Cooke Howlison was founded in 1895 by Frederick Cooke and Edward Howlison, who started out manufacturing bicycles in Great King Street. 

The first car sold by Cooke Howlison was a single cylinder Rover in 1907. This was followed by a number of Buicks, which was the start of a very successful relationship with General Motors. In 1963, the Cooke family sold the business to the Marsh family, who embarked on an ambitious growth strategy under the management of Graeme Marsh.

The group now employs over 300 staff from 10 dealerships in Otago and Canterbury, with franchises for BMW, Holden, Hyundai, Isuzu Trucks, Isuzu Utes, MINI, Renault, Scania, MG, and Toyota. Managing Director, John Marsh, is proud of the award winning reputation that Cooke Howlison has earned, and their generous support of the local community.

1895 - Frederick Cooke and Edward Howlison establish Cooke Howlison as a bicycle shop

1903 - Cooke Howlison begins manufacturing Record motorcycles

1907 - Cooke Howlison imports its first car, a Rover, sold from the Hanover St premises

1938 - Record total of 370 Chevrolets sold by Cooke Howlison

1955 - First Holden sold by Cooke Howlison

1963 - Marsh families purchase Cooke Howlison

1966 - Andersons Bay branch opened

1977 - Purchases Wrightscars Vauxhall-Bedford

1979 - G. J. Marsh family purchases Blackwell Motors Holden Christchurch

1980 - Opens Dunedin's largest specialist truck workshop

1986 - All operations moved to redeveloped Andersons Bay Rd site

1989 - Purchases Wrightcars Toyota (Dunedin and Mosgiel)

1992 - Toyota dealership relocates to Andersons Bay Rd site, Holden dealership to Princes St

1994 - New truck dealership in Teviot St

1995 - Holden/BMW start at new dealership in Andersons Bay Rd

2003 - New BMW dealership opens in Andersons Bay Rd

2009 - Hyundai dealership opens in Colston St

2014 - Campbells Toyota in Balclutha purchased

2015 - 120 years in business

2017 - New Holden dealership developed in Cromwell   

2019 - New Toyota showroom,  Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin

2020 - Redeveloped Isuzu dealership , Teviot Street , Dunedin

2020 - Isuzu Utes and Renault purchased, Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin

2021 - MG Dealership opens in Colston St