Who We Are
entete histoire

Once upon a time…

It all started in 1968 when Maurice Lahoud decided to transform his VW dealership into that of Ford. Therefore, VW had to relocate the company. The site of a former Ford garage on Charest Boulevard was very suitable. Then, it remained to find a qualified person to lead the company. Pierre Miville was already well known at VW, having been a representative and sales manager for 8 to 9 years. He was therefore approached for the position of the titular dealer.

Which name to choose?

Pierre Miville named Laval Volkswagen in honour of Laval University, where he studied, and Monseigneur de Laval, whom he greatly admired. Although he did his university studies in law there, he never practiced.

According to the employees who worked with him, this training gave him a clear advantage when the time came to negotiate with him! An employee told us that when he met the big boss, it was infallible: "you come in with your idea, but you go out with his! ".

The taste for change

After fifteen years, Mr. Miville let the rumour circulating that the concession was for sale on condition that he find its price. He wanted to redirect his career by changing fields. Still, in 1983, he sold Laval VW to Mr. Rodrigue Major, a real estate professional. He had set himself the goal of meeting this challenge even if he did not have a lot of financial means.

Improvements made

Expansion and renovations are ordered to serve customers better. Some will remember the "trailer" that had been installed near the entrance to the service department to continue to receive customers. Later, purchasing the neighbouring street made it possible to enlarge the parking lot on the east side.

In 1987, the addition of the Porsche franchise, in addition to Audi, further enhanced the brand image of the dealership.

However, the financial and economic situation has become more complex. The Audi and Porsche franchises were discontinued in May 1990 because they were deemed unprofitable.

Under Major's rule, Volkswagen's sales continued to grow. Indeed, the sales of new vehicles increased from 125 (in 1983) to 534 (in 1992). Paradoxically, the company's profitability is still fragile.

The arrival of Raymond Ouellet

The 90s were not easy, and the financial situation could have improved much. Rodrigue Major must find funding.

The encounter

He meets Raymond Ouellet, a well-known professional in the automotive field. He already owned a few car dealerships, including Capital Toyota, when he was 28 years old. For Mr. Ouellet, the "timing" was good: he had just closed another garage in Jonquière and wanted to return to Quebec.

The Association

Our two men, therefore, decided to join forces in May 1992 and distributed the tasks as follows: Ouellet would take care of sales and Major, fixed operations.

Progression

Despite the poorer performance of Volkswagen products during the 90s, Laval VW continues to progress. Turnover increases, and expenses are streamlined as much as possible. This allows the company to become the owner of the building it has occupied for 26 years.

Sales records

In 1994, a sales record was reached: 603 new vehicles sold. Sales of "qualified" cars are also progressing well, with 234 sales. A few years later, in 1998, the arrival of the New Beetle caused sales to explode: 733 new cars and 325 used cars were sold, for a turnover of $19.5 million. Troop morale is up as well!

A little new

In March 1998, Benoît Major (son of Rodrigue) began his career at Laval Volkswagen as director of after-sales service. He was in office until 2004 when he founded his automobile mechanics and sales company.

Proposal

In 1999, Mr. Ouellet proposed Rodrigue Major buy out his shares. The latter, after reflection, accepts and decides to withdraw from Laval VW and the automotive field. He can thus return to his first love, real estate.

Major renovations

In 2002, VW Canada imposed major renovations to perfect and standardize its "Market Place" image on all its dealerships. The first phase of the work is carried out during this period. Investments of $1.5M were used to carry out a complete redevelopment and even an expansion of the concession.

40 years later...

Laval VW has gone through several crises, experienced its ups and downs and is about to experience another critical phase in its growth and continuity. Mr. Ouellet's son, Pascal, joins the team as Director of Development.

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