Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/8/2018 (703 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brian Lowes started out washing cars and assisting with sales at a Nissan dealership in Edmonton in 2001 or 2002.
Now, as president and general manager of Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg, he's just won one of the Canadian auto industry's most prestigious awards — the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association's Laureate dealer recognition award, in the retail operations category.
The association receives hundreds of nominations, but only three people win, one for each category: ambassadorship, business innovation and retail operations.
"This is a very difficult award to win — it means a tremendous amount," Lowes said when reached by phone. "It was funny. Time just kind of stopped for a moment — it took a few minutes for it to really sink in."
The dealership was underperforming, according to June Cotte, a professor at the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.
Lowes took over in 2008, and under his leadership it won the Star Dealer award from Mercedes-Benz in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
However, Lowes would not take all of the credit.
"What would stand out with us is the team we’ve been able to build. Certainly the level of commitment, loyalty, dedication to our customers and the brand, and all of our team members interdependently. That’s what sets us apart," Lowes said. "It's a team effort."
The industry award isn't just for show — 15 finalists in each category are selected by the association, but academics from the Ivey Business School analyze the finalists to select the year's three winners.
"It adds legitimacy to the award and to the prestige of it," said Lowes of the selection process.
"Brian stands out in a field crowded with incredibly well-run and profitable organizations," said Cotte in a statement.
Lowes emphasized that he's grateful to win the award, and hopes to carry on the "tradition of excellence and honour" other winners have set as an example.
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