THE JOHN MARTIN GROUP JOURNEY
Our premises incorporate up-to-the-minute car dealership design concepts and an ongoing programme of upgrading and redecorating. Operated by our own in-house development team this keeps our premises in top condition.
The company was founded by John Martin in 1964. Utilising the expertise he gained as a mechanic with a company called Rossleigh in the 1950's, he set up in business on his own in the 'Lock up down the Lane' in Edinburgh. John Martin built his business from the outset on a philosophy of customer care. In the early days if he had finished the cars he had to service and repair by mid afternoon he would wash and valet the cars. Customers liked the service he provided and told their friends! The business grew.
He moved from the Lane to a garage, named 'Belmont' after an imposing house in the area. The Belmont name is still used today for many of our volume franchise operations, and is well known and respected by the Edinburgh motoring public.
John Martin was awarded his first new car franchise, Volvo, in 1969. This traded as Murrayfield Motor Company; the forerunner of today's Murray Motor Company.
The Company grew rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s with major investment in the Datsun, subsequently renamed Nissan, franchise. At one stage the Company achieved over 13% market share in Edinburgh, more than double the national average sales level for the franchise.
Concerns over the future direction of the Nissan franchise in the mid 1980s prompted the group's Directors to diversify the franchise holdings and others were added to the portfolio. Vauxhall, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Lotus were introduced by the end of the 1980s.
The speed of growth accelerated rapidly in the early 1990s. Amongst other events, the Citroen franchise was added in Dundee in 1995 where a large site, formally a kitchen warehouse , was the subject of a major refurbishment by the group's site development team to provide a state of the art dealership operation.
In the second half of the 1990s the Chrysler, Jeep and Suzuki franchises were added, making a number of the group's locations multi-franchise sites.
Although not a franchise or premises acquisition, the adoption of the Kerridge Computer system in 1989 was a key landmark in the group's development. Since this 'business control' system was introduced, the Group has been at the forefront of its development, often piloting new applications and software Enhancements. It is the focus on systems in Financial, Marketing and Customer Services areas that have been, and still are, a key differentiating factor between the Group and its competitors.