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Rutherford & Bond

About the project

Type of Build: Commercial Fitout

Complexity Level: Medium

Proudly representing Toyota since 1991, Rutherford & Bond (R&B) is a household name in Wellington, well known for its extensive range of vehicles under the Toyota & Lexus Brands. 

Location: Mount Victoria

Year: 2017

Rutherford & Bond Project

Driven by Passion

Project Overview

As a large car dealer that provides vehicles and services across the wider Wellington region, it’s fair to say that the number of Wellingtonians that enter through the dealership's doors every year is quite vast. 


With hundreds of customers visiting every year, maintaining a good experience and atmosphere for them is a top priority for Hunter Mitchell and his Team across the business. 


As a car dealership, there is never a dull moment, nor is there ever a good opportunity to stop selling to allow time or space for renovations and alterations with the business operating almost every day of the year. 


After a lengthy seismic strengthening project, it was time for not only the Toyota Showroom, but also the Lexus showroom to undergo renovation to allow for more capacity, space, and upkeep of their wider customer experience. 


The goal of crafting a unique and memorable customer experience was awarded to Black Sheep after several successful residential projects for both R&Bs Hunter Mitchell & Tim Prescott, as well as a myriad of commercial alterations on site at various R&B Locations. 


The key to the project, was the provide an exception finish that would appeal to R&Bs large customer base, while minimizing the impact that any construction would have on the operation of the dealership including; minimizing impact to sales, servicing, noise, customer disruption, vehicle displacement, and dust.

״What I like about Graeme is, you can have a good conversation with him when something gets unearthed that you don’t expect, and he’ll go, “ok don’t worry, we can do this, and this, and this, to fix that - is that good for you?”. He's very good at offering up solutions, and I love the fact that he's very proactive at offering up those solutions.״

Hunter Mitchell


Starting with Lexus, Graeme and the Black Sheep team had to strip back the existing showroom, office area, and customer service centre, and get to work on fitting out the showroom as one of New Zealand's First-ever New-Look Branded Lexus fit-outs. 


With various materials, as key components, manufactured by Lexus New Zealand, Black Sheep had to ensure that the remainder of the build was in matching with the expectations of the Lexus Brand and that all alterations were creatively crafted to create a primary difference in appearance between the Premium Lexus Brand, and the overall Toyota Brand. 


The external and internal construction of the Lexus showroom, reception area, customer waiting lounge, and sales office space, were all designed and constructed during phase one of the renovation. 


Secondary to this, the Toyota showroom was removed and refitted with new materials and office spaces, coupled with internal access to the Delivery Suite for New Vehicles via an internal covered accessway that historically had required customers and staff to exit the building, walk further down the street, and into a second yard. 

With time pressure mounting for the dealership to go back to “business-as-usual” and for the build to be completed, Graeme and his team worked tirelessly to break-thru access to the delivery suite, and complete not only the access project & delivery suite, but also the offices, showroom, earthquake strengthening of an external damaged brick wall which had to be re-skinned (a very much “engineer and solve as you go” project), and customer lounge for Toyota as quickly as possible. 

The end result, is a full dealership re-fit that Black Sheep is proud of, but also that the client is proud to showcase to their customers. 


When you visit the Central Wellington R&B Dealership, the experience is inviting, and has a sense of elegance and thoughtfulness - able to cater to a large number of clients and staff at any given time - for both purchasing and delivery of new & used vehicles onsite.

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