John Taig retires as Shepparton dealership is sold

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Gemma O’Kane

Taig Bros’ association with the Goulburn Valley came to an end in January when John Taig sold the 72-year-old dealership.

John Taig (right) and his son Nick represented the second and third generations of Taigs at the family business.

The secret to selling trucks, according to John Taig, is establishing trust and personal relationships with clients.

The 75-year-old should know. He sold trucks for over 50 years at his Shepparton dealership, Taig Bros, and shared great advice with his team: "I often say to sales people, ‘How often do you buy something from someone you don’t like?’"

In Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, John is well liked. And his business, Taig Bros, was supported by long-term, loyal customers.

Taig Bros was originally an International Harvester dealership established at Shepparton by John’s father and uncles in 1947.

International trucks and tractors carried a large share of the Goulburn Valley’s abundant produce, and business was thriving when John joined the team in 1962.

He bought Taig Bros from his father and uncles in 1988, anticipating continued prosperity. John even expanded the business to Albury and Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

"I went in there pretty much gung-ho, ready to set the world on fire," John says. "And in 1990 we had the Paul Keating recession that we had to have. I think I sold one truck in six months as opposed to about 30.

"I put about 17 people off, and I did that in a matter of three days."

The economy recovered and the popularity of International trucks helped Taig Bros get back on track by the mid-1990s.

Sam Sali (left), Linda Sali and Rod O’Kane celebrated John Taig’s retirement.

Taig Bros operated as an Isuzu and Iveco dealership with Scania spare parts and servicing when John sold the business in January, 2019.

The new owner, North East Isuzu Shepparton, now offers these same services from the former Taig Bros premises in Wheeler St, Shepparton.

John is enjoying retirement, but he misses regular contact with his customers and employees. He was pleased to catch up with about 100 friends at a retirement party in Shepparton on May 5.

The gathering was organised by former customers including Rod O’Kane of Yarrawonga.

Read the full story in the June 2019 issue of Owner//Driver.

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