A history of service - David Jones Wanganui
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Suzuki is currently the No.1 selling passenger/SUV brand in Wanganui. Much of this is down to David Jones Motors, a bustling family business that’s now a household name in Wanganui. With a sales team of 4 and a workshop and parts team of 7, David Jones Motors has become synonymous with friendly, personal service and incredibly knowledgeable staff. They support the community through local events, clubs and organisations – in short, they’re everything a Suzuki dealer should be. Suzuki Now spoke to David to find out how the business became so successful.
THE EARLY DAYS
“Back in 1984 we started with just 20 cars in stock” remembers David. And the early years weren’t always easy. “The sharemarket crash in ‘87 hit the whole community and times were pretty tough. But as a small, lean dealership we survived.” Importing Japanese used cars helped them through, and in the 1990’s demand increased as the economy recovered. In 1992 they purchased Regent Motors Daihatsu, then picked up Hyundai and over the next 10 years the business grew. In 2002 David Jones began selling Suzukis and in 2006 became solely a Suzuki Dealer – which, as David puts it, was “a great move as that’s when Swift sales really took off!” Since then David Jones Motors has sold over 1,000 new Suzukis and 500 Swifts – achievements they’re understandably very proud of.
THROUGH THE CRISIS AND BEYOND
2008 saw another global financial crisis. “A lot of people lost their savings and this had a dramatic impact.” says David. But with cars like the Suzuki Swift, they were able to offer value for money. “Through tough times we’ve survived by working hard on the business, and by offering good products, service and pricing.” says David. “We enjoy a lot of repeat customers and now find children (and grand children) of our original customers coming to us.”
In 2014 David Jones Motors expanded their used car yard into the site next door. They now have around 100 used cars in stock. David has retired from the day-to-day running of the business, but he’s still actively involved, providing governance and strategic advice. While he spends a lot of time in Taupo he and his wife Robyn still have a house in Wanganui and spend a lot of time there with their three sons and grandchildren.
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
David Jones Motors has always been a real family business, and that’s certainly true today. Nick (David & Robyn’s eldest son) joined straight from school as a car groomer 18 years ago. Over the years he’s worked in many aspects of the business including sales. He’s now the Parts and Service Manager with a growing workshop. Youngest son Gareth joined the business in 2005 as a Sales Cadet. Gareth is now General Manager and is continuing the reputation of his father by winning MTA Top Salesperson for the Wanganui region in 2013.