Holland's Suzuki is a Christchurch institution. With a huge base of devoted customers, the business is known for outstanding customer service as well as its innovative servicing and customer loyalty programmes.
Looking at Holland’s eye-catching Suzuki showroom on Shakespeare Road and their growing branch in Timaru, it’s hard to believe this thriving business started as a cycle shop.
It all began with Gordon’s dad Mick Holland, a prominent motorcycle speedway racer. After a successful stint overseas he returned to New Zealand, married Alison in 1941 and the couple bought a small cycle shop. Here they sold a Swedish brand with thin wheels, and the new English Humber for a princely 12 pounds each.
Given Mick's experience and passion for motorcycle racing, the move from pedals to petrol was only natural. World speedway champion Ivan Mauger sent Mick and Alison a motorcycle that showcased some of the new technology coming through, and before long they were selling Jawas and Suzukis.
Gordon remembers, “Rod Coleman had just appointed us as a Suzuki franchise dealer so my parents sent me to their conference. That’s when I saw the Suzuki AC50 Maverick. It was incredible for that era – a stylish 50cc motorcycle with angled rear shocks, chrome springs and telescopic forks. The dealers rushed up to order 5 each. I put down 5, then when no-one was looking I added a 0 to make it 50!”
“Three months later a truck turned up and my father said, ‘Which crate is ours?’ I said, ‘The whole lot Dad.’ He swore, ‘Good God. Do you know what you’ve done?’ I replied, ‘I hope so, Dad.’ They sold within a month while all the other dealers ran out of stock.”
In 1964 with the assistance of Shell Oil, Holland's built a service station with a huge showroom to display the Suzuki motorbike range. This was unheard of at the time and became a Christchurch icon. Sadly when the road was widened the service station had to go. By then it was the 1980’s and people were moving from two wheels to four, so Holland's took the opportunity to launch into selling Suzuki cars and SUVs.
Today Holland's remains a family business. Gordon continues to carry the torch, supported by his wife Win and a loyal team of dedicated staff delivering an unmatched level of service to the community.
With his entrepreneurial flair, Gordon believes that the best form of advertising is word of mouth – and that every satisfied customer generates ongoing business. That certainly seems to be the case as Holland's goes from strength to strength. They’ve been the biggest-selling Suzuki dealer in New Zealand for many years, and you can be assured Holland's will be serving Canterbury for many years to come.