New VW point for eastern Ontario

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PORT HOPE, ONT. – Bud Lauria is about to have a busy summer.

The Port Hope dealer is getting set for a late June groundbreaking of a ground-up build for his new Volkswagen store, Lauria Volkswagen.

“We've come a long way in the 30 years since opening the Pontiac store on Peter Street in 1984.  I was seven years old at that time,” Lauria said. “Adding a second store right beside the Hyundai store is the next logical step for us. It's something that my wife Sara and I, along with my parents, have dreamed about for some time.”

Lauria is the son of Frank Lauria, former owner of Lauria Pontiac and current head of Lauria Hyundai.

When father Frank lost the Pontiac brand in 2009, he was one of the first dealers to find a home with Hyundai.

His son grew up in the business like so many other dealer sons. Now Lauria will be a partner and general manager of the new point. He said he is excited at the opportunity to expand the family name.

Though still working with a project manager and construction company reps, they have set a target opening date of March 1, 2016.

The news store will meet the current VW White Frame Modular Concept image program for Canada. It will top out at 12,200 square feet and feature a six-car showroom.

Lauria said they expect to keep roughly 120 new units on site with another 30 to 40 used-vehicles. Early projects have them retailing 250 new vehicles and roughly 100 used their first year in operation.

Financial details of the project were not disclosed as he said they are still working towards a final number.

“I think Volkswagen is a perfect complementary brand to Hyundai. With the exception of a pickup truck, we have almost every segment covered,” he said.

Serving Northumberland County along with central and eastern Ontario, Lauria said the market area is certainly strong for the German brand.

The facility will face West South West towards the Hyundai store at the North end of Benson Court, directly South of Highway 401.

“We intend on operating the Volkswagen store the same way as the Hyundai store. Great people, world class product and proper customer focused process,” he said. “It's not rocket science by any means.”

Once this project is wrapped it will only be a matter of time until the family get’s its hands dirty with construction dust again. After reimaging to Hyundai standards in 2010 following the switch from Pontiac, Lauria Hyundai will again have to reimage to meet the new global standard announced by the automaker last summer.

Lauria is predicting that should be another five to eight years down the road.