• audi
  • seat
  • porsche
  • jaguar
  • landrover
  • volvo




1918 - 1930: Early Years

1918 Following service in WW1, Alexander J. Archibald begins a small motor engineering business.
1920 Following service in WW1, Alexander J. Archibald begins a small motor engineering business.
1926 Archibalds purchases and builds on neighbouring tennis court – extending the dealership for 2000 pounds.
1927 Archibalds takes on the first of several franchises in Christchurch, Oldsmobile.
1930 Archibalds exclusive handling of American cars ends. The first European in the range was the Jowett.

1932 - 1950: The Rise of 'Euro's'

1932 A hire fleet is created, making Archibalds the only company in the South Island to do so.
1935 Archibalds begin selling Morris cars, but finish selling them three years later in 1938.
1936 Archibalds appointed the Canterbury and West Coast franchise holder for Citroen.
1946 AJ Archibald’s sons Ray and Ian join the company.
1947 Work begins on Archibalds Antigua St building. This was completed 4 years later in 1951.
1948 AJ Archibald retires to spend more time at his favourite spot, his holiday home at Hanmer. AJ gradually phased himself out after his son Noel joined the firm.
1948 Luxury cars Armstrong-Siddeley are imported, an association that would last until the demise of the Sapphire in 1960.
1950 Jaguar franchise obtained from Tozer Kemsley and Millbourne, when the MkV was in production.

1950 - 1970: Racing & Oxford Terrace

1952 Ray Archibald begins hill-climbing with a near new XK120. Ray later wins two consecutive New Zealand saloon car championships, sparking public interest in Jaguar and earning Archibalds a reputation for performance, expertise and familiarity with the marque.
1964 The company's rental business is sold to Hertz.
1966 A remodelled Oxford Terrace site is opened. Designed by Christchurch architect Don Donniothorne, the building incorporated part of the original stable building and part of the ‘new’ building of 1926.

1970 - 1990: Fairhall Makes His Mark

1971 A young law student named John Fairhall begins work at the garage as a part-time car groomer.
1972 John Fairhall begins work as a trainee salesman. His own vehicular transport forever in a million pieces at home, the young trainee would cycle to work on his pushbike.
Mid 70s Business booming, Barry Evans is employed as a second salesman and John Fairhall promotes himself to used car manager and moved into a company car – a Morris 1100 with a book value of $400. The two sold 35 cars in their first month together.
Early 1980s New Managing Director John Fairhall acquires dealership licences for Porsche and Audi from the Giltrap group.
1984/85 Oxford Terrace showroom space is expanded from 4 cars to 20.
1985 Shorter Car Distributors is bought in a joint venture between Colin Giltrap and Archibalds. The companies Volvo, Alfa Romeo and Citroen dealerships are sold to Ebbetts Motors of Hamilton and a year later the company moves to the first purpose-built Jaguar-only outlet in Australasia.
1986 Jaguar New Zealand is named as the New Zealnd importer and distributor of Jaguar products. John Fairhall is named as the chairman and Russell Reynolds the managing director.

1990 - 2015: Tuam Street

1991 Archibalds are awarded rights to distribute Land Rover in Christchurch.
1997 BMW purchases Land Rover and merges BMW and Land Rover dealerships. Land Rover terminates Archibalds rights to distribute Christchurch.
1998 Archibalds purchases Trevor Crowe motors.
2002 Trevor Crowe motors becomes Archibalds Subaru and is moved to Antigua/Saint Asaph St.
2004 Jaguar and Volvo brands are moved to Manchester St.
2008 Audi brand is moved to Manchester St, Jaguar and Volvo moved back to Tuam/Saint Asaph St, rights to distribute Subaru are sold to Armstrong Motor Group.
2009 Archibalds build the first 'Audi terminal' in Australasia.
2013 Archibalds open their biggest investment yet, a two story dedicated showroom, administrative workshop and service complex alongside the Audi terminal and opposite the original dealership site.
2017 Work begins on a stand-alone Porsche dealership on the corner of Antigua and Tuam Street.