The Story Behind Co-Op Toyota
Co-operative Motors commenced operations in 1913, taking over the operations of the Hobart Motor Company, located at the bottom end of Elizabeth Street – close to Hobart’s dock area. As such, Co-op Motors proudly carries the mantle of being the longest-serving motor dealer in Australia.
Co-op’s first franchise was for a truck known as the R.E.O, which later became known as the Reo. This make survived until the early 1940’S when production ceased. In 1919, Dodge cars and Graham Bros. trucks came under the company’s wing. The association with Dodge, and later the brother Chrysler, lasted until 1959 when this franchise was relinquished in favour of Mercedes Benz.
1929 heralded the commencement of Co-op’s association with the Standard Motor Company, which was the forerunner to the Australian Motor Industries which in turn is now known as Toyota Motor Corporation Australia.
Through the years, Co-op has represented many famous manufacturers, some of which have since passed into oblivion. Well known makes such as Hupmobile, Deasey, Storleigh, Hotchkiss, Berliet, Waverley, Austin, Morris and Citroen all contributed in some way to the early progress of the company.
Co-Op Motors and Toyota
Toyota is the really successful name associated with Co-op Motors today. This came about in the late 1950s with the introduction of Toyota into Australia through the vision of the great Sir Leslie Thiess, who had imported a number of Toyota Landcruisers to work in his coal mining operations in Queensland. The vehicles stood up so well to the severe testing to which they were subjected, that he could see an opening for his business associates to purchase some of these vehicles which subsequently led to the establishment of Thiess Sales Pty Ltd.
In 1962, Co-op Motors was approached by executives of Thiess Sales who were seeking an outlet for the marketing of Toyota in Tasmania. Thus began a relationship that lasts until this day. Co-op Motors, or Co-op Toyota as it is more familiarly known today, is not only the biggest Toyota dealer in Tasmania, but also the largest new vehicle franchise in the state.
As Toyota became renowned with quality world-wide, Co-op Motors worked hard to match the quality of its vehicles with the quality of its service. In doing so, it established what is now a Co-op Motors tradition of selling cars to the same customers, over and over again. Co-op Motors have truly established a reputation for reliability, innovative design and economy.
Co-Op Motors Today
Up until 1979, Co-op Motors was a public company, but in that year it then became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Charles Davis Limited, and then in 1996, it was acquired by the Costelloe Family. In 1999, the Lexus luxury franchise was added to the business and continues as an important part of the company today.
Co-op Motors continues to be the market leader in the Tasmanian Automotive Industry, priding ourselves on the Company Values of Honesty, Commitment, Respect, Growth and Unity.
Visit us at 267 Argyle Street in Hobart Tasmania. If you would like to call us, please do so on 03 6230 1901.