Hamel Honda opens with a bang


By Jim Leggett

ST-EUSTACHE, QUE. –  The city of St-Eustache, 20-minutes north of Montréal, is one of the fastest growing urban areas in Québec and was recently the scene of Honda’s newest renovated dealership opening.

Located close to Autoroute 440, a major east-west traffic artery, Hamel Honda opened the doors to its 70,000-square feet of retail and service space in grand fashion. Completely redesigned with 25-foot ceilings, a full glass facade providing both more space and clarity, the showroom will delight clients, explained Hamel Honda president Gilles Lachapelle.

Lachapelle, who spent $11 million dollars on the renovation, thanked loyal customers at the opening ceremonies in late May for providing support spanning nearly three decades. Special guests and close to 800 customers were treated to a show featuring three finalists from the popular show VOICE; Jael Bird, Joseph Duquette Andie and Jerome Couture.

Honda Canada president Jerry Chenkin presented Lachapelle a commemorative plaque and Kabuto – a helmet worn by armed Shoguns Samurai that represents the fighting spirit.

In addition, Hamel Honda salesperson Pierre Latour was given a plaque for earning Honda’s prestigious Top Seller in Canada award, again.

The new store has over 70 employees in sales, service and support. A large fixed ops department is outfitted with 20 service bays.

An on-site bistro will provide “top quality” meals and snacks while customers waiting for service can use complimentary iPads with free WiFi while relaxing in the Honda Lounge complete with fireplace.

Lachapelle, a 52-year old veteran of five dealerships for various manufacturers since 1991, said he foresees a close relationship with Honda for years to come.

“In collaboration with Honda Canada, we have developed a new program to be more responsive to consumer demands of today, with ultra-modern facilities and an array of amenities such as the Honda lounge, coffee corner, conference room, the Wi-Fi network, et cetera,” he said.

“I am proud that we are the first Honda dealership in Canada to have such facilities. I would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work of the designer of the project, Joanne Boileau, with whom I have worked for almost 20 years, inspired by the highest standards of the automotive industry.”

He said the shift and massive investment behind Hamel Honda was to make the store the destination when it comes to Honda.

“Much more than a car dealership, Hamel Honda is a lifestyle that offers a variety of complementary products and services all under one roof.”

Hamel Honda will carry an inventory of 1,800 new and 650 used vehicles with annual sales goals of $8.5 million for new vehicles and $1 million used.

Lachapelle feels that Honda is the right choice for him and his team because Honda is “very respectful with the dealers as they listen to what we have to say. They are reliable with their commitments and are very supportive of the dealer network.”