Cross-Canada snapshot

October 31, 2022


Kot Auto buys second store on Vancouver Island

The Kot Auto Group is expanding both their brand portfolio, as well as their footprint on Vancouver Island, with the recent acquisition of Woodgrove Chrysler in Nanaimo, a new and used Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge Ram dealership and service department. This is the first Chrysler brand under the Kot Auto Group umbrella and its second location on Vancouver Island. Kot Auto acquired Victoria Hyundai in June of 2019.

Canadian auto dealer spoke with Brandon Kot, from Kot Auto Group, who will be running both stores on Vancouver Island, about why buying a second store on the Island was appealing. “The Victoria Hyundai store was a rare opportunity for us, as a store in a great market, he said. “ We are in expansion mode and saw a great opportunity.”

It turns out the new Chrysler store will be returning the Kot family to their domestic OEM roots. “Before I moved to Victoria and before I was working with my dad’s company, I was actually working on my own at Maple Ridge Chrysler.”

And it’s not just Brandon who has a love of domestic brands. “My dad, John, before Kot Auto, he was the vice president of AutoCanada. Before that, in Edmonton, he was all Dodge, all domestic stores. That was kind of his bread and butter. So we’ve been wanting to get into the Dodge Chrysler game, and this was the right score for us.”


ALL EV by Steele opens new full-service EV store in Moncton

Jérémie Bernardin has had a lot going on this fall, and he’s not ready to share all of it just yet. The Business Manager at All EV by Steele just opened the newest All EV full-service store in Moncton on September 6th and he has more plans in the works.

All EV by Steele has its flagship location in Halifax, and this expansion into New Brunswick is exciting for the company. Why is Moncton a big deal? “It’s a big deal for a couple reasons,” said Bernardin, in an interview with Canadian auto dealer. “One is, it’s our second shop. It’s our second location after Halifax that is a full service location.”

The new full-sized dealership is located just outside Moncton in Dieppe, at 711 Ferdinand Boulevard, and is the latest in a string of new All EV dealerships in the Maritimes. “We’re the largest electric vehicle dealer in the country for the Halifax store. We have a really interesting, nimble approach where we share our inventory and to ship any of our cars to any of our locations. We’re currently in four Atlantic provinces. If in the next two years we’re not in more regions, I would personally be disappointed.” 

Since All EV was acquired by Steele Auto Group, Bernardin has been gratified by their interest and investment in the All EV ethos and brand. “It’s a testament that the Steele Auto Group is really backing this and taking our growth very seriously in our positioning. It’s tremendously exciting.” 


AutoCanada moseys into Manitoba with Kelleher Ford purchase

As their first foray into the Manitoba market, the North American auto group, AutoCanada, has purchased Kelleher Ford, a large new and used vehicle Ford dealership and collision centre, located in Brandon, Manitoba. 

“This high-quality operation is our second Ford dealership and initiates our presence in Western Manitoba – an attractive truck market, while providing the opportunity to further expand our presence in the market,” said AutoCanada Executive Chairman, Paul Antony. “We are pleased to welcome the team from Kelleher Ford, and we look forward to many opportunities for continued growth as we integrate them into our strong portfolio of dealerships.” 

As the largest Ford dealership in Western Manitoba, Kelleher Ford currently operates more than 35,000 square feet of facilities on seven acres, including a collision centre, all of which is included in the purchase. AutoCanada will maintain Kelleher’s current management team, which will continue to strengthen the dealership’s performance, while this acquisition unlocks additional growth opportunities, including the potential to expand AutoCanada’s used vehicle, finance and insurance, collision and RightRide businesses. 


In an exclusive edition of only 99 automobiles, a strictly limited number of the M850i xDrive Gran Coupé were created by Jeff Koons and BMW during several years of close collaboration. Only three of THE 8 X JEFF KOONS were available in Canada. BMW Laval was able to get a hold of one of them, the only one in Québec. The car was revealed on Thursday September 8th during a BMW Laval client appreciation event, which also highlighted the dealership’s 47th year anniversary of operations.

The expressive and striking design of the THE 8 X JEFF KOONS combines eleven different exterior colors ranging from blue to silver as well as from yellow to black. The multi-colored interior is comprised of high-end materials, fine leather and a cupholder lid with an edition badging and the artist’s signature. The seats are made up of the striking red and blue which reflects the colors of superheroes from the comic book universe as well as those of the company’s high-performance unit BMW M.

Overall, the energetic and powerful design includes both elements of pop art as well as geometric patterns paying homage to the sporty 8 Series Gran Coupe’s intricate contours and shape. The exploding lines of color at the rear, in turn, are their own unmediated homage to the artist’s 2010 BMW Art Car, while the “POP!” on each side as well as the vapor thrust imagery symbolize the power and speed of THE 8 X JEFF KOONS, according to the artist. Jeff Koons also designed the 17th BMW Art Car in 2010, the BMW M3 GT2, which competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 


Larry Lantz

After 15 years of owning a single-point dealership, during which time he became a President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and then the President of the Canadian International AutoShow, Larry Lantz is retiring from the business.

The 71-year-old sold Hanover Honda, which is based in Southwestern Ontario and which he owned with his two sons, Robert and David, to Michael Carmichael’s UpAuto earlier this month.

When Carmichael’s name was presented as a possible buyer, it intrigued Lantz because they both had similar philosophies in running a dealership, including operating a store outside of a major metropolis, a desire to give back to the community and not oversell in the service department.

Lantz said one of the highpoints of his career was being the TADA President and CIAS President. When a person is elected to the TADA executive board, the individual moves to become President a few years later. The following year as Past-President involves a one-year term as CIAS President.

“When I first got involved in the industry 40 years ago, it moved very slowly and the last 10 years things have just sped up like crazy,” said Lantz. “There used to be very few changes every year in the models coming out, and now these changes are fast and furious with new technologies. Every time you turn around, there’s something new coming at you.” 

Related Articles
Share via
Copy link