Hiring and Promotions

Mercedes-Benz Canada appoints Muller to oversee all Toronto, Vancouver stores


Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Wednesday that this year each of its 11 corporate stores will now report to the newly appointed vice president of corporate retail — Robert Muller.

Previously, the company’s seven Toronto Retail Group (TRG) and four Vancouver Retail Group (VRG) locations were managed separately.

In December, Mercedes-Benz Canada announced that Muller would succeed Philipp von Witzendorff as TRG vice president, but under the company’s new leadership structure his responsibilities have expanded to overseeing VRG as well.

The company said Muller will be based in Toronto but will travel to Vancouver frequently in his new role.

The company structure change follows a comprehensive review of Mercedes-Benz Canada, which examined the organizational structure of its retail stores.

“We take pride in being proactive in all areas of our business — whether anticipating our customers' needs or identifying new opportunities where we can excel,” Mercedes-Benz Canada president and chief executive officer Brian Fulton said in a news release. “We are committed to driving organizational change from a position of strength, which is why this was an excellent time for us to take this next step toward making an already strong retail organization even better.”

In addition to streamlining processes, the company’s new leadership structure will also foster a more consistent overall customer experience across its two key markets, according to Mercedes-Benz Canada.

“I look forward to working closely with our Canadian own retail management team in Toronto and Vancouver. Together, we'll identify opportunities to maintain our leadership position, engage our staff and, most importantly, continue to exceed our customers' expectations,” said Muller. “It is exciting to be leading this new chapter for Mercedes-Benz Canada's corporate stores. I am confident that the new structure will make our own retail organization even stronger.”

Muller joined Mercedes-Benz Canada in 2006 when he was brought in to serve as a service manager at the Mercedes-Benz Maple dealership.

New Audi Canada president comes aboard in January

AJAX, Ontario - 

When 2018 begins, a new leader will be at the helm of Audi Canada.

The automaker announced on Tuesday that Giorgio Delucchi will be joining Audi Canada as president on Jan. 8, succeeding Daniel Weissland, who has been promoted to managing director of Volkswagen Group Canada. Delucchi is presently the sales director for Latin America and based in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Audi highlighted that Delucchi has held increasingly progressive roles in service, aftersales and sales for the company.

Presently Delucchi has been serving as the sales director for Latin America since June 2014. He has been accountable for the overall performance of 30 markets in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Mexico.

In his second year, Audi Latin America achieved 15-percent sales growth, reaching the premium No. 1 position in the region with respect to sales, as well as customer and dealer satisfaction for the first time ever. 

Policaro Automotive Family names Francesco Policaro CEO

OAKVILLE, Ontario - 

The Policaro Automotive Family announced the appointment of Francesco Policaro as the company's new chief executive officer Wednesday.

Francesco brings over 20 years of experience with the company to his new role.

Francesco began his career as a part-time vehicle detailer at the age of 11 and has since held positions such as parts adviser, service adviser, parts delivery driver, pre-owned sales consultant and new-vehicle sales consultant, according to the Policaro Automotive Family.

“It is truly an honour for me to be entrusted with our family business,” Francesco said in a news release announcing his appointment. “Our new structure will allow for our organization to move forward with renewed purpose. It is an exciting time for our company with new dealership openings, construction projects and imminent launches of new and diversified businesses. I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

In 2002, Francesco transitioned to Northwest Lexus to serve as general sales manager where he oversaw the design and construction of the new retail operation and its launch.

After completing the NADA Dealer Succession Program, Francesco was named general manager of Northwest Lexus in 2005. While there, he led the dealership to its first of three consecutive Award of Excellence designations.

In 2011, Francesco left to open Porsche Centre Oakville, where he was once again responsible for the construction and organization of the new dealership.

The Policaro Automotive Family currently operates seven franchises carrying seven brands including Acura; BMW; Harley-Davidson; Honda; Lexus; Porsche and Toyota.

ADESA Canada promotes 2 to VP roles

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Monday that it has promoted Eddy Cusan to vice president of commercial sales and Wesley Kent to the newly created position of vice president of programs and operations for ADESA Canada.

In 2007, Cusan started as a program director at the Internet-based business-to-business automotive remarketing company OPENLANE, which KAR Auction Services acquired in 2011. He was responsible for leading several North American private label programs and transitioned into an executive sales role for ADESA following the acquisition.

Since 2015, Cusan has taken on additional responsibilities concerning sales team leadership and the comprehensive sales strategy for KAR entities in Canada.

In his new role, Cusan will oversee the executive sales team that manages ADESA Canada commercial client relationships and sales efforts.

