member of group auto

Our history

A.T. Johnson has been a family run business for over 70 years and a specialist motor factor for over 40. Find out what our history means today, for people in Kings Lynn & Downham who look for choice, quality & value.

An independent, family run business for 75 years

In the late 1930s, a 16-year-old Alfred Johnson began a bicycle retail and repair business in Wimbotsham, West Norfolk. After a short time, he moved his business into Downham Market and expanded his repertoire to sell radios, televisions, and electricals.

In 1951 Alfred sold the electrical and radio side of the business and discovered that he had a flair for selling cars, so he headed to Denver on the south side of Downham Market and started an automotive business.

In 1956 he moved into larger premises at Tottenhill, just up the A10, where he sold new and second-hand vehicles and also began to sell vehicle spares to support the cars he sold as his sons Alan & Brian Joined the business.

The business flourished and stayed at Tottenhill until 1969 when Alan & Brian moved the business back to Downham Market to concentrate on what was now called the Motor Factor trade.

In 1981 Robert Johnson joined the business and in 1984 he was joined by his brother-in-law, Brian Melton who opened the Kings Lynn branch as a motor factor only business (although it also sells and delivers the bike, home and garden products held in the Downham branch).

2004 was an important milestone for the business when we joined GROUPAUTO. Becoming a GROUPAUTO member gave us access to suppliers with the same terms as big national chains but the partnership still enabled us to continue to be independent and flexible. It’s the flexibility of independence that has given us the ability to make decisions 'on the ground' that helps set us apart from our corporately owned rivals.

In 2006 the fourth generation of the family joined the business, when Sean Melton became a partner.

Robert, Brian & Sean now run the business together and still value their position as a family run independent business, qualities that enabled us to react quickly to the recent Covid restrictions so that our customers were able to continue to receive the best possible service.

Discover what our history means today in terms of service, choice & value

Make an enquiry

What we sell

Browse our vehicle parts & spares, hand & power tools, electrical, gardenware and household products. bikes and more.

Join our team

Whether you have trade experience or just a friendly manner and are willing to learn, check out the latest jobs in our two branches.


Our team are backed up by GROUPAUTO one of the largest and most successful trading groups in the independent aftermarket.

A.T. Johnson - a family run business