Winning the Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta (MDA) 2022 Dealers of Excellence Award is extra special for Paul Valentine because he said it’s an example of the legacy his late father Ted created.
Valentine, President of the Valentine Auto Group in Calgary, was named a winner of the MDA Award in the metro category. Todd Ducharme of Westlock Motors in Westlock won in the non-metro category. The MDA awards are given annually to one dealer from Calgary or Edmonton and one from the rest of the province.
Ted followed his father, Bert, into the business and was acclaimed as the Alberta Dealer of the Year Award in 1984. He was also Chairman of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association of Canada, which was the forerunner of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.
Paul followed his father into the business and won the CADA Retail Laureate Award in 2016.
“I think my Dad is looking down and he’s pretty happy,” said Valentine. “I’m trying to keep up to him. We followed the exact same footsteps in our careers.”
The Valentine Group owns three stores: Valentine Volvo, which was followed by Jaguar Land Rover Royal Oak in 2020 and Volvo Cars Royal Oak in 2021, both done in partnership with the Wyant Group in Saskatoon.
“Because of the new stores, and the lack of inventory, and COVID and so on, this award is really about what we’ve done with Valentine Volvo,” said Valentine. “Volvo doesn’t traditionally do well in urban/agricultural markets, but we’ve made it very strong.”
The Valentines have been selling and servicing vehicles in Calgary since 1946 and began retailing Volvos in 1967. Paul Valentine said he has tried to impart to his staff a principle his father taught him, which is that every deal represents 10 follow-ups by the same customer.
“It’s tough to train people to think long term, but if you always put long term as the priority, and not short term, then customers will keep coming back,” said Valentine.