• Archibalds Heritage

About Archibalds

Established in 1918, today Archibalds represents the quality brands of Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, SEAT, CUPRA, and Volvo, as well as providing professional vehicle servicing, car parts, auto finance, and more.

Our Mission

Archibalds exists to help our customers purchase a vehicle that best suits their personal tastes and requirements, and to serve those customers with their vehicle care needs throughout the life of their vehicle ownership.

Our aim is not just to be seen as a world-class vehicle dealership, but to be seen as our demographic’s favourite place to do business.

We believe in…

Excellence

Every effort at Archibalds is aimed at Excellence. Whether we’re tightening the locknuts on your wheels, polishing your car, making your coffee or explaining the features of your vehicle, we aim to do it with excellence… in order to make your experience excellent.

Bespoke

Purchasing a new car is like buying a tailored suit. At Archibalds we will tailor a vehicle to your lifestyle and desires, offering high levels of customisation and ensuring your vehicle is a true expression of your identity.

Premium Selection

We believe our hand-picked stable of luxury marques is one of the best in New Zealand. Individually, each marque stocked represents a different style of vehicle ideal for a certain type of person. Collectively they cover almost every lifestyle imaginable.

Life Customers

At Archibalds, once we attain your custom, we want to keep it for life. Many of our customers have been with us for over 40 years. Our customers value our passion for matching people with vehicles and the time and attention we give to keeping them in pristine working order.

Our History

1918 – 1930: Early Years

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

1932 – 1950: The Rise of ‘Euro’s’

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

1950 – 1970: Racing & Oxford Terrace

1952Ray 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.
1964The company’s rental business is sold to Hertz.
1966A 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

1971A young law student named John Fairhall begins work at the garage as a part-time car groomer.
1972John 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.
1984/85Oxford Terrace showroom space is expanded from 4 cars to 20.
1985Shorter 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.
1986Jaguar 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 – 2017: Tuam Street

1991Archibalds are awarded rights to distribute Land Rover in Christchurch.
1997BMW purchases Land Rover and merges BMW and Land Rover dealerships. Land Rover terminates Archibalds rights to distribute Christchurch.
1998Archibalds purchases Trevor Crowe motors.
2002Trevor Crowe motors becomes Archibalds Subaru and is moved to Antigua/Saint Asaph St.
2004Jaguar and Volvo brands are moved to Manchester St.
2008Audi 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.
2009Archibalds build the first ‘Audi terminal’ in Australasia.
2013Archibalds 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.
2017Work begins on a stand-alone Porsche dealership on the corner of Antigua and Tuam Street.

2021: Archibalds and the Miles Group

2021Archibalds becomes part of the Miles Group, under the ownership of Bruce Miles. Bruce’s many years in the Christchurch automotive industry will help take Archibalds to new levels to meet a rapidly changing industry.