R40-million Kabega showroom closes just over a month after opening
The owner of the R40-million supercar showroom in Kabega Park has opted to move his business and possibly his family to Cape Town after selling just one car in a little more than a month since its launch in June.
Some of the rarest, most powerful and expensive supercars – with price tags ranging from R300 000 to R4-million – moved from the showroom in Roshan Road at the end of last month to a storeroom in the Bay, with some also parked at the owner’s Lovemore Heights residence.
Martin Kriel and his wife Carol, founders of Supreme Truck and Trailer and Supreme Xotics, are now toying with the idea of moving both businesses to Cape Town.
“While we were operating in Port Elizabeth we found that there were a lot of people interested in looking at the cars but no one came forward to actually purchase a vehicle,” Kriel said.
“We only sold one car – a Porsche 911 Turbo S [valued at about R2.5-million].
“The Porsche was purchased by a guy from Cape Town who saw the car online, flew down and did the transaction. He then drove it back to Cape Town.
“It was at that time that I realised we need to move our business to Cape Town, where the money is. The economy is just better there, especially for selling these types of high-end cars.”
Kriel said they were in the process of identifying a suitable location in Cape Town for the dealership to reopen, preferably by the end of year.
“It didn’t make market sense to keep operating in a city where we are not making a return on investment. The type of cars and the price tags are just out of the Port Elizabeth range.
“Cape Town is one of the few if not the only place this type of business can really succeed. We just decided to cut our losses earlier rather than later and make what we hope will be a profitable move to Cape Town,” he said.
Kriel previously said several of the showroom cars were from his own garage – such as a McLaren 570S (worth R4-million), Alfa Romeo Giulia Race edition (R1.6-million), Nissan GT-R (R2-million) and a Mini Cooper GP (R350 000).
Carol said: “We are actually looking at moving both businesses, the truck spares [Supreme Truck and Trail] and the cars, as well as ourselves to Cape Town. While nothing is decided as yet, I’d say the decision is about 90% complete.
“By the end of July all the cars were out the showroom. We have not stopped selling the supercars though. They are currently in storage in PE but they are still available for purchase online. If someone is interested in buying a car it can be arranged.
“Also we realised it would be a lot more profitable for us to move the truck spares to Cape Town, catering for a bigger and more lucrative market.”