Beginning of a new era as Honda NZ takes the wheel in Nelson

It’s fair to say COVID-19 has been the catalyst that has caused us to review all our operations. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.

Here is an announcement from Bowater Honda CEO & BMG Director Chris Bowater.

chris bowater

"Regretfully, after 47 years our partnership with Honda NZ will come to an amicable and mutually agreed, end. We will be a leaner organisation going forward but we will actually come through these changes in good shape, more focused and determined than ever to continue to successfully serve the Nelson / Tasman communities for many more years to come.

With such an extensive history with Honda NZ, I have been privileged to work closely with their senior exec team for many years now but more particularly over the last few months as we’ve collectively explored a number of scenarios for Honda operations in Nelson. Collectively we have managed to achieve what we believe will be a good solution for all involved. A solution that focuses on our customers whilst also taking care of all our very good, Award Winning, Bowater Honda team. We’ve achieved an outcome that will see Bowater Honda staff having either ongoing employment opportunity directly with Honda NZ based in their new purpose built premises in Stoke or opportunities elsewhere within the Bowater Motor Group, with all able to remain employed in Nelson / Tasman.

I want to acknowledge and personally thank Honda NZ for their kind words and for their support as we work together through these changing times."

2020 honda awards 

Honda New Zealand’s Managing Director, Nobuya Sonoda says: “Honda New Zealand has a long and proud history with the Nelson community. We started out with our manufacturing facility here in 1980, initially for our Honda Civic model, and eventually transitioned into our current national distribution and fit out centre on Elm Street.

“Over the past 40 years our relationship with our customers has been incredibly well supported through a trusted partnership with the Bowater family. Today, we’re announcing that this partnership is coming to an amicable end, where Honda New Zealand will be “jumping into the drivers’ seat and taking the wheel” here in Nelson.