Our Dealership – The History of Tommy Martin
The Early Days
Started in 1935 by Thomas Walter Martin as a simple service and petrol station, Tommy Martin today is a thriving GM dealership that sells Chevrolet, Opel & Isuzu vehicles, has a vehicle rental company and is dedicated to customer service excellence.
Thomas Walter Martin was born in Southampton, England and came to South Africa in 1921 as a ship’s engineer. He found a niche in bicycle trade and bought his first garage.
In 1936 the garage turned into Tommy Martin’s motors and was awarded a General Motors franchise.
Growth in the Family and Business
In 1938 the dealership building was enlarged to accommodate the growing business and by 1950 the dealership was large and a multi-storey building with workshop, spares department, offices and sales team was planned.
In 1954, Tommy’s only son Walter joined the business in the spares department. Sadly Tommy passed away in 1959 and his wife Gretha took over until 1980, when Walter took over the running of the dealership with his partner, Bob Fourie.
By 1989 the dealership had been re-built to be a new, modern turnkey showroom and sales facility. Moving forward a few years to 1998 and the late Warren Banfield purchased shares in the company. Then in 2001 the dealership moved into the present facility it occupies.
Over the last 78 years Tommy Martin has still managed to retain its friendly family atmosphere and dedication to customer excellence and the General Motors franchise.