HAIGH AUSTRALIA CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF TRADE
The company says it is Australia’s leading supplier of automotive, caravanning, and leisure products
In 2020, Haigh Australia celebrates 50 years of trade. The company was originally founded in 1970 as Douglas Haigh and Associates; a family-owned operation with a buy-and-sell business plan and an 80m2 warehouse space in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, Victoria.
Joining shortly after the company formation was Rick Greville, a previous associate of Douglas Haigh. Together, Douglas and Rick worked tirelessly to build relationships with retailers and within 12 months had started importing stock lines from abroad; most notably, King Klik Rivets from the UK.
In 1971 after considerable growth, the decision was made to amalgamate with Morey Equity Pty Ltd. This merger immediately saw an increase in business, and with it came a realisation that a larger space was required. This led to the acquisition of a new 325m2 warehouse in nearby Abbotsford.
The newly re-named Morey Haigh and Associates Pty Ltd continued to see exponential growth, year upon year, and before long, the company acquired a neighbouring block of land to build an adjacent 325m2 warehouse that was to accommodate an expansion into manufacturing.
Equipment was sourced from South Australia, and soon Morey Haigh and Associates Pty Ltd was in the business of manufacturing its own lines of battery terminals, earth straps, and starter cables.
With continuous growth the deciding factor, 1982 saw the company embark on another move to a 12,000ft2 facility that could accommodate an office, showroom, and much larger warehouse space in Scoresby.
This new space allowed the company to take more control over its stock and, more importantly, allowed expansion of its manufacturing capability. This time also saw the introduction of distribution agents in each state to help the company streamline supply outside of its Victorian base.
The 80s saw increased market share, year after year, and the decision was made to open a second office based in Sydney, NSW, as the appointed agents simply could not cope with the company’s continual growth.
In 1990, the company acquired Sunland Agencies, a well-respected manufacturer of dashmats and floormats based in Salisbury on Brisbane’s southside. This acquisition opened the door for a Brisbane office to take over trading in Queensland, where this had previously been handled by an agent.
1993 marked another name change, this time to Haigh Australia Pty Ltd, and was also the year Brilaw Automotive, its largest distribution competitor, collapsed.
For Haigh, growth was the key word, and in 1995 another acquisition was made. The acquiring of Qld Motor Spares and Accessories (QMSA) reportedly gave them a major advantage with “an unrivalled product range and an extensive customer base.”
In 2000, Haigh Australia says it recognised the need for a variety of unique house-brands to help differentiate between product categories. This led to the creation of Cargo Mate, Battery Link and Orcon; three mainstay brands in their respective categories.
2001 saw the relocation of Haigh’s Brisbane office to its current location in Darra, and the wealth of opportunities presented led to Brisbane becoming the new Head Office for the company. The increased size of the new location meant the dashmat manufacturing process could also be accommodated on-site, which the company says meant a much higher level of quality control and productivity than ever before.
In 2005, Haigh acquired Protective Plastics, based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland; a plastics molding operation that produced bonnet protectors, headlight protectors, and weather shields for vehicles.
With Sunland Dashmats, Floormats, and Protective Plastics now under the Haigh umbrella, Haigh Australia says it was able to refine both the material sourcing and manufacturing processes, “to become Australia’s largest and most respected distributor of vehicle-specific products.”
2011 also saw the company move into the previously unchartered territory of caravan, leisure, and 4WD products, which saw the Explore and Mean Mother 4X4 brands emerge.
In the decade since moving into the caravan, leisure, and 4WD market, Haigh says it has become a well-respected supplier for these products due to dedication to innovation, education, and manufacturing standards.
“Our success is built on continued innovation, quality products, and a reputation for impeccable customer service,” Haigh Australia Managing Director, Alan McMahon, said.
Haigh has also recently been involved in extensive research and development of 4WD recovery boards. It explains this has resulted in the Exitrax range which it says is “arguably the biggest innovation in recovery boards with worldwide patents pending.”
For more information, visit www.haigh.com.au