Congratulations on Huntsville Honda’s 40th anniversary as a Honda Dealer! It’s amazing… to see how the dealership has progressed since you took over the business…I can recall my first visit to the store back in 1989! Forty years is significant because it means that the dealership has been with Honda for most of our history in Canada and I’m looking forward to many more years of success… Those who have the strongest bonds with their customers will be the winners, I believe, so keep doing what you do.
~Dave Gardner / President of Honda, Canada
This is a benchmark year for Huntsville Honda. As of 2020, Huntsville has officially been home to the dealership for four decades, a time period that spans most of Honda’s existence in Canada!
Over time, technology both outside and inside of vehicles has evolved—and Huntsville Honda has adapted to the ways in which this evolution has shifted the focus, as well as the demands, of today’s consumer.
Peter Morrison, sales and leasing representative, has been with the dealership since 1980 when the dealership was located in downtown Huntsville, which makes him the perfect candidate to reflect on the changes and advancements that have occurred locally, as well in the industry at large, over the course of 40 years.
“In the ’80s, the dealership itself was the main source of information about vehicles for sale. Used cars were advertised in weekly papers, or customers had to buy an Autotrader for information,” he says. “Nowadays 85 per cent of buyers gather vehicle information online, so they often arrive at the dealership more informed.”
Peter points out that this evolution has changed the conversations that happen inside of the dealership:
“Consumers do their research and are more educated; which means that we can dedicate more of the time they spend with us to finding a vehicle best-suited to their lifestyle,” says Peter.
In addition to a buyer’s shopping habits, the advancement of technology inside the vehicle itself has shifted consumer demand away from the engine, and over to how a vehicle can facilitate the buyer’s day-to-day.
For example, Honda has risen to the challenge of helping drivers stay safely in touch with co-workers, family members, clients, and more while they’re on the road, through the development of software that allows for hands-free calling, voice-to-phone texting, advancements in GPS navigation and much more.
“Due to the shifting demands in the industry, we tend to put more emphasis on the ways in which a vehicle can make a buyer’s life easier such as demonstrating how that vehicle can assist them in an electronic world of communication—Bluetooth, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, etc.,” he says.
In addition to staying on the edge of technological progression, Huntsville Honda has made impressive advancements towards lowering environmental impact and reducing their footprint.
In June 2019, the dealership stepped into the spotlight as the first out of 81 Honda dealers in Ontario to achieve Green Dealer Recognition as part of Honda Canada’s nation-wide energy-reduction program, and reducing the impact that their operations have on the environment is simply a natural extension of Huntsville Honda’s mandate to go the extra mile.
The dealership has always operated under the firm belief that local businesses have a responsibility to their surrounding community.
Whether it is supporting Huntsville Hospice, sponsoring local sports teams, holding drives for local charities such as The Table Food Bank, or donating $100 to local Muskoka hospitals for every new or used vehicle sold in the month of August during Jason Armstrong’s Annual Drive for Your Hospital Tent Event, the dealership is truly Driven to Care.
As Huntsville Honda celebrates 40 years, the dealership will continue to evolve while maintaining its standards for growth and prosperity in the spirit of sharing the benefits with the surrounding communities of Muskoka.
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