It’s a Family Thing

Melbourne Auto Institution celebrates 50 years

At Melbourne’s premier car dealerships, it’s not just vehicles that go the distance. This week, Penfold Motors celebrates 50 years of trading – proving that great relationships go the distance too.

The family-owned and operated firm began trading in 1964 from a humble used car yard in Blackburn. And thanks to a strong focus on customer service and genuinely treating customers as one of the family, the company has grown into a successful consolidation of flagship Audi, Holden and Mazda dealerships across Melbourne.

Managing Director, Greg Johnstone said: ‘It’s a remarkable achievement and something we’re extremely proud of. I think, generally, people fear being pressured when they visit car dealerships, or don’t enjoy or aren’t experienced at negotiating. People are, quite rightly, afraid of paying too much. But we’re about creating long term relationships, not making one off sales. That means we’re always friendly and we make everything as easy and convenient as possible’.

Looking to the future

To mark its 50th anniversary, Penfold has launched a brand new look and feel – including a new logo and website – which better reflects the way the business works and matches its strong ambition.

While the way Penfold looks has changed, one thing that remains the same is the way they do business, explains Greg’s father and former Penfold MD, Alan Johnstone: ‘When people come to Penfold, they’re not buying a car but joining a big family. 75% of our business comes from repeat or referred customers. Hopefully this means we’re treating people right. There are several customers who’s children and grand children all buy and service their cars with us. We have a relationship with their entire family.’

Great relationships also account for how Penfold deals with staff and suppliers.
‘This year, many of our staff celebrate 10 years or more with Penfold, and we’ve excellent relationships with car manufacturers and distributors.’

In fact, wheels are already in motion on a new Audi dealership in Doncaster – which should be completed by the end of the year.


    • Hi there,

      Thank you for asking the question!

      Back in 1964, a young and entrepreneurial Alan Johnstone decided to start his own used car dealership in Blackburn. At the time, Preston Motors was one of the most prominent and respected Melbourne dealerships and was recognisable by it’s ‘PM’ logo.

      Still yet to decide on a name for his dealership, Alan shared a bottle of Penfolds wine with a friend. It was over this glass of red that Alan decided that Penfold Motors would be an iconic name for his new dealership. And so, Penfold Motors was born.


      Lucas – Penfold Motors

  1. Fleur Llewelyn

    Good Afternoon Gareth

    I am wanting a response to my below communication please by Friday 11th of December.


    Fleur Llewelyn

    Dr Fleur Llewelyn
    Manager | Clinical Education Program

    From: Fleur Llewelyn
    Sent: Friday, 27 November 2015 3:34 PM
    To: Gareth Bryant
    Subject: RE: Penfold Holden says thank-you
    Importance: High

    Good Afternoon

    I am seeking a refund to my extended warranty taken out on my new Holden Barina purchased last year as I believe that Penfold is unable to fulfil its contractual arrangements under this warranty. It does not seem to be that Penfold has the capability to continue to service Holdens. My Barina was recently serviced at Penfold Mazda. Shortly after servicing my change oil indicator came on. The Barina was taken back to Penfold Mazda and we were informed by mechanics at Penfold Mazda that they did not have the required computer program to reset this after the oil change was completed at the last service. We were then sent to Holden in Oakleigh South for this to be done. This was half a day of our extremely valuable time and money (extra travel and having to take time off work) wasted.

    Please advise of a resolution to this matter.


    Fleur Llewelyn

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