The new kid on the block continues to grow
Barrie is a good place to start an independent business. Just ask Bill Cameron, founder and owner of Automax Connection. Bill’s been in Barrie for over 50 years – his parents moved here when he was young – and has been in the car business for 30 of those. Working his way up the chain of command, he was the GM at Georgian Pontiac for 15 years when he decided that it was finally time to strike out on his own. After filling needed positions with dedicated sales, mechanical and administrative professionals, Automax Connection was born in 2005.
As has always been the case, Automax focuses on carrying high quality late model pre-owned vehicles of various brands. These days, at any given time, there are 120 vehicles in stock, thanks in part to the space at the new Essa Road address. As the business has grown steadily over the years, so have demands on square footage to feature, store, and service the vehicles, causing the recurring need to move to bigger lots. This latest upgrade in size and location – now centrally located in the middle of the city – gives Automax fully 2.5 acres of property and a 15,000 square foot building, making it the biggest independent used car lot in Barrie.
Bill explains that Automax Connection is in a niche market with its quality of domestic and import cars, trucks, and vans: whatever top quality vehicle a customer wants, Automax has something to offer.
Beyond just sales, Automax also does full service on vehicles in its six bays, has a full drive-through car wash, and a detail centre. Financing on the spot is available through all of the major banks.
Asked what helps Automax stand apart from the competition, Bill underscores that “it’s not a high pressure environment. Zero pressure. It’s very laid back.” The staff will sit down with a new customer and find out what it is they need. Sometimes it ends up being precisely what they came in expecting to buy and other times it’s completely different, but the key is identifying and supplying what will make the customer happy.
An additional perk on that score is that every vehicle serviced at Automax comes with a pass for free car washes for life, which customers love. “It keeps them coming back,” Bill says, adding that a lot of his business is repeat customers and referrals.
He mentions that Automax Connection has sold over 5000 cars in the seven years it’s been around; an exceptional number owing to the exceptional impression that the dealership has made with the public in its short lifetime. Looks like the niche that Bill and Automax have carved out for themselves are serving them, and their customers, very well.
Written by Reay Jespersen
Left to right in photo:
Cam Keenleyside Sales Representative
Ray Casula Sales Representative
Mike Wright Sales/business Manager
Bill Cameron President