Barlo Motor Group started as Clonmel Engineering Works

A History of Barlo Motor Group from 1944


Established by Matt Barlow in 1944, Barlo Engineering operated under the name Clonmel Engineering Works. Initially situated on Emmet Street in Clonmel, the company achieved a significant milestone in 1948 by being appointed as the Main Distributors for David Brown tractors and Claas combine harvesters. This pivotal contract granted us exclusive distribution rights for David Brown and Claas in counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Waterford.

The business flourished consistently throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1978, Barlo Farm Machinery, as it was now named, relocated its Clonmel premises to a state of the art facility, opened by Mr. Jim Gibbons, the Minister for Agriculture at the time. Serving the farming community with immense pride, Barlo Farm Machinery operated from five branches in Clonmel, Kilkenny, Thurles, Tipperary Town, and Dungarvan until the early 2000s.

In 1989, a new generation of the Barlow family emerged, and Barlo Motors took a significant step by venturing into the automotive industry. The company secured the position of the main Ford dealer for South Tipperary, a move that resonated deeply with people as the 'Barlo' name held considerable significance. This expansion was viewed as a positive development for the region, bringing Barlo Motors into the forefront of selling Ford cars and commercial vehicles. Fast forward to 1993, we initiated a transformative shift by acquiring the Nissan brand, marking our inaugural entry into the automotive trade in Kilkenny and reshaping the landscape of our business.

The year 2002 brought a profound sense of sorrow to our company with the passing of Dealer Principal Ray Barlow, who passed away to a brief illness. Ray had been an integral part of our organisation, contributing not only his expertise but also a deep sense of dedication and passion to the automotive industry. The company re-grouped where Alan and Ivan Barlow took to the helm to guide the company through this challenging period. Today, their leadership remains a testament to the enduring spirit of the organisation, exemplifying a dedication to maintaining the company's legacy of excellence in the automotive industry.

In 2014 a significant opportunity for expansion in Clonmel came by us successfully acquiring our Hyundai dealership. This move not only marked a pivotal moment in our company's growth but also opened up new avenues for us to strengthen our presence in the region.

Over the course of the past 80 years in the business realm, we have experienced various trials and challenges, with a notable milestone being the surge in car sales in 2000 coinciding with the introduction of the new '00 plate. Despite navigating the economic downturn in 2009 and successfully pivoting our operations during a global pandemic, we have managed to maintain a consistent staff size throughout these adversities. As a company, we take pride in the fact that our workforce has not only weathered these challenges but has also continued to grow alongside us. Our sales, service, and technical departments boast individuals who have been part of our team for over 25 years, exemplifying their dedication to our company and family business, and reciprocating our commitment to their loyalty.

The guiding principle and ethos at Barlo Motor Group has been to "Treat your customer as you would like to be treated yourself." This enduring motto has proven its resilience over time, as evidenced by our continued interactions with the grandchildren of customers who first engaged with us in the 1940s.

The Barlow Family are very proud of its heritage over the last 80 years and look forward to serving both existing and future customers into the future. 


Clonmel Engineering Works

Picture taken outside of Barlo Engineering with Michael Curran, Tony Johnson, Pat Fennessy, Aidan Barlow, Anthony O' Flynn, Tony Carroll, Sean Barlow, Ned White and Con Barlow.

webdesign dmac media