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ORANGE dealer and stalwart of the district for more than 55 years, John Davis, has died aged 74.

Mr Davis and his wife Kay opened their first used-car dealership in 1983 and built it to become a regional identity with new and used-car locations in Orange, Forbes, Young and Bathurst.

John Davis Motors’ small used-car dealership at 38 Bathurst Rd, Orange grew to take on the Suzuki new-car franchise in 1985, followed by Mazda in 1999.

Regional: Mr Davis built the business over 40 years to become a regional identity

In 2008 it expanded into Forbes, opening John Davis Mazda Forbes and in 2010 added the Volvo franchise and three years later, Renault.The company expanded into Young in 2013, opening Young Motors, and in 2016, added Bathurst Mazda in Bathurst.

In 2023 it expanded the dealership in Orange and opened the brand new Orange City Mazda.

The company said that 2023 serves as John Davis Motors’ 40th year in business and “it’s all due to our great leader”.

John’s son and current dealer principal, Ben Davis, wrote: “John’s generosity over the past 40 years has been incredible, supporting local charities, sporting organisations, community events and the fight against cancer.

“John loved the motor industry and having started as a salesman at Rural Motors in Orange when he was 19 years old, he has spent 55 years of his life doing what he loved.

John Davis and his wife Kay

“John was so proud of the business he and his wife Kay have built, loved dealing with many thousands of customers over the years and spending each day with his fantastic staff over this time.

“As the old jingle said – Trade Up, Trade Up, at John Davis Motors, Trade Up.

“From the entire Davis family and the team at John Davis Motor Group, thank you to all the lovely messages and support.”

Mr Davis was also long-time mayor of Blayney and Orange.

He leaves his wife Kay and his children Cassandra; Ben and wife Rebecca; Gabrielle and Anthony Simmons; and nine grandchildren.

By Neil Dowling

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