The Policaro Group will begin its most ambitious plan in the company’s 40-plus year history this year, building three new stores, including one close to Toronto’s downtown core.
It will also relocate two existing stores, and move exclusively to retailing premium luxury brands, says CEO Francesco Policaro.
Headquartered in Brampton, just outside of Toronto, the Policaro Group began its strategic shift in late November when it privately sold separate Honda and Toyota dealerships to reduce its stores to four. Neither the terms of the sale nor the purchaser was revealed.
The company will relocate its Lexus and Acura stores in Brampton to an auto mall featuring luxury automobiles in another part of that city. It will build a Porsche store in Kitchener-Waterloo as well as a satellite Porsche location in St. Catharines, which will serve potential customers further south in the Niagara Region. Kitchener-Waterloo was chosen by Porsche to compete with similar premium brands in that area, said Policaro.
The dealer group also plans a BMW dealership in Etobicoke.
Policaro said he expects the entire plan will be completed sometime in 2022. The plan evolved because the company was approached with opportunities by BMW and Porsche, Policaro said.
“We don’t necessarily determine when a manufacturer will look to expand within a certain area,” he said. “Both those types of brands we feel have always had a period of success and we see a bright future for them moving forward.”
He said the group will focus on the luxury market.
“It’s good to have a portfolio of products, and there’s nothing wrong with mass market at all, but the majority of our stores are premium and it was more aligned with the direction we were taking with our group, which also includes Policaro Motorsports and Performance, Motion Endeavours Exotics and Policaro Leasing,” he said.
The Etobicoke location, he added, gives the company its closest proximity to downtown Toronto, where BMW has an existing store.
“We can build a nice facility and not have the restriction you have downtown but be close to the core of the city,” he said. “It’s such an accessible area. We were very interested when the opportunity presented itself, and being [near]the city was something we always coveted. It’s become a major artery for the city, lots of people coming and going through there.”
He said he was not concerned about the economic impact of the pandemic.
“That makes us feel more confident in our investment that even though we’re going through difficult times right now this is a good business to be in,” he said. “It always had been and we believe it will for the future as well.”