Even a casual glance around the premises of Vickar Community Chevrolet Oldsmobile Ltd. reveals a business that is thriving and growing.
The dealership at 964 Regent Avenue in West Transcona is a hive of activity whether it’s the showroom, the service bays or the parts department. Larry Vickar, general manager, says the company’s success in a highly competitive industry flows from a very simple idea. “Our slogan, our mission statement, is simply, ‘Where customers send their friends.’” That commitment shows in the customer lounge with television and play area, in the free daytime shuttle service, in the reliable warranties and in the accommodating financing options.
To fulfill their slogan Vickar Community Chev Olds works to build long-term relationships with their customers. In fact, said Vickar, their relationship with the customer does not end with the sale but, rather, begins with it.
“Each and every one of our team members is trained in the approach; whatever it takes to meet and exceed expectations.”Larry Vickar
Staking their fortunes and reputation on loyal and repeat customers, Vickar said they provide their high standard of customer service by carefully constructing the best team of professionals. “We spend exponentially higher on training personnel in each and every department and on proactive, customer-friendly, knowledgeable approach.” He went on, “I believe strongly in the adage, as do our department managers, that we hire for attitude and train for skill.”
The company as it exists today is the proud product of the Vickar family’s more than 50-year association with GM Canada. Vickar has been involved for over 30 years and became sole owner in 1994. Since then Vickar Community Chev Olds has grown from 76 employees to 127 and annually sells over 2,600 vehicles, not counting its commercial fleet business.
Now the company is entering an exciting new phase of growth with the imminent opening of a new autobody and glass shop. “It’s a stand-alone state-of-the-art building, one of the largest in Winnipeg,” said Vickar, adding the facility will handle all makes of cars and trucks including medium and heavy-duty units. It’s an exciting time, and Vickar said Lazer Grant, and specifically Joel Lazer, have helped guide Vickar Community Chev Olds through many changes, both in the industry and the company.
The Vickar family business has been associated with Joel since the 1970’s. Lazer Grant provides the company with specialized accounting, tax planning, and long-term financial advice. Lazer Grant also provides information and advice on how to continually improve upon their success. Together they have worked to make the business efficient and responsive.
That kind of prompt, personal attention is something Larry Vickar understands and appreciates. It’s something his family has done with customers in Manitoba for half a century – and he knows it works.