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Oakwood Motor Group To Acquire Mid And South Canterbury Isuzu Truck Sales Division

South Island automotive dealer Oakwood Motor Group has agreed to purchase the Isuzu Truck sales division of Smallbone Mid and South Canterbury and to continue with its partnership with ACL Smallbone service and parts in both regions.

Oakwood is a South Island wide group, owning the long-established Blackwells and Cooke Howlison dealerships.

Group Managing Director, John Marsh, says the decision to purchase the Isuzu Master Truck franchise was part of the company’s strategic plan for developing its successful Isuzu truck business in the South Island.

‘We are very pleased with the acquisition of the Timaru and Ashburton dealerships, which complement our existing Isuzu Master Dealerships in Christchurch and Dunedin. The purchase is also a show of confidence in the Mid and South Canterbury economies and the exciting future for Isuzu Trucks, which has been New Zealand’s number one selling truck for 20 consecutive years.’

This acquisition will take the Oakwood Group to 13 car and truck dealerships and 340 staff across the South Island, with the intention of continuing to operate from the existing sites in Ashburton and Timaru.

The Smallbone board and shareholders firmly believe that this decision will benefit their existing Isuzu Truck customers, as they will have access to a larger team of sales experts and stock throughout the region.

Smallbone board Chairman, Craig Carr, says: ‘The agreement with Oakwood Group will ensure that the existing Isuzu Truck customers from Mid and South Canterbury will continue to receive best in class sales support from the wide network of staff available and the world class service and parts facilities ACL Smallbone has created in both Ashburton and Timaru.’

John Marsh
Craig Carr

Scania parts and service will continue to be supplied by ACL Smallbone and Cooke Howlison in their respective regions.

Oakwood Group and Smallbone are committed to ensuring a smooth transition of customers and minimising any disruption to the business, with ownership commencing on August 10 2020.

About Oakwood Group Ltd:

The Oakwood Motor Group consists of 13 car and truck businesses operating the long established Blackwells, Cooke Howlison and Arthur Burke dealerships. They have sites in Balclutha, Dunedin, Cromwell, Christchurch and Amberley, and now also Ashburton and Timaru.

Cooke Howlison was founded in 1895 in Dunedin. The business was purchased by the Marsh family in 1963 , and has franchises for Isuzu trucks, Toyota, Holden, Hyundai and BMW.

Blackwells was founded in 1923 in Christchurch, and has franchises for Isuzu trucks, Mazda and Holden.

About Smallbone Ltd

Smallbone has become a household name in Mid Canterbury since the Smallbone brothers, Harold and Frank, opened their first garage in Ashburton in 1919. The company secured the agency for Chevrolet and General Motors in 1930. Today, Smallbone is one of the oldest vehicle dealerships in New Zealand and last year they celebrated 100 years in business

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