We all have a story, every person, every business. The story of Mississauga Toyota began October 1991.
I was a student at the time and my father had just purchased another dealership. You see, my Dad started in the car business in the early 1960s. He had come to Canada as a teenager in the 1950s from Europe with one suitcase and $5 in his pocket that was given to him when he arrived. He started driving a cement truck and then became a mechanic.
Joe quickly realized he did not want to be a mechanic so he asked if he could try something else in the dealership. And so his journey began.
He worked many different jobs in the service department and after a few years he asked the owner if he could try his hand at selling cars. Within six months, after becoming the top salesperson in short order, he was promoted to sales manager. Within two years he bought into his first store.
Fast-forward to 1999 and Joe had just acquired two more stores at once.
We walked through the front doors of the dealership in 1991 and our Toyota journey began. I had no interest in working in the family business. I was just along for the ride on that particular day. My brother Paul who started working in the business part time at the age of 13 loved cars. He was ready to run the store.
A few years later after some coaxing from Dad (he is relentless), I agreed to try my hand in the business. I worked at our Ford store learning the ropes. I went back to school to learn the operation of the business down in the United States. After 8 years of working in the business, I was promoted to General Manager of the Ford store.
Two years later we sold the Ford store and I stayed on with the new owners. After one year with the new owners, I was tired and not sure cars was where I wanted to stay forever. So, I decided to take the summer off and figure out, what next?
Six weeks later, in one moment, my family’s life changed forever. My brother Paul was killed in an accident. He had grown the Toyota store to sell large volumes, he moved the store to a new location 4 times the size of our old location and he was a fabulous leader to all of our staff.
The next day, my dad and I went to work at 9am and gathered all the staff together in the showroom to announce the news.
Our work family took care of the business and supported our immediate family in the coming days. None of us spent any time at the dealership. The staff just did what they needed to do to keep things going. Four weeks after the accident, my Dad, my oldest brother Stephen and myself sat and talked about what we wanted to do with the store. After much soul searching by the three of us, we decided that I would take over. Six weeks after Paul’s passing, I started at Mississauga Toyota on August 31, 2004.
Since then, I’ve learned many things. Because of my experiences, we have created a culture at Mississauga Toyota that doesn’t take life too seriously.
Serious Fun. Seriously.
My name is Susan and Mississauga Toyota is my dealership. We are family taking care of family. Why not make it yours?