Several years ago, Corey Sawchuk and his wife Amanda visited Vancouver Island and promptly fell in love with the place.
As of Friday, Jan. 30, he has taken over as the new owner of Courtenay Mazda.
“We’re just in awe. We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful place,” said Sawchuk, who had previously done business in Grand Prairie, Alta.
Though not the “boom and bust” of northern Alberta, Sawchuk says the local economy is “steady and stable.”
“Economic indicators show a slow and steady growth. That’s a great feature to have when you’re opening a business.
“Think about now, especially with oil prices and everything else, the energy market in Canada, there’s kind of a little question mark beside that,” he added. “Gives this area maybe a chance to draw those trades people that vacated and went for better opportunities in the oil patch. Now they can maybe come home to roost.”
Also encouraging is the fact that Courtenay Mazda has been in business 20 years.
“There’s good people,” Sawchuk said. “When you buy the assets of a business, outside of buildings, the next biggest asset is people. We’ll look to expand inventory, but in terms of day-to-day operations, they’ve always done a phenomenal job.”
He considers the dealership’s location at 475 Silverdale Cres. off Ryan Road to be a “good hub” of economic activity with an auto mall feel.
“Competition is a good thing,” he said. “We like having the other brands right close. Consumer choice — it allows them the ability to shop more than one brand.”
Along with a line of new and used Mazdas, the dealership markets pre-owned Porsches, BMWs and Land Rovers, among other brands.
“We’re going to expand on the pre-owned line,” Sawchuk said. “I think there’s some opportunity to grow that side, offering more lines, getting into trucks and things like that to make sure we’ve got all facets of the industry covered.”