Robert Martin started his fly-cab business in Winchester more than 100 years ago.
These two-three passenger horse-drawn vehicles were the first step in the Martin family’s aim to offer Hampshire motorists a first-class service, from showroom through to an aftersales centre. We then moved to The Broadway in central Winchester around 1910 where we operated a motorcycle franchise and sold used cars. Not long after that, a car hire business was established.
The 1960s & 70s
During the swinging 60s we ran Martins Self Drive, and then from the early 1970s, we opened Chandler’s Ford Motors in School Lane, Chandler’s Ford. Our first Volkswagen dealership was opened in Andover in 1979 and just three years later we added another Volkswagen showroom to the rapidly-expanding business.
In 1991, Rover and Nissan were added to our portfolio, with dealerships opening in Winchester. The doors to our state-of-the-art Audi showroom, adjacent to the Volkswagen franchise in Basingstoke, were opened in 1999.
The New Millennium
2005 was a busy year for Martins; we opened our first Renault dealership in Basingstoke, a Volkswagen showroom and aftersales service in Camberley, and changed the Winchester showroom from MG Rover to Renault. Between 2005 and 2006 we also introduced Nissan and Renault aftersales services in Andover, and opened a dedicated Volkswagen aftersales dealership in Farnham.
Our dedication to providing excellent customer service at all times has been recognised with a number of honours over the years.
In 1990 and 1991 we were awarded the Volkswagen ‘Blue Riband Dealer of Excellence’ award and we are five-time winners of the Volkswagen ‘Gold Pin’ recognition award for exceptional individual contributions within our Volkswagen dealerships. In addition to this we have twice been 'Diamond Pin' winners, which is the highest possible accolade. In 2007/08/09/10 we won the national award for 'Customer Service' in the Volkswagen commercial vehicle network.