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  • toyota 86

    Toyota 86: On the Right Track!

    The Toyota 86 is a legend in the making. It is a return to the pure fun of driving. Rear wheel, front engined with a very low centre of gravity. It has been winning Car of the Year awards all over the world, including being named the Top Gear Car of 2012 when it was first released! Fun starts when you press the button. Click here to learn more. New or used, Bowater Toyota can put you on the right track!
  • BMG Summer

    Drive your dream

    The Bowater Motor Group are ready to exceed your expectations, and make it possible to drive your dream today. A local, family owned company, we have been supporting the community since 1945 - and selling what we feel are the best cars the world has to offer, and servicing all makes and models from onsite workshops we are very proud of. We have a range second to none, with new cars in the showrooms from Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, & Isuzu. There is something for everyone, at every stage, new or used.
  • Hyundai Accent

    Need a a new Accent? See our Used Selection

    If you drive a small car, or are thinking about downsizing to a lower fuel use, more efficient smaller car for around town use, then you need to see the Hyundai Accent. This zippy little hot hatch has it all! Small on size but massive on features across the model range. We have a wide range of quality used vehicles like this one in our central Nelson Yard. Click here to find out more.

Drive your dream with Bowater's

Using our website - an easy how to guide

We like to do things right at The Bowater Motor Group.

That extends to our presence on the internet as well. We have invested in building a quality website that is safe and secure, fully and constantly virus scanned and full of interactive features.

To get the best out of this website we have build this "How To Guide" so that you dont miss out on some of the great things we have got going on here. Take a couple of minutes to read through this and make sure that you are making the most out of our website, and getting the best deals you can every time you visit us, both online and also at our many showrooms across the Nelson and Tasman region.

We have set up this site to be as user friendly as possible, and have installed some fantastic features. When browsing through the pages of a website, we all want a user friendly experience and efficient use of our time. In an aim to achieve just this, we have added the following features which allow you to select various options to enhance the view and interactivity of your experience.


Wondering if we have what you are looking for?
Looking for a particular article? Use the SEARCH tool.


Use our simple search tool in the main menu bar. Just type in whatever you are looking for and a list of pages will magically appear underneath. The website search engine displays the results based on key words attached to articles, and words in articles.
For a more advanced search, click on the mini magnifying glass on the right of the search tab which will take you to the search section of the site, where you can refine your search even further. Type in your search words, parameters or phrases and presto, the links to pages and articles within the site will be displayed. This is a great tool, and will speed up your access to information incredibly.

Use the Breadcrumbs to Navigate


A great trick to get moving through the site more quickly is to become familiar with the easy menu system. The "Breadcrumbs" Menu leaves a trail of crumbs as you navigate your way through a section. This can be found at the top of the website just under the main menu bar.
You can hover offer any of the previous crumbs, they will highlight and change colour to red to show that they are active and you can go straight to that page. Easy!
At any stage you can get right back to the start, the home page, by clicking on the little "home icon" at the start of the breadcrumb trail under the main menu of every page.

Join the BMG Family

We wish to extend an invitation to everyone to join our BMG Family.

Joining is easy, it will only take a couple of minutes, but it will unlock a lifetime of motoring benefits.

Since 1945 we have been a specialist business dealing with all aspects of the motoring experience - now we are taking it a step further by encouraging you to join our family business.

We stand for Family Values & Value for Families!

These days loyalty is a much talked about business aspiration. We have been very focused on delivering only the very best products, service and community support to the wider Nelson Bays area since 1945.
When it comes to supporting those that support us we are completely committed - in fact we want you all to benefit from our experience and share in the vision of the Bowater Motor Group.

By showing us support by joining the BMG Family we offer a range of benefits:

  • $40 WOF Inspection at our Service Centres
  • Variable discounts on some services
  • A prize draw 1st Monday of every month
  • Bonus free gear randomly
  • Invites to BMG Family member only functions & special deals

Once you are a BMG Family member the benefits begin straight away.
We have got some sections of the website locked down for just BMG Family members, so remember to log in whenever you visit the website.


Are you ready to join the BMG Family?
Just click here



The Bowater Motors Story

Bowater's: A history we are proud of, A present we are committed to,  and a future of which we are certain.

September 28th, 2020 marked the exact point in time that we celebrated 75 years, and 4 generations, in business. 

