TROTMAN GROUP REVVING UP IN FRASER VALLEYJan 27th, 2015
One step inside the Langley Chrysler dealership and you know you are not in a regular car dealership.
The massage chairs, business centre and coffee station are all clues that customers at Langley Chrysler’s flagship store for the Trotman Automotive Group are not in for a typical car-buying experience.
That, says Mike Trotman, president and CEO of Trotman Automotive Group, is part of the organization’s commitment to making car buying a fun experience.
Langley Chrysler is one of five dealerships owned by Trotman Automotive Group. It was first purchased by George Trotman in 1977. At the time, the dealership was a medium- sized operation and the three Trotman brothers who are now partners in Trotman Automotive Group. Mike, Mitch and Brad spent their time washing and selling cars.
Although the three eventually became partners and co- owners in Trotman Automotive Group, Mitch is in charge of the Abbotsford dealerships and Brad oversees the Langley Chrysler location. None of them planned on getting into the industry. Ultimately, all three wound up at the Langley Chrysler dealership and realized there were opportunities in the automotive industry.
After gaining experience in the industry, the brothers took the reins at Langley Chrysler. Their leadership took the dealership to the top three percent of Chrysler dealerships nationally, and Langley Chrysler was included in Chrysler’s President’s Club, which recognizes the top 20 dealerships in Canada.
At that point, the brothers decided it was time to expand the business, so in 2003 they acquired Comox Valley Dodge, in Courtenay. This was followed by the acquisition of Alpine Toyota in Cranbrook in 2008, Abbotsford Hyundai in 2010 and Abbotsford Chrysler in 2011. The brothers credit their success to organization’s culture.
“Our vision is to lead the industry and that is the foundation of our values, which are determined by us and our staff,” Mike says. “We create an exceptional experience for clients, and an exceptional employment experience. We encourage fun. We have a gym for our employees. We built a team of people who believe passionately in what we are doing.”
That commitment to employees and team members is a cornerstone of Trotman Automotive Group. The organization has a strategic training process and brings in world-class trainers monthly for professional development.
“We’re not afraid to try new things,” Mitch says. “In this industry, you need to innovate. For a long time the industry stayed the same, but in the last few years things have changed a lot. We encourage feedback from our team that we can use to continue improving our organization.”
But it is their commitment to their customers that keeps clients coming back. That commitment includes not only an exceptional experience but a guarantee that if there is a problem at their dealership, they will make it right.
“The best organizations in the world make mistakes,” Brad says. “We’re not perfect; we make mistakes sometimes. Things happen in this business. Our commitment is to fix problems and our team knows that. We guarantee that if we make a mistake, we will make it right.”
Although they would like to continue growing, the brothers say they will not grow for the sake of it. Any acquisitions must make sense for the organization and fit with the company’s brand and market.
The Langley Chrysler dealership is located at 19418 Langley Bypass, Surrey.