Smith Motor Company was first established in 1922, founded by Bert and Mort Smith, in Port Adelaide. Hans Ehmann purchased the business in 1987 and significant expansion followed. Smith Motor Company became Smith Motor Group.
After 100 years in the industry, Smith Motor Group has now transitioned to be One SMG. We are a proud South Australian business, employing around 300 people. We continue to be a trusted and reliable partner for our network and the brands we represent.
To find out more about our journey over the past 100 years, explore our visual timeline below.
Smith Motor Company was established by brothers Bert (Herbert Oscar Smith) & Mort Smith. The business was located at Godfrey Street, Port Adelaide.
Bert Smith bought his brother’s share and relocated to a bigger site at 171 Commercial Road, Port Adelaide. The site was previously utilised by British Australian Lead Manufacturers who later became Dulux. Bert continued trading at Commercial Road through the tough depression and World War 2 sustaining operations by providing a reconditioning service to war vehicles to get them moving again.
Smith Motor Company established a relationship with General Motors representing Chevrolet, Buick and Vauxhall vehicles.
With the introduction of Holden in 1948, Smith Motor Company became a sub-agent franchised Holden dealership. Holden vehicles were represented alongside Rugby, Morris and Hudson.
Expansion during the 50’s saw the development of a large used vehicle yard, crash repair shop and re-conditioning division.
Under the management of Bert Smith and his son Max (Maxwell Herbert Smith), the company continued to provide quality service to the community of Port Adelaide.
Bert Smith passed away, aged 73. Max Smith succeeded his father to run the business as Dealer Principal.
Prior to his death, Bert recorded a historical narration of Smith Motor Company (record date unknown).
Press play to listen.
Smith Motor Company was in its 64th year of business and after 16 years as Dealer Principal, Max Smith passed away unexpectedly.
Hans Ehmann purchased the Smith Motor Company from the Smith family. Soon thereafter the company began to expand, innovate, and diversify under his leadership to become Smith Motor Group.
The thriving Port Adelaide dealership at 271 Commercial Road was consolidated paving the way for the construction of the new “Smiths of Port Adelaide” - a highly visible, modern dealership that is remembered fondly.
Smith Motor Group began rapidly expanding, reinvesting its success into the acquisition of new businesses growing its footprint across Australia and the communities in which it supports.
Clare Valley, SA
Port Augusta, SA
Hans Ehmann took over the Port Adelaide Dealership as Dealer Principal / Owner.
Smith Motor Group diversified operations with the establishment of a Fleet Management and leasing business StreetFleet. Operations were conducted from the “Green Shed” at 316 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide. Today, StreetFleet’s network supports Australia and New Zealand.
The expansion of Smith Motor Group’s portfolio gathered pace through a number of successful business acquisitions.
Port Pirie, SA
Broken Hill, NSW
Port Lincoln, SA
Murray Bridge, SA
Smiths of Port Adelaide were presented with an award for ‘50 Years of Service’ as a Holden Dealer.
The Group Management team was established and the corporate unit moved into premises on the corner of Butler & Lipson Street, Port Adelaide.
Smith Motor Group diversified into the caravan market with the acquisition of Dave Benson Caravans. The business relocated to its current location at 64 Grand Junction Road, Kilburn in 2012. This site is the largest permanent caravan display in the southern hemisphere.
The Group Management and StreetFleet team relocated to Corporate Offices at 111 Gawler Place, Adelaide. They remain based here today.
The "Smiths of Port Adelaide" dealership was sold. However, Smiths Bodyshop, Port Adelaide remains operational to this day. Our collision Repair centres are now located in
Port Adelaide, SA
Port Augusta, SA
The Smith Motor Group achieves 100 years of business.
The group brand is transformed into One SMG, capturing our bold new vision for the future as we embark on the next 100 years of business.