Two auto dealerships in the Oshawa, Ont., area are about to celebrate a remarkable milestone — 100 years in business selling vehicles for General Motors, a company founded a little more than a dozen years before these retailers opened their doors.
In an ever-fickle business in which countless dealerships have come, gone or sold out to large groups, these two family-owned enterprises say they have managed to stay independent with the support of loyal employees and satisfied customers.
They have endured countless challenges, such as the Great Depression, the Second World War, the rise of automakers from Asia, the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting bankruptcy of GM in 2009.
Yet even in a changing retail environment, these businesses see no reason they can’t keep going for another 100 years.
“I don’t see why we won’t be, as long as the customers are taken care of,” said Gary Dalby, general manager of Roy Nichols Motors, in Courtice, east of Oshawa.
The Chevrolet dealership will mark its 100th anniversary on Sept. 22 with a celebration that includes local politicians and GM representatives. In a nod to its deep history, a 2022 Camaro will be given away by Lloyd Downs, a 100-year-old customer who only recently surrendered his driver’s licence.
STAFF: THE STUFF OF LIFE