In 1977 Roy Hartog, Ricky Hartog’s father formed Southern Motor Holdings. Thereafter, in 1990, the company moved to a new building and housed Land Rover, Jaguar and Subaru. In 1995 there was notable growth in the 4X4 market and Sandton Land Rover was opened in the heart of Sandton CBD. In September 1997 a separate facility opened for Jaguar due to the involvement of Ford with Jaguar vehicles. We experienced growth in our own network in the Sandton area in 1999. We then opened Waterford Land Rover in February.
In 2001, Auto Glen Motors - the first of the BMW dealerships - was opened in the South of Johannesburg. Thereafter, in 2003, we opened PAG Bedfordview which was a multi-franchise operation. This establishment housed Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo. That same year the first PAG approved panel shop was developed in Longmeadow. We then received approval from Subaru and later from Ford and Mazda. Later in the year, we started a separate Financial Services company was born and this created better focus in the Finance and Insurance business within each of our dealerships. We also decided to create a car hire department with a fleet of over 40 cars.
In 2008, SMH Car Hire opened in Cape Town with 35 vehicles. This became known as the largest Land Rover owner in South Africa. Finally, in 2009 we opened new Subaru premises in Bryanston which is the first dealership that is compliant with the latest international corporate identity standards of the automotive division of Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries. In the same year, we opened a new SMH Car Hire outlet in Bryanston.