. Some cars are made of exotic materials such as carbon fibre, and repair work often involves glue, so the work space has to be dust-free.
The same applies to spray booths, and Eurokars has one that’s extra large. Guess why…
While the new aftersales centre is literally an enormous part of the sprawling Eurokars business, it is merely the latest in a string of serious investments by the group.
By 2020 the company expects to complete construction of its new corporate headquarters on a 40,000 sq ft site in the Leng Kee area. The S$60m building will also house a new Rolls-Royce showroom, which will make room for Eurokars to reconfigure the current Mini/Porsche/Rolls-Royce complex at 25 and 27 Leng Kee Road into new Mini and Porsche premises.
Walk through the new aftersales centre and you soon feel as if the gigantic building never ends, but for Eurokars it seems more true to say that the building never stops.