Horowhenua Motor Company employes 17 staff including:
Trish Squirrell: Administration
Maria Hirini: Administration
New Cars & Trucks
Jono Vinsen - Parts Manager
James Forsyth - Parts Representative
Service Department (8 Technicians including)
Jack Bowick - Service Manager (19 years)
Ray Fritchley - Technician (25 years)
Company Directors Chris and Gary McKelvie
Dealer Principal Gary McKelvie started as a motor mechanic apprentice in 1969 with Wrightcars. He started with the Sales Department in 1982, selling new and used trucks and cars. In 1990 he bought into the business and in 2006 he and wife Chris bought the remaining shares in the business and property.
Chris McKelvie spent 10 years at a Mitsubishi dealership and married Gary in 1982. She raised two children and then joined Horowhenua Motor Company in 2001, filling the role of Administration Manager
Horowhenua Motor Company had its origins back in 1928 when Wright Stephens bought the land on the corner of Oxford and Stanley Streets. It was previously owned by J. C. Milne Garage, a Ford dealership. The land was leased back to J. C. Milne until 1938 when Wright Stephens took it over and started the General Motors franchise, with agencies for Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac Chevrolet and Vauxhall Bedford.
In 1950 the property on the corner of Oxford and Exeter Streets was bought. In 1975 Wrightsons and Fletcher Challenge amalgamated and the name Wrightcars was given to their motor divisions. In 1968 the new dealership was built on their land on the corner of Oxford and Exeter Streets.
1970 saw the establishment of the Holden franchise, and Fletchers sold the property and leased it back. In 1990 Fletcher Challenge decided to sell their Wrightcars dealerships. A staf buyout by Mike Hurley, Carey Gapper and Gary McKelvie was accomplished.
Carey Gapper retired in 2001 and Mike Hurley reitred in 2006, and Gary and Chris McKelvie purchased the remaining shares from them.