“As the automotive industry evolves, we are focused on delivering broader benefits to our client base,” ADESA Canada chief operating officer Trevor Henderson said in a news release. “Eddy has a proven track record of working with our clients to identify and implement end-to-end remarketing solutions using our entire suite of advanced products and offerings while elevating the customer experience with superior analytics and service.

“Wesley led the team responsible for launching DealerBlock and LiveBlock and bringing upstream private label platforms to market for ADESA commercial clients. Their leadership will be invaluable as ADESA Canada continues to improve the customer experience,” he went on to say.

Kent started at ADESA Halifax where he served as an online coordinator in 1999. He moved to the ADESA Canada corporate office in 2001 to join its eBusiness team.

In 2012, he was promoted to senior director of online operations to oversee ADESA Canada’s internet remarketing initiatives, which included the integration of OPENLANE.

As ADESA Canada vice president of programs and operations, Kent is responsible for enhancing the customer experience across the ADESA Canada platform with technology and service improvements, according to ADESA.

Element Fleet promotes Gittens to president of Canadian operations

SPARKS, Md. - 

Element Fleet Management has promoted Chris Gittens to serve as president of Canadian operations, the company announced Wednesday.

Gittens succeeds Sebastien Blondin, who has taken on a strategic business development role with the Element Fleet Management corporate team.

“Since 2012, the Canadian leadership team has built a strong foundation and driven a singular customer experience that has made customers’ fleets safer, smarter and more productive,” Element Fleet Management, North America president and chief executive officer Kristi Webb said in a news release. “We’re excited for Chris to use his industry expertise to continue to grow our Canadian operations.”

Gittens joined the company in 2013 as chief commercial officer for Canada, where he worked closely with most of its largest accounts throughout North America, according to Element Fleet Management.

“Element has a strong history and bright future in Canada,” Gittens said. “My focus will be on ensuring operational excellence in everything we do, so that our customers in Canada can take advantage of new services and data-driven insights to improve their fleets.”

J.D. Power appoints 2 new execs in Canada, Latin America


J.D. Power announced Wednesday that it has both appointed Tim Braley to replace recently promoted Darren Slind as senior director of Canada and Latin America and chosen J.D. Ney to serve as Canada’s new country manager.

Slind has been appointed vice president of Singapore Operations to oversee the expansion of J.D. Power consulting services across Southeast Asia, India, Taiwan and Australia.

Braley most recently served as senior director of strategy within the global automotive division.

In his new role, Braley will collaborate with country managers Fabio Braga of Brazil and Gerardo Gomez of Mexico to drive growth in Latin America and Canada, according to J.D. Power.

Meanwhile, Ney joined J.D. Power in 2011 and most recently served as senior manager of Canadian automotive practice, prior to his new role.

As country manager of Canada, J.D. Power said he will lead the design and delivery of the company’s syndicated, proprietary and consulting solutions for Canadian automotive clients.

“We are putting the right people in the right places in order to better serve our clients and grow our business,” J.D. Power global automotive division senior vice president Doug Betts said in a news release.

“These leadership changes will undoubtedly be effective, and I have great confidence that Darren, Tim and J.D. will quickly have a positive effect on the clients and companies they serve.”

Safe-Guard Canada brings on new national account manager

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario  - 

Safe-Guard Canada recently announced it has appointed Richard Comrie as national account manager to oversee client relationship management and business development.

Comrie most recently served as the director of new business development for LGM Financial Services.

Comrie has spent more than 25 years in the finance and insurance industry, with a focus on business development, customer relations management and daily operations, according to Safe-Guard Canada.

"I am proud to welcome Richard to the Safe-Guard team as National Account Manager," Safe-Guard Canada general manager Scott Ashby said in a news release.

"Our clients and their dealers continue to see business grow across Canada. Richard is coming on board at just the right time and will help take our clients and their dealers to the next level. As we continue to integrate with our clients and drive sales with our field teams, Richard's deep F&I experience and client leadership are vital in supporting our client's growth and development," he continued.

Additionally, prior to joining LGM, Comrie held several roles within business operations, national sales and credit management.

"I am excited to join a very progressive, client-centric organization like Safe-Guard,” added Comrie.

“I look forward to building upon the strong relationships we have with our current OEM partners and their dealers, and I am committed to leading our partners and driving business development for each of the brands that Safe-Guard Canada supports."

Helby joins TSI Auto Solutions as director of dealer solutions

MONCTON, New Brunswick - 

TSI Auto Solutions recently announced the company has named a new director to lead its Dealer Solutions division.

Chosen for the position is Geoff Helby, who most recently led the Canadian arm of ALG.

As director of Dealer Solutions, Helby will be responsible for overseeing the strategic growth of TSI’s dealer solutions business, product training, client consulting and dealer relations.

