Zanchin CEO Joe Zanchin said the dealer groups offered “a lot of financial strength.”
That’s something AWIN’s Sylvester Chuang said is going to be needed more and more in the future.
“The investment these days is tremendous. In order to be able to do it, you probably need conglomerates to do it, not individual dealers,” he said. “There’s going to be bigger conglomerates coming together.
“But it’s going to be up to the [automakers] to choose the conglomerates they can work with.”
CHOSEN FOR THEIR TRACK RECORD
Mercedes-Benz Canada said the two groups were selected after a competitive bidding process and were chosen “based on their collective track record of business success, well established histories of creating exceptional customer experiences and shared commitment to ongoing investments.”
The sale means that all 59 Mercedes stores in Canada are now privately owned.
While Mercedes-Benz Canada never owned all 59 stores in Canada at one time, it maintained a mix of corporate-owned retail and privately held dealerships. The company didn’t break out the mix by percentage.
“It was beneficial for the organization to directly own a certain number of dealerships as a direct connection to the retail environment and to allow for flexibility in piloting new retail initiatives,” the company said.
“Mercedes-Benz Canada is divesting the dealerships, known collectively as the Toronto Retail Group, in order to best position itself for long-term growth.”
Eva Wiese, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, said in a statement the sale will create a network of dealerships “that can act with even more speed and agility to deliver the highest level of customer experience.”
“This move will allow Mercedes-Benz Canada to focus its efforts and resources on supporting a strong, independent national dealer network,” Wiese said.
Wiese said the company will now focus on “steering” the brand in Canada by paying more attention to areas such as marketing.
The Toronto Retail Group is comprised of: • Mercedes-Benz Downtown
- Mercedes-Benz Markham
- Mercedes-Benz Thornhill
- Mercedes-Benz Maple/Mercedes-Benz Maple Van Centre
- Mercedes-Benz Midtown
- Mercedes-Benz Mississauga/Mercedes-Benz Mississauga Van Centre
- Mercedes-Benz Etobicoke
The company would not say whether the deal included real estate ownership.
The management structure at each dealership will be determined by the new ownership group once the transfer is completed, according to Zanchin and Chuang. Both said all current staff will be transferred to the new company and that no one will lose their job.
The groups are no strangers to the luxury brand. AWIN owns 20 dealerships, including Mercedes-Benz Oakville, Mercedes-Benz Victoria and Mercedes-Benz Nanaimo (British Columbia), while the Zanchin group owns Mercedes-Benz Newmarket and Mercedes-Benz Durham.
Chuang said the deal gives his company substantially more presence in Ontario.
“It’s very important for us in that respect.”
Founded in 1973 by Joe Zanchin, the Zanchin Automotive Group currently operates 34 dealerships across Ontario.
“We saw the possibilities,” Zanchin said. “It was the right thing to do among the two of us. It just fit.”