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The Bayford Group is the longest surviving family owned motor vehicle dealership in Australia.
It began as a small Ford dealership located in Fitzroy in 1917. The founder of the firm, Dick Bayford, had worked for the Ford Motor Company in America. When Dick returned to Melbourne he was intent on establishing his own business.
He viewed the sale of a car as the start of a lifetime relationship, and would do anything to preserve that relationship.
Dick's enthusiasm for customer service was to be the guiding principle of the business over the next 90 years.
This philosophy led to the business prospering throughout the stresses of Dick's death, the changes brought about by World War II, and the economic swings and roundabouts of the fifties and sixties.
Dick's nephew Alwin was Managing Director from 1946 to 1976. To him fell the daunting task of moving the dealership from its long-time home in Fitzroy to Preston. This move was successfully achieved in 1966.
At that stage, Bayford was a single franchise, single site enterprise employing 60 people. Today it is a seven site dealership employing several hundred people, and selling in excess of approx 500 new and used vehicles each month.
Although the business has developed to keep pace with modern technology, there remains a continuity of the corporate culture and the management philosophy of today’s team and Dick’s 1917 enterprise. The most important link is the continued emphasis and focus on customer satisfaction.
The business now has numerous computerised systems to ensure that its customers are regularly contacted to maintain their continued satisfaction.
The building and maintenance of lifetime relationships with customers remains the overriding aim of everything that Bayford does.
Although Bayford remains proud of its history, its focus is on the future. Bayford now aims to be class-leading in all aspects of customer service.
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