Wearnes Automotive

Milestones & History

Dawning from the ambition of two brothers in the early years, when cars were very much a novelty in this part of the world then, Wearnes Automotive grew with the acquisition of agencies as well as the selling and servicing of motor vehicles. Since our pioneering days more than a century ago, we have grown from strength to strength in our knowledge of cars and expertise in after sales service.

1906 Apr 1

C.F.F. Wearne & Co. was founded
Australian brothers, Charlie Frederick Foster Wearne and Theodore James Benjamin Wearne, started the motor company and acquired the Oldsmobile agency


Expanding business
CFF Wearne & Co secured the Rolls-Royce franchise.


Ford franchise in Singapore
The Ford franchise was added to the portfolio.


Becoming Wearne Brothers Limited
CFF Wearne was incorporated as a public-listed company Wearne Brothers Limited.


Inroads in Southeast Asia
Wearnes purchased Ford Motors (Burma) Limited in Rangoon, which held the Ford agency for the whole of Burma (now Myanmar). With this acquisition, Wearnes' automotive empire in Southeast Asia now stretched from Burma for well over 3,000km through to British North Borneo.


Formation of Malayan Motors
Subsidiary automotive companies were formed to handle the different agencies of Wearnes to avoid any conflict of interests. The first was Malayan Motors at 14-20 Orchard Road which handled all agencies except Ford, namely Armstrong-Siddley, Morris, Sunbeam, Packard, Rolls-Royce, Essex, Erksine and Standard.


The dream of providing air transport
Charlie Wearne envisaged providing air service in Malaya and shipped in an Avro-Avian plane to be assembled by Malayan Motors' mechanics. The plane drew great interest when it was displayed at Malayan Motors' showroom.


Bentley franchise
The Bentley franchise was added to the portfolio when Bentley became part of the Rolls-Royce group.


Wearnes first provided taxi service for Singapore
In response to public demand, Wearnes put the first 'Yellow Top' taxi on Singapore roads with similar operations in Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang and Rangoon. By late 1934, the venture had grown so rapidly that General Transport Company was formed to manage the business.


Wearnes Air Services
Wearnes Air Services Ltd was inaugurated with two de Havilland 89 Dragon Rapide planes named 'Governor Raffles' and 'Governor Fullerton'. World War II ended the business just as it was about to turn profitable.


Double-decker buses and other agencies
General Transport Company introduced three double-decker buses supplied by a Wearnes subsidiary, Federated Motors. Similar in trim and colour to those in London, the units were fitted with special extractor fans to cope with the local humid climate.


Assembling motor cars
In association with the Motors Investments, Wearnes formed Associated Motor Industries Malaysia Sdn Bhd to assemble passenger cars in plants built in Batu Tiga, Selangor and in Singapore. Taking only 10 days to assemble and deliver per vehicle, the quality of Wearnes-assembled cars were said to be as good as imported ones.


Motoring on
The Riley, Wolesley, Austin-Healey and Princess franchises were acquired.


Jaguar franchise
The Jaguar franchise was acquired.


Global recession & energy crisis
The onset of the oil crisis aggravated by higher taxation curtailed private car ownership. Associated Motor Industries (Private) Limited ceased its operations as the car assembly business in Singapore was no longer economically viable.


The move to Leng Kee Road & responding to market trends
Automotive operations on Orchard Road were relocated following the Government's acquisition of the properties. Malayan Motors relocated to 45 Leng Kee Road.


Strategic focus
Wearnes sold off Associated Motor Industries Malaysia Sdn Bhd to Ford Motor Company and focussed on being an automotive retail dealer. After much deliberation, after an association for over 70 years, the Ford franchise was also eventually relinquished.


Renewed robust growth
Wearnes began its regional expansion with the Jaguar franchise.


Jaguar franchise in Thailand
Jaguar Cars (Thailand) was established through a joint venture.


Expansion into Indonesia through joint ventures

Representing Volvo in Singapore
With the acquisition of SM Motors which was established in 1979, Wearnes attained the Volvo franchise.


Representing Mazda in Thailand
Wearnes established a dealership to represent Mazda in Thailand.


Regional expansion of Volvo franchise
The Volvo franchise was further expanded with dealerships in Malaysia (2003), Hong Kong (2004) and Thailand (2005).


Centennial celebrations & further growth
Wearnes celebrated its centennial year and topped its achievements to-date by procuring the Bugatti sales agency for the Southeast Asia region and the Renault franchise in Singapore. Regional presence was boosted with a new Renault dealership in Hong Kong and a new Volkswagen dealership in Malaysia.


Land Rover franchise in Singapore
The Land Rover franchise was successfully attained by Wearnes.

Consolidation of Wearnes Automotive Pte. Ltd.
Wearnes rebranded all its various automotive companies and divisions under a single brand - Wearnes Automotive - with a new tagline "Passion Driven. Since 1906."


McLaren franchise in Singapore
Wearnes triumphantly won the rights to represent McLaren.


Infiniti franchise in Singapore
Wearnes was awarded the Infiniti franchise.


Volvo operation commence in Changchun, China
Wearnes Automotive Changchun Co, Ltd (WACC) commences operations in December 2011.


BMW dealership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Wearnes Autohaus Sdn Bhd commences BMW Sales & Aftersales operations in January 2012.


BMW, Motorrad and MINI dealership operation commence in Tebrau, Johor
Wearnes Autohaus Sdn Bhd open 4S facility in Tebrau, Johor for BMW, Motorrad & Mini.


Lamborghini dealer operation commence in Hanoi, Vietnam
CT-Wearnes opens Sales & Service facility for Lamborghini in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Bentley dealer operation commence in Hanoi, Vietnam
CT-Wearnes opens Sales & Service facility for Bentley in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Jaguar Land Rover new showroom commence in North Jakarta, Indonesia
Jaguar Land Rover new 3S operation opens in North Jakarta in Yos Sudarsono with 4,000 m3 of state-of-the-art Sales & Aftersales facilities which includes Exclusive Lounge, Café and new car gallery to display complete model range from JLR.


StarChase acquires Wearnes Automotive
Wearnes Automotive is acquired by the StarChase group. Its core business activities comprise the sale and distribution of premium Automotive as well as Lifestyle products and services.


Jaguar Land Rover officiates largest JLR showroom in ASEAN, located in South Jakarta Indonesia
Jaguar Land Rover new 4S operation opens in South Jakarta in Arteri Pondok Indah is largest in ASEAN. The 6 floors of Retail and Aftersales facilities covering 4,500 m3 include Aluminium Body Repair Facilities.


Aston Martin new showroom commences in Singapore.
Aston Martin Singapore operation opens at 45 Leng Kee Road, Singapore 159103. It is one of the largest integrated sales and aftersales facilities in Southeast Asia.


Aston Martin new showroom commences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Wearnes Quest Sdn Bhd commences Aston Martin Sales and Aftersales operations in September 2016.


Bentley Kuala Lumpur opens new showroom in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle.
Bentley Kuala Lumpur commences operations of its new showroom at Etiqa Twins, 11 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. The new flagship facility represents a contemporary interpretation of Bentley's rich 97-year history and is designed to be the ultimate source for information, guidance and exclusive access to the world of Bentley.