Vale Dot Townshend

Hawke’s Bay motor industry identity and Bayswater Vehicle Group founding shareholder, Dot Townshend, has passed away.

Before her death, Dot remained actively involved in the business, held extensive property interests, and supported local philanthropic causes, especially relating to the Arts and Youth.

Dot’s lengthy involvement in the Hawke’s Bay automotive industry began 65 years ago when she and her late husband, Charlie Townshend, purchased J.E. Peach and Company, renaming the business Townshend Motors.

The Townshend family have paid tribute to Hawke’s Bay motor industry identity and Bayswater Vehicle Group founding shareholder Dot Townshend, who died aged 90 on July 13 after a short battle with cancer.

After the death of her husband Charlie Townshend more than 31 years ago, Dot founded Bayswater Vehicles Limited with her son Robert (Rob). Since then, the family says Bayswater Vehicle Group has grown from a small corner site in Napier with a single vehicle brand to the present day, having seven dealerships representing nine brands in Hawke’s Bay and more recently, Manawatu. 

Before her death, the family says Dot remained actively involved in the business. She also held extensive property interests and supported local philanthropic causes especially relating to the Arts and Youth. 

According to the Townshend family, Dot’s involvement in the Hawkes Bay automotive industry began 65 years ago when she and Charlie (and Charlie’s brother George) purchased J.E. Peach and Company. 

The business was renamed Townshend Motors and represented David Brown tractors, Hillman, Chrysler, Commer Trucks and operated a Europa fuel station. In the early days, the business was headquartered in central Napier and boasted a modern facility with a second-floor workshop: an innovative design feature for the time. In later years, as Townshend Motors expanded, it became most notably associated with the Mitsubishi brand. 

Following Charlie’s death in 1997, Townshend Motors controversially passed to new ownership. Dot and Rob invested their remaining equity into founding Bayswater Vehicle Group, which the family says has grown to a dominant force in Hawke’s Bay and a nationally recognised automotive group. 

The Townshend family says Dot will be fondly remembered for her strong mind for business, her vision, emotional intelligence, her extraordinary ability to close a deal and also for her kindness and friendship to many. 

Source: AutoTalk

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