Turners Group celebrated its 50th year in October 2017.
Fifty years is a long time in the used car business. Many other businesses have come and gone, technology has moved ahead in leaps and bounds and the way people buy and sell has become more sophisticated. But for all the change much has stayed the same. Good people, good service and satisfied customers are still the mainstays of a successful business.
On the 27th October, 1967, Turners Car Auctions had its first directors meeting. Turners were already a well established fruit and vegetable grower and seller. Indeed it was Turners and Growers that coined the name ‘Kiwifruit’ in 1959. By the mid sixties the company had found itself auctioning vehicles alongside bananas, tomatoes and lettuces and decided a specialist used car auction was needed.
Things were tough at the start with the first year producing a profit of just $120. However, in 1979 the Fanshaw Street based operation was selling over 2,000 cars a year. There was no looking back and expansion soon followed. The Christchurch branch came next in 1980 and more branches followed over the years.
By 2002 Turners Car Auctions had grown to the point that it could split from Turners and Growers and go it alone. That year Turners Auctions successfully listed on the NZX which allowed the company to expand further. New branches were opened, or existing branches expanded, all over New Zealand.
Turners Auctions were now the largest seller of used cars, trucks and machinery in New Zealand but the market was changing. The internet was starting to influence the way we shopped and while many couldn’t see a day when people would buy cars online without inspecting them first Turners knew it was only a matter of time.
Turners first online sales channel came in 2001, a dealer tender system called Autoturn. This was all very new and many dealers resisted the change at first but within a couple of years several thousand cars a year were selling online through Autoturn.
By this time Turners were selling nearly 10% of all the used cars sold in NZ and had become one of the country’s largest importers of used cars. With more and more New Zealanders shopping at Turners and needing finance to fund their purchases Turners Finance was launched in 2004.
Private buyers were also warming to the idea of buying their next car from the comfort of their own home so Turners Live was launched in 2005. Buyers could watch a live auction and bid in real time on their computer. It proved to be very popular with thousands of cars selling to buyers in homes and offices all over New Zealand.
Two of the most successful additions to the Turners services over recent years have been ‘CashNow’ and ‘BuyNow’. You can now sell your car to Turners and get the money straight away and you can buy a car without waiting for an auction.
Today, more than half the cars at Turners are sold using BuyNow. So while the company still auctions many cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles and general goods it is very much a retail ‘car yard’ operation as well.
Fifty years on from its beginnings in a dusty Auckland warehouse with unpainted floors Turners has grown into a successful New Zealand owned company that employs nearly 500 New Zealanders, buying and selling many thousands of vehicles every year.
We’re proud of our company history and our reputation as a brand to be trusted.
50 years later Turners Group is going strong as the largest seller of cars and trucks & machinery in New Zealand. We also cover motorcycles, boats, caravans … in fact nearly anything that can be bought or sold, we buy and sell. And if you need finance or insurance, our friendly staff are onsite to assist.
We hold around 25 auctions each week that can be attended on-site or accessed from anywhere in the country via Turners Live.