Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Meet John Stewart, new president of the Trillium Car Sellers Affiliation

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My title is John Stewart, and I’m the brand new president of the Trillium Car Sellers Affiliation (TADA), which represents 1,100 automobile dealerships throughout Ontario.

I contemplate it an important honour to be serving my fellow sellers on this capability. Over the following yr, I’ll share my views on this house, and I look ahead to protecting many matters in regards to the auto business.

Automobiles have superior by leaps and bounds since my grandfather first began working at a Norwood, Ont., storage in 1916. Again then, a brand new Ford was promoting for $495, utilizing horses and cows for transport was the norm, gasoline was 22-cents a gallon and our telephone quantity was 27.

My father, John James (Jack) Stewart, joined the enterprise in 1936 and, with my grandfather, they bought the Dodge DeSoto. In 1948, he acquired a Ferguson tractor franchise, which might later turn into Massey Ferguson. In 1966, my brother, Ross, and I partnered with our father, and it grew to become J.J. Stewart Motors Ltd. Sadly, Ross handed away in 1985, and my father died in 2016. (He was 102 years previous and nonetheless got here into the dealership day by day.)

Whereas attending grade and highschool in Norwood, I labored half time on the storage, studying pump gasoline, sand down automobiles for the physique store and clear automobiles. I then apprenticed in Toronto to acquire my funeral director’s license — however I made a decision it wasn’t for me. I returned to Norwood and labored on the dealership, first within the service division after which in gross sales. Whereas working in gross sales, I might journey the roads prospecting for purchasers. Fairly a change from how enterprise is finished as we speak.

In 1983, I bought Campbellford Chrysler and Jeep Eagle in Peterborough, and later mixed the 2 with Don Earle Plymouth to determine Peterborough Chrysler.

I’ve two sons, Dave and Mark, who’ve been my enterprise companions since 1996, and we’ve got continued to develop the enterprise. We acquired the Mitsubishi franchise in Peterborough in 2003, and the Mazda franchise in 2018.

All through my household’s decades-long profession within the retail auto enterprise, we’ve earned many business awards, together with the celebrated Time Journal High quality Supplier Award in 1984, in addition to quite a few accolades from Chrysler Canada. I’ve served on the Chrysler Supplier Council a number of occasions and on the Supplier Promoting Affiliation for 33 years.

We have now been members of the Ontario Car Supplier Affiliation and TADA for quite a lot of years, and I used to be the vice chairman when the 2 associations amalgamated in 2012. I’ve additionally been president of our native Lions Membership (I’ve been a member for 52 years) and president of Norwood Minor Sports activities.

Through the years, we’ve got contributed to each the Campbellford and Peterborough hospitals, and in 2018 we donated my mother or father’s dwelling for use because the Norwood Hospice, a enterprise that’s nonetheless within the works. We have now additionally sponsored native minor sports activities, varied service golf equipment and church buildings, and had been a serious contributor to a fundraising towards the constructing of the brand new Asphodel-Norwood Neighborhood Centre and Ball Area.

All of our dealerships additionally take part in co-op packages supplied via varied faculties, in addition to driver schooling programs, when they’re out there.

One in every of J.J. Stewart Motors’ finest belongings are our workers, a number of of whom have been with us for a few years. With out them, we might not have been in a position to serve our prospects in a correct style. A lot of our prospects are second and third era, and their loyalty and assist are very a lot appreciated.

Over the previous three years, our business has confronted its share of challenges. I want to thank TADA’s two most up-to-date presidents, Cliff Lafreniere and Michael Eatson. Each did an distinctive job serving to our affiliation navigate the uneven waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wanting ahead, the Canadian Worldwide AutoShow is planning to return as an in-person occasion in February 2023, after a two-year absence because of the pandemic. I’ll be writing extra about it nearer to that date.

Till subsequent month, please drive protected.

John Stewart is president of the Trillium Car Sellers Affiliation and is president of J.J. Stewart Motors in Norwood, Ont. This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to president@tada.ca or go to tada.ca. For details about automotive traits and careers, go to carsandjobs.com.

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