EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of online profiles on eight local vehicle dealerships in Cornwall and area that have signed on to take part in our Win A Car promotion. Check back regularly for more.
From left are some of the staff at Seaway Chevrolet including Bruce McDonald, Mike Stiles, J.P. Sabourin, Trevor Mayer, president Andre Lapointe, Mike Lalonde, Jason Varrin and Pierre Rivers.
CORNWALL, Ontario - Andre Lapointe has been a fixture in the automotive industry in Cornwall for 25 years.
The president of Seaway Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Ltd., located on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall, said in an interview he always had a love affair with the retail component of the business and when an opportunity presented itself in 1989 to acquire the Brookshell dealership in the city he jumped on it.
"I always enjoyed the retail side of things," he said, adding he worked for General Motors of Canada for 11 years before settling in Cornwall and operating the Brookshell dealership.
The seeds that were sewn in the late 1980s blossomed into the acquisition of Cornwall Motor Sales (CMS) in August 2008. Brookshell and CMS were amalgamated a year later to create Seaway Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Ltd. - a name that reflects the geography the dealership serves as the largest new car dealer in the region.
"It's a one-stop shopping scenario where we have the entire General Motors selection in one location," said Lapointe. "From a customer standpoint, it's all about selection and value."
Lapointe said customers are focusing more now on three areas, including fuel economy, safety features and the latest in technology.
"People are looking for things like (access to) Bluetooth, voice-activated functions and communication features," he said. "Now you can plug in your Ipad and your phone.
"That's the biggest change in the last two or three years."
The Internet plays a crucial role in Seaway's ability to showcase its products online here.
Seaway offers a full lineup of new and pre-owned vehicles on its website, as well as links to lease options and General Motors incentives.