April 2, 2012 marks the fifth anniversary of Davis GMC Buick in Medicine Hat.
They say time flies when you’re having fun and with all the things that have happened around Medicine Hat and in particular with General Motors and at Davis GMC Buick, fun would be an understatement. Five years ago our friend Kim Sorensen offered us an opportunity to expand our automotive group to Medicine Hat. It was an opportunity that we never expected but felt extremely fortunate to have. Just over 40 years ago my dad, John Davis, started his career in Medicine Hat managing the Sure Gain feed mill. It wasn’t long before his true calling came and he chose to move back to Fort Macleod to begin his career in the car business working with his dad, John Sr., at Scougall Motors. Who would have thought things would come full circle and here we are back in the “Hat”.
Although the five years have gone extremely fast we have experienced a lot of change in our industry. Probably the most significant occurrence we have experienced is the economic recession. The recession never had a major affect on Davis GMC Buick locally, however it was a major blow to our partner, General Motors. The recession identified several inefficiencies in their manufacturing model and the result was “The General” finding themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. They were faced with some difficult decisions which included closing dealerships all across the country, trimming over 200 dealers out of their network across the nation. We feel very fortunate to have survived the cuts even though we never felt like we were in jeopardy. The unfortunate decision we were forced to deal with however was the decision to cut Pontiac from the General Motors portfolio. Pontiac was an iconic brand and even though their product line had some flaws, there was no doubting the popularity of Pontiac. The good part of the decision to remove Pontiac was that we got to keep GMC and Buick! GMC makes a fantastic product and actually outsells the Chevrolet Silverado in Canada. Canadians have great taste! Also, we are super excited about the launch of the Buick Verano. Our Buick lineup has never looked better. Our Enclave continues to be a volume leader for us with two sporty sedans in the Lacrosse and the Regal to complement it. The future for Buick has never been brighter as General Motors is working their butt off to reposition the brand to a younger demographic. Buick is not your Grandpa’s car anymore!
Outside the challenges we face with the ever increasing competition in the automotive industry we are lucky to have had the consistency with the talent, and loyalty of our staff. Quality people is the best solution for combating a difficult market and recovering from difficult manufacturer decisions. As of today 40% of our staff are the same as they were on April 2, 2007. In my humble opinion, to retain 40% of our staff after a change in ownership, a difficult recession, the loss of a brand, and all the other little things that happen through a normal five year span is remarkable. It speaks volumes about the people who choose to work at Davis GMC Buick. The staff that has assembled at this dealership is second to none! We are constantly trying to improve and to do that you have to change, and most people reading this know that change is not an easy thing to do. The staff at Davis GMC Buick not only accept change, they promote it. Nothing is the same around this dealership, except for the great service (which keeps getting better). We’re not perfect but we try hard to make sure every customer enjoys their experience at the dealership. Whether that means driving your car through our touchless car wash, or purchasing a new or used vehicle. Every customer matters to us.
I’m an optimist by nature and I don’t think I could be more excited about the future of Davis GMC Buick in Medicine Hat. I have been lucky enough to see a preview of some of the great products we have coming in the next few years, which includes a brand new from the ground up GMC Sierra. This truck is going to knock your socks off, and without any doubt be a leader in the full size truck market just like it has for the last 100 or so years. With the same great staff and our never ending quest for great people, I can guarantee that the products our dealership provides will be represented by the most progressive and customer oriented individuals our great city has to offer.
With five great years behind us the future has never looked better for Davis GMC Buick and our valued customers. Here’s to the next five years!!