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Glenn Lemmerick, Larry Vickar, Tova Vickar, Russ Wyatt, Stephen Carlisle, John Roth, Sam Vickar

Larry Vickar

Larry and Tova with friends


by Rhonda Spivak, May 2, 2015



For the second time in three years, Vickar Community Chevrolet in Winnipeg outpaced some 457 other General Motors dealers across Canada, to become the No 1. GM dealership in Canada. Vickar Community Chevrolet sold 1, 458 new vehicles for the year, which was almost 100 units more than its next closest competitor.



"It's not the size of the population, it's the people who make the difference", President Larry Vickar said at a celebratory luncheon honouring approximately 200 employees, held at the Regent Avenue operation. Larry stressed that the achievement was "a complete team effort", and thanked all of his committed staff, working in "in parts, service and autobody," in addition to his devoted sales team.



"It's not the size of the brick, it's the mortar," he said, in summing up the recipe for his dealership's success. Vickar family's history in the auto business goes back close to 70 years, beginning in Saskatchewan, and Larry's father, 98 year old Norman Vickar was present at the event , beaming with pride. 



Larry pointed out that "another important ingredient" in the dealership's success "is our customers."



"Without them we can't do what we like to do," he said, and as an example of loyal customers, Larry invited the Pollock family from Carmen to the luncheon, noting that they had purchased a total of 30 vehicles from the dealership over the years. Vickar Community Chevrolet is a dealership "where customers send their friends," he continued.



Larry also thanked his partner in life who is also involved in the dealership, his wife Tova. 



General Manager Sam Vickar, whose wife Lisa was present for the occasion, also spoke of the "great team" that they have assembled, and emphasized that "We are working together towards our common goal." He also added "We have over 1,000 units on hand at all times, that allows us to offer one-stop shopping."



General Motors Canada's president Stephen Carlisle came to Winnipeg for this celebratory luncheon, on his first official visit to Winnipeg in his new role. Also present for the special occasion were John Roth, vice-president, sales, service and marketing, and Glenn Lemmerick, GM regional director, western region.



“We are thrilled and honoured that Steve Carlisle, John Roth and Glenn Lemmerick are here to help us celebrate our achievement," Larry said, noting that the new GM president's visit was the first such visit by a GM president to the dealership in 11 years. 



"People like the Vickar family remind us about why we are in this business," Carlisle said, noting that Manitoba has a "special place" in his  heart since his mother was born in Gilbert Plains.



"The Vickar family -- as with our other dealers across Canada -- strives to make a difference in their communities. The Vickar family contributions to community inspire all of us," Carlisle said.



"I am looking forward to being back here next year to celebrate Vickar Community Chevrolet once again being top GM dealership in Canada," he added



Carlisle also said General Motors has a number of new "terrific products lined up in the future," and he again congratulated the Vickar family saying "You have a tremendous track record of success."



John Roth congratulated the entire Vickar Chev team for their achievement, saying "Number 1 is more than just a number, it's an attitude." 



Roth added "You all collectively have earned this honour."



Roth also praised Sam and Larry Vickar for their contributions personally to General Motors Canada. "Sam and Larry have served on a number of our boards and always provide us with wise advice," he said.



In addition to celebrating the dealership's overall sales achievement for last year, the Vickar family gave special recognition to sales representatives and technicians for their individual achievements in 2014. 



Larry Vickar  noted that the criteria for Tech Guild Grand Master status is scoring 100 per cent in five online tests throughout the year, taking five additional online training courses and having CSI scores above a certain level.



At the event Tova Vickar presented a cheque to L'Arche Winnipeg, represented by chairman Paul Moreau, executive director Jim Lapp and L'Arche resident Dorothy who also works at L'Arche Tova Cafe in Transcona, very near the Vickar Community Chevrolet dealership. L'Arche is an international network of communities which enables people, including those with intellectual disabilities to live and work productively together. L'Arche Winnipeg opened L'Arche Tova Cafe (named after Tova), a very special and quaint cafe, where servers include those with intellectual disabilities. The Cafe opened three years ago in large part due to the generosity of Larry and Tova and the Vickar family. 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.