Helby has also been tasked with directing the sales and marketing of the TSI Echo dealer product.

“This Canadian company attracted me with its leading edge technology, strategic long-term vision, dedicated workforce and customer-centric attitude” said Helby.

Additionally, prior to ALG, Helby directed the Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power and Associates where he provided transaction level data and consulting services to Canadian-based automotive manufacturers and retailers for more than seven years.

KAR shifts 1 of ADESA Canada’s top execs to new role

CARMEL, Ind. - 

As part of the roll out of KAR Auction Services’ new operating segment — KAR Remarketing Services — one of the top executives from ADESA Canada has a new position.

As part of this organizational alignment, on Thursday Lisa Scott was named president of PAR North America, which is a U.S. provider of vehicle transition services with coast-to-coast solutions for recovery management, skip-tracing, remarketing and title services.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of KAR, and I am thrilled to take the lead at PAR North America,” Scott said. “I worked very closely with our customers at ADESA Canada, and I’ve seen and heard their needs firsthand. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to develop the next generation of integrated remarketing solutions.”

Prior to this role, Scott held a variety of positions at ADESA Canada, including senior vice president of sales, marketing and operations, general manager, and, most recently, chief client officer. She has also served on several industry boards, including chair of the Canadian committee of the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) and co-chair of the Canadian chapter of the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA).

“Lisa was a visionary leader for ADESA Canada with a strong track record of creating deep customer relationships. Her 25 years of experience, broad understanding of the marketplace and her passion for our industry will continue to benefit our company and our customers,” Vignes said.

Scott takes the place at the top of PAR North America in place of Jerry Kroshus, who departed the company after nine years to become president and chief executive officer of Auto Approve, a refinance company that specializes in helping consumers find the best possible vehicle interest rates through its national network of credit unions, banks and finance companies.

Meanwhile, top company officials explained that KAR Remarketing Services is designed to align their AutoVIN, Dent Demon, High Tech Locksmiths and PAR North America businesses. Picked to serve as president of this new operating division is David Vignes.

“KAR’s goal is to provide a simplified, seamless experience across its end-to-end remarketing platform,” Vignes said. “The alignment of these businesses allows us to deliver the full range of inspection, recovery, reconditioning and repair services both in the lanes and on the road.

“We look forward to building on our successful foundation and expanding our integrated offerings to serve our diverse whole car, salvage and buyer and seller customers,” he continued.

Vignes previously served as KAR’s executive vice president of enterprise optimization, and has been promoted to the role of president of KAR Remarketing Services. In addition to his new responsibilities, Vignes will continue to oversee KAR’s enterprise safety efforts. Vignes also led the development of KAR’s “Safe T. Sam” program, which is available to all National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) members.

Top-line quarterly results

In other company news this week, KAR also reported its second quarter financial results for the period that ended June 30.

The company’s total revenue jumped 9 percent year-over-year from $788.5 million to $858.0 million.

However, KAR reported a 7-percent softening in net income, landing at $57.2 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, as compared with net income of $61.8 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016. Management explained Q2 net income was negatively impacted by $17.3 million, net of tax ($0.13 per diluted share, net of tax) resulting from the company's refinancing activities.

Looking at figures through the first six months of the year, KAR highlighted an 11-percent gain in revenue to $1.7246 billion as net income rose 3 percent to $126.4 million, or $0.91 per diluted share.

“KAR continues to execute well on the fundamentals of our business,” KAR chairman and chief executive officer Jim Hallett said in a statement. “Our second quarter results reflect the level of performance we expect, our ability to generate cash, and the strength of our diversified business model.”

KAR also announced a cash dividend this of $0.32 per share on the company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on Oct. 3 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Sept. 20.

Dent Wizard appoints new Canadian director of operations


Dent Wizard International announced it has promoted a new director of operations for Canada. 

Chosen for the position is Matt Boyd, who was most recently the company’s national sales manager in Canada.

Boyd is one of Dent Wizard’s most seasoned and experienced veterans and he has been brought on to apply his substantial automotive knowledge and experience to Dent Wizard’s continued growth in the Canadian market, the company said.

He will report directly to Michael Fedorowich, Dent Wizard’s regional vice president of the Northeast U.S. and Canada operations.

“Matt’s a proven performer who possesses the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm required for continuing our growth in this important market,” Fedorowich said in a news release announcing Boyd’s promotion.

Since his start in 2005, Boyd has served in a variety roles, such as Paintless Dent Removal technician, sales manager and district manager.

According to Dent Wizard, in his most recent role as national sales manager, he lead the company's Canada sales managers using various forms of mentorship, development and coaching.

Boyd holds a degree in business management from Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax.

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