It was actually by chance we gained the clarity and precision in time around the exact beginning of the Bowater Motor Group's story. One day a local customer walked into the Bowater Toyota showroom with a newspaper clipping they had recovered from behind layers of very old wallpaper. Back in the early and middle decades of last century it was very common to line the walls of houses with newspaper prior to finishing off with the decorative top layer of wallpaper. Imagine our delight to be presented with such an important part of our own history. 

original newspaper clip

Times have certainly changed a lot since Raymond Bowater and his best mate Bill Clifford set up an automotive shop in Achilles Ave, central Nelson, in what is now the Wakatu Carpark.
They had hatched a plan back in 1945 on the ship travelling back to New Zealand after serving at Quadalcanal in World War 2.



A history we are proud of.

Nelson in September 1945 was a very different place than what it is today. 
The war was coming to an end and there was a certain readjustment happening as service men returned home. It is a time that is difficult to get stories of, even within families as there was a quiet resolve to "just get on with it".





"He started from scratch," says Raymond's son Rodney, who, along with his other siblings carried on the family business.
Rodney says he and his siblings were raised with a competitive spirit that saw them play sports all across the region and cemented the importance of having the company be deeply involved with the community.

Rodney, still chair of the Bowater Motor Group board, has worked in the family business all of his life, alongside his late brother Derrol. Now into it's fourth generation it is still very much a family business.
"we all made decisions that we all agreed on, and if we didn't all agree, we didn't do it. We have always had a close relationship as a family and valued that extremely over the years."


The standard Triumph franchise was obtained to get the ball rolling, and in 1951 we offered Armstrong Siddley as well, followed in 1952 by the Studebaker franchise.

The company expanded and over the decades obtained franchises for Nissan, Honda, Peugeot, Audi, Volvo, Jaguar, Rover, Landrover, Fiat, Volkswagon, Renault, Alfa, Panther, Hino, Lancia, Maserati and Leyland Heavy Commercial.

When Raymond Bowater retired in 1977, his son Rodney Bowater was appointed Group Managing Director.

The early 1990's saw a rationalisation of the company when the Toyota franchise was obtained and an era of focused franchises ensued, with Bowater Hyundai, Bowater Isuzu and Bowater Renault being added to the BMG offerings

The Bowater Group now delivers more new vehicles to Nelson people than any other company.

Bowater's is the company you can rely on for all your motoring needs; New and Used vehicles, Service, Parts and Finance.

Investing into the future.

The Bowater Motor Group is certainly proud of our past but it is the future we are focused on. That is why we have invested so heavily into the modernisation of our Bowater Toyota store in Richmond, and look to the redevelopment of other key components within the business. Sustainability has been at the heart of this project, with the building future-proofed for the next 75 years! Consideration for efficiency was a key design factor with a large solar power system, rainwater harvesting, an energy efficient thermal mass underfloor heating system and waste fluid capture and recycling capacity. These are just some of the features built into the large state-of-the-art workshop space, guest lounge and parts store.

Whilst the technology of cars may have changed over the last 75 years, one thing has remained consistent, our ability to properly look after the region’s automotive needs, and the ability to service and repair all makes and models. The Bowater Motor Group prides itself on being a family business, with family values at it’s heart. Afterall, we have been driving the Nelson Tasman community forward since 1945.


Welcome to our website

You can drive your dream,
and we can make it happen.

Our history is just the beginning!

Your car is probably your next biggest asset to your home, and you will spend a considerable amount of time in your car over your lifetime.
Life is too short to be worrying about your car. You need a car that suits your lifestyle. 
We have a comprehensive range of the world's best valued and most reliable cars ready for you to experience. You can drive your dream today. It is that easy.   

Since 1945, The Bowater Motor Group has been providing the Nelson region with quality vehicles and servicing that is second to none. Now, even more so than ever before, it is possible to drive your dream.
The future of car technology has arrived.
With our stores, showrooms and customer centres spread all over the wider Nelson region we are confident that our long history in the area means that we not only know what works best around here, but what will work best for you.   

Think Bowaters and three things come to mind...
Quality, excellence and vehicles to suit a lifestyle.

Whether for urban, business or off-road, let Bowater's begin your journey.
If you're going somewhere - The Bowater Motor Group will take you there.

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Support in the Community

  • Nelson Giants
  • Rainbow
  • Bowater Toyota Cancer Society
  • Natureland
  • Arts Festival
  • Cricket World Cup
  • Nelson Bays Football
  • Hyundai Winner