Turners Group is celebrating its 50th year in 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.
From tractors to trucks, clothing to caravans, motorbikes to machinery, tools to equipment – even the odd Mig-21 fighter jet – our branches value, market and sell a vast range of goods via outcry and online auction, tender and BuyNow. The business operates in a variety of business areas via our nationwide network of branches.
Turners’ Specialist Branches:
- Cars: Each week we put hundreds of cars under the hammer, and our regular auction calendar caters for everything from budget cars, late model cars to light commercial vehicles and even prestige cars.
- BuyNow: Our branches provide access to a wide range of stock, including cars, trucks and machinery, at a fixed price. We call this BuyNow. This means that when buyers see something they like, they have the opportunity to purchase ‘on the spot’, without having to go through the auction process.
- Trucks & Machinery: Whether for agricultural, freight, forestry, transport, roading or mining, our Trucks and Machinery branches successfully sell assets for a wide variety of industries. These are sold through our weekly, online ‘National Truck and Machinery Auction’ as well as by event auction, tender and BuyNow.
- Damaged & End of Life Cars: Our Damaged and End of Life Cars branches specialise in turning damaged, wrecked and written off vehicles into dollars, and are used by many of the country’s largest insurers and court seized cars. With almost every type of vehicle going under the hammer including motorcycles, damaged motorcycles, damaged trucks and trailers, damaged light commercials and cars at the end of their life.
- Turners Finance: With dedicated staff operating at every Turners branch around the country, our Finance team represents a fast-growing segment of our business. It provides personal finance for a range of purposes, from car loans to holidays and offers highly competitive terms and rates.
- General Goods: Every week our General Goods branches sell thousands of items for vendors including receivers and liquidators, insurers, wholesalers, importers and general business. From machinery to clothing, computers to electronics, catering equipment to whiteware, alcohol to appliances; you name it, we have almost certainly sold it.