Ontario Hyundai

Hyundai is celebrating its 30th year in Canada. Ontario Hyundai was one of the original Hyundai dealerships that brought the Hyundai brand to Canadians 30 years ago. Located in Whitby, just east of the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario Hyundai is the largest dealership in Durham Region, outselling all import and domestic dealerships in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and Bowmanville, and it is the largest Hyundai dealer in south western Ontario. Ontario Hyundai has grown from a dealership with a staff of 14 in 1991, to 86 today.

Greg Mason bought the dealership in 1991, and in 1995 he bought six and a half acres of the land on Hwy 2 in Whitby. Here he built and opened a brand new 10,000 square foot dealership in 1997. At the time everyone was telling him that a Hyundai dealership of such size was not necessary. It didn’t take long for them to realize that 10,000 square feet would not be enough.

“We were out of space by 1999,” says Mason. “So we expanded the facility, and expanded again in 2003 and once again in 2008. Today we have about 28,000 square feet. We plan to expand one more time in 2014. We also bought four more acres adjacent to the dealership. This property has a building on it with an additional 26,000 square feet of space. We plan to use this facility for our cleanup and detailing departments as well as a new collision centre and a Used Car Superstore.”

The Hyundai brand has been growing its footprint in Canada steadily for the last 15 years. However over the past seven years, customers have seen massive changes in this already well-established brand. In Mason’s view, it was the culture within the company that changed. “The Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group (Chung Mong Koo, 2000 – present) made quality the No. 1 priority, and the company makes sure that they don’t bring any vehicle to the market that’s not up to exceptionally high standards. The quality has gone up by leaps and bounds to the point that nine years ago Hyundai introduced the five year, 100,000 km comprehensive warranty. To this day no other mainstream manufacturer – not Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Mazda, Nissan … – nobody matched that warranty. Hyundai has the confidence that their vehicles are built to such high standards that they can offer a complete five year warranty on them. No strings attached,” says Mason.
Besides offering exceptional product quality,

according to Mason, the success of any car dealership lies in building and retaining talent. Only talented and experienced staff can provide excellent service to the returning customers. “Having well trained, loyal staff is key for us. Our customers know our staff by name and we know theirs. The best way to retain your customers is to retain your staff. Only long term, well-trained professional people can assure a high level of service. Good service simply cannot be maintained without continuity of staff,” says Mason.

“The average salesperson at our dealership has been with us for over 10 years. That is simply unheard of in the automotive industry.”
Ontario Hyundai’s used car segment continues to be an important part of the company business. In 1997, the dealership only sold 140 new cars but added 425 used cars. By 2013, the tables had turned and Mason expects to sell over 1,600 new vehicles and over 600 used ones this year. Due to its location in a bedroom community with many young families, Mason also plans to meet the growing demand for less expensive used vehicles. The plan is to open a Used Car Superstore directly adjacent to the Hyundai dealership and offer people a huge selection of fully certified cars, trucks and SUV’s for under $10,000. “This is what people have been asking for and now that we have the space, that is what we are going to give them,” says Mason.

Community Involvement

While the Hyundai brand continues its strides towards larger and larger market share, and while Ontario Hyundai plays its part in this endeavour, the dealership does not forget those who contributed so much to the dealership’s success … the people of Durham Region. Giving back to the community through local initiatives has become priority No. 1 for Ontario Hyundai.

Last year the dealership became the lead sponsor of Harman Park Arena in south Oshawa. With the neighborhood struggling, this arena was being slated for demolition. Ontario Hyundai worked with City of Oshawa officials and partnered with Hyundai Auto Canada to find a way to support this facility and help preserve it for the families and the youth of Oshawa. Ontario Hyundai committed to be the lead sponsor of the arena for five years. The arena has now undergone extensive but necessary renovations and re-opened in October to the delight of residents in the neighborhood.

“This arena has been a staple of the community for decades and required significant updating. Originally we were simply seeking to support any hockey arena in the City of Oshawa. We were lucky enough to be talking to city officials at the same time that they were considering tearing the facility down. So we got the opportunity to become the lead sponsor of this venue. We then worked with Hyundai Auto Canada to create a partnership for the project. This was a big commitment for us, and we got great feedback from the community. We are really excited about this project and plan to play a very large part in the future of the Harman Park Arena,” says Mason.
This year Ontario Hyundai decided to start a new community initiative. Greg Mason and his wife Anita have always valued the pursuit of education. A natural extension of this was their creation of The Ontario Hyundai Scholarship Program in the spring of 2013. Any graduating Grade 12 students in the Durham region that are in financial need and meet the criteria can apply. The mission of the Scholarships Program is to help students pursue their dreams of higher education. The Foundation will be awarding 10 scholarships per year. These scholarships are renewable on an annual basis for up to four years so Ontario Hyundai expects to have 40 students receiving an Ontario Hyundai Scholarship every year.

“We have roots in the Durham Region. We have raised money for Hospitals, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Children’s Wish, Shriners, Childhood Diabetes, cancer research and many other worthy causes in the past, but the money didn’t always stay in the community. My philosophy was that we wanted to do something that was more directly supportive of the community. We have an incredible story of how the people of Durham supported us through the three decades. Our success is a testament to their loyalty and patronage and the Scholarships are our way to give back,” concluded Mason.

Mason’s plans for future growth are quite bold. At the dealership, Mason plans to add a new state of the art service drive-thru as well as a larger service reception area, a new customer lounge and internet café, and a larger children’s play room as well. The dealership will be also increasing the size of the showroom to accommodate up to 16 cars on display. At the newly acquired building next door they plan to build a new state of the art Collision Centre and launch the Used Car Superstore.  
“We have a lot on our plate right now, and we will be busy the next three to four years, but it will surely be very exciting and we are all looking forward to it. My only hope is that the next 20 years are as much fun as the last 20 years have been,” concluded Mason.


The Ontario Hyundai Scholarships


Photo Credits: www.hyundaicanada.com & www.ontariohyundaicars.com