Original title: Mercedes-Benz Laval – sister act
PHOTO ANDRÉ RYDER
Mercedes Benz Laval will celebrate its 30th anniversary later this year, an accomplishment Carole and Louise Leblanc are very proud of. The sisters have been co-owners since 2003. Year in, year out, they sell over 2,000 cars, a resounding success in a predominantly male-dominated industry. Their father, Gilles Leblanc, founded the dealership in 1989. The first year, he sold 70 cars and had 15 employees.
Carole, a mother of two young adults, joined her father in 1990 after studying marketing at HEC Montréal and learning the business from the ground up. Today, she is President and oversees sales.
Louise joined the family business in 1996 after completing her bachelor’s degree in administration at UQAM. Over the years, she honed her skills and today acts as Vice-President, overseeing customer service.
Growing up on a farm in Mirabel gave the sisters a love for all things motorized. They learned to operate everything, from snowmobiles and four wheelers to farm equipment. Louise also has her helicopter pilot’s license. Her family, including two children in their late teens, often fly with her.
In 2003, inspired by their vision of continued growth and success, the sisters built their current 47,000-square foot location. This was also the year their father retired and transitioned the dealership to his daughters.
Over the years, Carole and Louise learned the business, earned the respect of employees and suppliers, and developed strong ties with Mercedes Benz. Their proudest accomplishment is without a doubt their team of 160 employees who are at the heart of the dealership’s success and customer loyalty. Customers are like extended family members; during the course of a business day many drop in just to say hello and have a friendly chat.
The Sprinter truck division was added in 2010, and an extension was added in 2012 to house this new business: a 58,000-square foot building including a 15-door aesthetics shop and 10 Sprinter maintenance bays. In 2018, a third building was purchased to store their entire inventory safely indoors, ensuring cars are always available for viewing and test drives. The Mercedes product line appeals to the young and young at heart, and continues to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. A sign of the times, Mercedes’ first all-electric vehicle will arrive in 2020.
The sisters’ greatest source of pride is to have maintained a close family atmosphere and loyalty. Carole and Louise have recently begun wishing a happy retirement to the first employees who were hired 30 years ago. For those employees, as for the sisters, the road ahead is filled with excitement.