In 1959 Walter and Doreen Nelson purchased Armstrong Motors in Avonlea and on March 9 opened under the new name of Nelson Motors & Equipment. The dealership was located on Main Street in downtown Avonlea and was selling John Deere farm equipment and General Motors vehicles.
The business quickly grew and several expansions were required at this location. With the trend to larger farm equipment and four wheel drive tractors in the 1970’s the original building became too small and in 1976 a new modern 20,000 square foot building was built on 8 acres on the east side of Avonlea.
At this time a new company Nelson Motors & Equipment (1976) Ltd was formed. Major shareholders were Walter Nelson and his brother Gary, who had become involved full time in the business in 1969. Other shareholders were Walter’s son, Bill and parts manager, Jim Tyndall and service manager Robert Kitchen.
With their philosophy of customer service and satisfaction being the most important thing and a friendly small town atmosphere; Nelson Motors & Equipment became one of the largest John Deere dealerships in Saskatchewan gaining recognition from John Deere on several occasions including the President’s club in 1983 and 1996, number one in combine sales for Canada in 1986 and the Managers club in 2004, 2005 and 2008. The President’s Club and Managers Club recognized the top 15 dealers in Canada.
As well, Nelson Motors & Equipment continued to grow its automotive business with a stronger presence in the Regina, Moose Jaw, and Weyburn market, again with its friendly small town approach to doing business.
In 1999, Nelson’s opened a second John Deere dealership in Radville. This enlarged their trading area and filled a gap for many existing loyal John Deere customers in the Radville area.
In 2001, as both the GM and John Deere continues to grow, Bill Nelson, Walter’s daughter Janet Day and Bill’s son Cutis formed a new company and called it Nelson GM. At this time they purchased Compton Chevrolet in Assiniboia and the automotive division of Nelson Motors and Equipment in Avonlea. This separated the segments of Nelson Motors & Equipment; however they both still operate out of the same building in Avonlea.
In 2005, Nelson Motors & Equipment went through another reorganization forming a partnership. The partnership remains owned by the Nelson family including Gary Nelson and his son Jaret and Gary’s son in law and daughter Marlyn and Terri Stevens; and Walter Nelson and his son Bill and daughter Janet Day.
In 2007, Nelson Motors & Equipment saw the need to continue to grow and purchased Prosper Tractor, another John Deere dealership with locations in Estevan and Redvers. This has proven to be a beneficial move as Nelson Motors & Equipment was recognized by John Deere, as number 8 in their Canadian dealer organization and Manager’s Club for 2008.
In November, 2008 another expansion took place with the acquisition of Kosior Tractor, the John Deere dealer in Oxbow. This gives Nelson Motors & Equipment a large area of responsibility in southern Saskatchewan and a prominent position in the southern Saskatchewan agricultural industry.
The growth of the business enables Nelson Motors & Equipment to be in a better position to serve their customers with larger inventories, specialized and better trained staff and stronger purchasing power.
Nelson Motors & Equipment is ever aware that their success is dependent on the continued support of their customers and the dedication of their employees to see that support continues. Thank you to both.