Groupe Gabriel opens luxury used-car store


 Jim Leggett

MONTREAL, QUE. – The Groupe Gabriel has been part Quebec’s automotive retail scene since the family emigrated in the mid-1980s from Lebanon where Gabriel Azouz and his father were distributors for General Motors.

In the ensuing years, the family business has grown from a single Acura dealership into the province’s largest dealership group and one of the biggest in Canada. With 26 new and used-car stores in the Greater Montreal region, the line of brands includes Porsche, Audi, Lexus, Acura, Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford and Lincoln.

Naturally with 14 brands in 26 dealerships there is a constant source of trade-in vehicles. That volume led Group Gabriel to open its second “véhicules d’occasion” dealership – a store dedicated to luxury used-car sales.

The new building was constructed facing one of Quebec’s busiest roadways in central Montreal and looks far more like a franchise operation than an typical used-car lot.

Opening officially in late January with a price tag of $4.8 million, the 45,000-sq. ft. building is spread over four floors.
Fixed operations include several service bays, wheel alignment and detailing on the main floor. The parts department and showroom occupy the remainder of the first level.

The top two floors are dedicated to the body shop with areas for accident repairs, panel replacement and paint preparation.

The company installed four Termomeccanica GL spray booths and its body shop is fully authorized for Audi and Porsche brands.

With this strategy of consolidating the individual dealerships’ body and paint facilities into one location along with the repairs and preparation for the trade-ins, each dealership has freed up space that can now be used for sales and service.

Despite the space at the Cremazie Blvd., the location does not handle customer vehicle servicing or repairs.

“Our clients are served at the Groupe Gabriel dealership closest to them,” explained George Yared, sales manager.
“At this location, we will normally have an inventory of 75 vehicles, all stored indoors where they are protected from the weather,” continued Kevin Dalpé, pre-owned sales manager.