Blackwell Motors Ltd 100th anniversary staff reunion

Celebrating an incredible milestone in October, Blackwells’ 100th year anniversary reunion was a noteworthy event with past and present staff attending.

Blackwells’ staff and customers have witnessed firsthand many changes in the motor industry during its 100 years in business. Today the rise of EV and autonomous driving, plus the industry’s plans to transition from internal combustion engines to zero emission motoring could well become an integral part of Blackwells’ core business model for the next 50 years.

“Today, we know that petrol engines are being phased out with new energy sources such as electric and hydrogen evolving rapidly,” says Blackwells CEO Steve Grenfell.

“As for the question of four wheels and a steering wheel, well, they remain for now. However, with the advancements in autonomy, steering wheels may become a thing of the past within the next 50 years. Car-sharing operates successfully today and it’s clear that younger generations see shared transportation as a real option.

Our society is rapidly shifting towards online shopping and door-to-door delivery, so it will be very interesting to see if these trends still prevail in the year 2073,” he says.

What is certain is that Blackwells’ level of customer care and service excellence will continue to assist Kiwis of the future in buying their next car, whatever form it may take.

“Whatever happens, people and goods will still require transportation. Style, technology, value, and after-sales support will continue to play a significant role in purchase decisions. So, I believe that Blackwells is well-positioned for the next 50 years, thanks to our loyal clients and committed staff who continue to embrace the new generation of transportation,” he says.

No matter what the future holds, one can rest assured that Blackwells and the services they provide are here to stay.

The story of Blackwells can be traced back to 1923 when Walter Blackwell and Gordon Fairweather established Blackwell Motors in Christchurch. It wasn’t long before the business started to grow, and in 1927, Blackwells became Canterbury’s designated Chevrolet dealer. After celebrating their 25th anniversary in 1948, one brand, Holden, joined the Blackwells stable in 1954, remaining part of the family for almost 75 years.

When the HSV franchise was acquired in 1989, the name Blackwells became synonymous with the Australian red lion. The same can be said for Mazda. First acquired in 1976 through Horrells Motors Ltd and later reacquired in 1997, Mazda is still going strong today with Blackwells Mazda being awarded Mazda Dealer of the Year for four consecutive years to date.

With countless other brands having come and gone throughout their history, Blackwells has seen expediential growth, diversifying into used cars, commercial vehicles and operating from various sites throughout Christchurch and the greater Canterbury area.

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