1998 Katherine Flood

‘Peter Kittle Motor Company’ Article By Peter Barnes.
The 1998 flood in the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory was devastating, and it was also a very dark day for the Peter Kittle Motor Company, with its Katherine car dealership being totally immersed in the flood waters.
The area was declared a national disaster. The flood resulted from up to 400 mm of rainwater brought by Cyclone Les that caused the Katherine River to rise an additional 21.3 metres. The floodwaters inundated the town and much of the surrounding region, requiring the evacuation of many residents.
I remember that time very well and the enormous stress Peter Kittle was under dealing with such a catastrophic loss to his motor company.
Being the person responsible for the advertising and marketing of the Peter Kittle Motor Company at that time with my consultancy, I put forward a concept that reflected the incredible spirit of the people of Katherine during that very difficult time.
The video you see on this post was presented on television in the Northern Territory.
1998 was ten years after an advertising agency I managed in the Northern Territory did the first advertising for Peter Kittle, when he opened his first car dealership In Alice Springs, that being for Toyota.
In the last half of the 1990s, my advertising and marketing consultancy did all of the Peter Kittle Motor Company’s advertising, including branding. I came up with the star for the motor company’s logo and ‘It’s Our Territory’ branding.
Also did the advertising and branding for Kittle Bros, which was Peter Kittle’s father’s (Len Kittle) car dealership and where Peter Kittle first started working in the car dealership business.
Interestingly, there was a grand celebration held in Alice Springs in November 1995, to celebrate Len Kittle’s world record for one car dealer to hold the franchise continuously for 50 years. GMH gave Len Kittle a gold watch and also a wall plaque. Len Kittle was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM) in 1982 for services to the community.
Over the years, I would stay in Alice Springs every now and then to work closely with the motor company. One time I was there for about 3 months.
As well as working with the Peter Kittle Motor Company I got to work on Toyota advertising, like the ‘Toyota Territory’ TV ad, in which I travelled throughout the Northern Territory with a film crew to shoot the ad. The ‘Toyota Territory’ ad was a remake of the one we made with the advertising agency I managed in the Territory in 1988.
The Peter Kittle Motor Company today is very significant, being one of the most prominent businesses in the Northern Territory, to also having dealerships in Adelaide, Mildura, Port Lincoln, Clare Valley and Melbourne.

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