From its humble beginnings in 1934, CMV’s founder Sidney Crawford set out to specialise in the sale and service of commercial vehicles to support the transport industry. A difficult task during the Great Depression, although Sidney had foreseen the pivotal role transport would play in Australia’s recovery. With British Leyland trucks and the Diamond T brand, CMV commenced trading and quickly grew to dominate the truck sales and service market.
In 1968, under Sidney’s son Jim Crawford, CMV began to experience considerable change. Under Jim’s leadership, the next two decades were a period of unprecedented expansion and diversification and saw an increase in operations and profits. Jim had a vision that CMV would sell a vehicle for everyone, not just commercial vehicles, a vision that was achieved through expanding both the business’ brands and locations.
This expansion was demonstrated through the further development of the CMV Group. Whilst running the company, Jim oversaw the creation of three divisions, CMV Automotive, CMV Trucks and CMV Farms, which were further nurtured by three of his sons, Michael, Paul and David. To this day, all three divisions continue to grow, both through revenue and the acquisition of new franchises.
Based on the belief that no one commercial vehicle manufacturer is able to satisfy all the demands of the marketplace, the decision was made in the 1970’s that the CMV Group had the ability to handle multiple franchises. This belief and the hard work that followed helped to consolidate the Company’s position as a market leader in the supply and after sales support of heavy vehicles in South Australia and Victoria. Currently CMV has 16 trucking and parts businesses throughout South Australia and Victoria. These include South Central Trucks in South Australia and CMV Truck and Bus with 6 locations throughout Victoria, all proud suppliers of Mack Trucks. As well as providing new and used, small, medium and heavy duty trucks, trailers and buses, and parts and service support, CMV also conducts contracted maintenance of trucks, on the customer’s sites throughout Australia or at CMV dealerships.
In 1978, the Agricultural Division of the group was born, with the aim to contribute to the prosperity of the CMV Group through a diversification into the agricultural field. Currently specialising in wine grapes, pistachios and almonds, CMV Farms has land in Robinvale and Lindsay Point in Victoria, as well as Murtho and Langhorne Creek in South Australia.
Although CMV had been in the automotive market since the 1960’s through the sale of Toyota vehicles, it was the late 1980’s and 1990’s that saw a change in strategy through expansion and consolidation. It was during the 1990’s that the CMI Toyota operation began to expand in all directions resulting in 4 metropolitan locations and CMI Toyota becoming the number 1 Toyota dealership for passenger and commercial vehicle sales in South Australia. In 1997 the existing Adelaide City Chrysler Jeep dealership underwent a major redevelopment and after the building works were completed, the business grew strongly, with the Jeep range being joined by Chrysler, Dodge and in 2009, Great Wall Motors, enhancing the potential of the dealership. 1997 also saw the inception of Lexus of Adelaide, as CMV ventured into the luxury car market, providing a different demographic with a growing product range, quality and innovative levels of customer care. Almost a decade later, the CMV Group proudly announced the acquisition of an existing Suzuki dealership, which was relocated to sit alongside CMI Toyota Southside, where it continues to trade today. Further expansion was undertaken in 2012, with the purchase of Adelaide’s sole Mercedes-Benz dealership, Mercedes-Benz Adelaide.
CMV GROUP AND THE FUTURE
Today CMV is one of Australia’s largest privately owned companies, employing over 1000 staff in Australia with an annual turnover of $800m.
In 2009 the CMV Group celebrated 75 years in business and the company continues to prosper under the guidance of Jim’s three sons, Michael, Paul and David who continue to live up to the standards set by their grandfather and father. The CMV Group is a leader in the motor industry, setting high benchmarks for others to follow, especially in the area of skills training with ‘stand alone’ apprentice training facilities established at a number of sites in both South Australia and Victoria. With a continued focus on both our customers and our staff and supported by first class products and facilities, the CMV Group intends to continue to grow and develop into the future.