About Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars
Col Crawford Motors is one of Australia's largest multi franchise car dealerships, encompassing 11 new car manufacturers BMW, GMSV, GWM Haval, Hyundai, Isuzu UTE, Jeep, KIA, LDV, MG, Renault, Suzuki, and two used car operations in Brookvale and North Narrabeen, across two locations on Sydney Northern Beaches.
As a third generation family business, we have been proudly serving the Northern beaches community for 56 years, and we take great pride in offering our customers dedicated service at competitive prices to meet all your motoring requirements.
Col Crawford's main focus is to provide superior and efficient automotive services, while maintaining its reputation as a leading company in excellent customer service. We go the extra mile to ensure that your first visit to Col Crawford is definitely not your last, and we endeavour to build a community feeling amongst our staff and customers.
When asked what made the dealership so successful, Stephen said
“We are proud of our heritage and strong community ties with the Northern Beaches area. The majority of our customer base is from the Northern Beaches so it makes sense that we have invested in our community. This business is well established and successful and bases its operations on good ethics, professionalism and customer service”.
When quizzed on what factors gave Stephen the confidence to continue to grow the business into the future, Stephen replied
"although too early to gauge at this stage, I have three sons, with two of them recently joining the business there is every likelihood Col Crawford’s will be a third generation family dealership. Further, having great staff around me is essential. Over the years we have had the pleasure of employing many different people and being associated with them as well as the families they support. The company has always tried to successfully promote staff from within and we are proud to provide career paths within the motor vehicle industry".
History of a family owned business
At the age of 16 Col Crawford left school to commence his Automobile career with York Motors. This was the start of an incredible journey in the motor industry, which resulted in his opening Col Crawford Motors 17 years later at age 33.
Will Crawford, the youngest of Stephen Crawford’s son’s has joined
Will joins his father, Stephen, who is the owner and managing director of the business along with older brothers, Harrison and Jake. Harrison has worked in various departments and is now a general manager for one of the company’s leading brands. Jake initially specialised in the important service side and is now in our finance department as a business manager.
All 3 grandsons were educated at The Shore School in Sydney. They, as do their father and grandfather, have an immense passion for the business and everything it stands for. That includes its position in the community, employing over 230 people and being involved in variety of community activities. Having a huge customer base is the core importance of our business with the goal being to continue to look after our customer's motoring needs, having long-term associations with our brands and suppliers.
It is an exciting time as we keep up with the evolving changes in the car industry and along with their father, it will be the boy’s generation that leads the company into the new frontier. This will mean being involved in Electric Vehicle’s later this year, with new technologies and move with the consumer’s changing buying requirements. One thing is for sure, at Col Crawford’s there will be key staff that live and breathe the business who are attached to our customer’s needs not only today but also tomorrow.
Celebrating 50 years on the Northern Beaches
The size of the business has grown significantly over the 50 years since Mr Crawford commenced as a small used car dealer on this very spot 50 years ago. It remains to this day a family business, privately owned and still operating from its original site - known as The Corner Store.
The third generation
Mr Crawford is very proud of Stephen’s achievements and the fact that Stephen’s two eldest son’s, Harrison and Jake (third generation Crawfords) have joined the company with one more grandson to come. How fortunate is Mr Col Crawford?
Under Stephens's leadership the business has doubled in size and is still expanding. Millions of dollars have been spent on service and spare parts facilities to facilitate all the modern comforts for our customers. A magnificent showroom for our flagship franchise the prestigious and beautiful BMW has been built.
The Order of Australia
On Australia day 1997 Col Crawford was recognised for his long standing charity and community efforts by being awarded with an Order of Australia. An honour he cherishes to this day.
A new era
In 1990 Col Crawford passed the running of the business to his son, Stephen which was the beginning of a new era.
In 1984 expansion and improvement of the premises continued and a Million Dollar showroom was opened. Additional franchises were acquired. The overall business was flying. It was also that year that our first Charity Golf Day began for the Spastic Centre of NSW, now known as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. To date Mr Crawford's fundraising has raised in excess of 2.9 million dollars and this being the 30th year of the event we are expecting to pass the 3 Million Dollar mark.
In the community
During the 1970's the business was increasing in size and volume with the continual demand for more display area. At this time Col Crawford became a very active member of the Rotary Club of Warringah and became the clubs first District Governor. The annual "Charity Fair Day" saw the dealership close for one day of the year, to invite the community and all local charities to come onto the premises for "Charity Day" in which money and awareness were raised for local charity organisations.
The Datsun Era
Some 12 months later Col was offered the Datsun - now know as Nissan - and the BMW franchise which he accepted, retaining the Honda car franchise as well. During the 1970's the business was increasing in size and volume with the continual demand for more display area.
Using the laundry of a burnt-out house as his office, Col Crawford set up 8 cars on the block and borrowed 6 more cars from friends to make the display more impressive. May 1967 was the beginning. The big question was - would he make it?
With a young family to support, Mr. Crawford worked 7 days a week to establish the family business. Initially selling used cars, then the expansion commenced with the acquisition of adjoining properties which allowed the new Honda Motorcycles, Fiat, Rambler, Alpha Romeo and Honda Cars to be displayed. The motorcycles were a huge success but were handed back to the distributor.