Garrett Scott may be youngest auto dealer to be given top honours by the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta but he has no shortage of experience.
The 34-year-old with Scottsville Automotive Group is a third-generation auto dealer, who got his start as an 11-year-old stocking the vending machines at the family dealership. Grandfather Kipp Scott started the family business in 1968.
He learned the nuts and bolts of selling vehicles with jobs in parts shipping and receiving and overseeing the business’s online presence before heading to University of Alberta to get a commerce degree.
Returning home in 2008, he took over the Scott family’s recently purchased Subaru franchise and then became chief operating officer and partner in the Scottsville Automotive Group in 2012. Scottsville now includes Scott Subaru, Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick and Scott’s 180 Collision in Red Deer and a Subaru dealership in Cranbrook, B.C.
On Tuesday, the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta named Scott as the recipient of the 2020 Alberta Dealer of Excellence Award, following in his father Gord’s footsteps, who won the same award in 2008. They won in the non-metro category open to dealers outside Edmonton and Calgary.
Scott joked that the recognition is proof that they have avoided the third-generation curse that has spelled the end of so many family businesses. Statistically, nine out of 10 family businesses fail by the third generation.
“I’m happy to say that’s not the case today,” he said.
Scott credits his father with being supportive without trying to take charge as he made his way in the business.
“From the day I got the opportunity he gave me that chance to take over,” he said.
“That’s one thing I can really appreciate. My dad put a lot of trust in me right away and off we went.”
While Gord no longer has a hand in the day-to-day running of the business he remains involved and is always available for advice and to share his experience. And now, they share top dealer honours.
“When you walk through the offices of the Motor Dealers Association both of our faces will be on the wall so that’s kind of cool.”
Scott’s said his business philosophy has been simple.
“Be transparent, be informative and be fair, but be unique.”
The unique requirement was met by developing what they call a “one-person approach,” which blends the sales and financing roles so that vehicle buyers deal with the same people from the showroom to delivery. The service and parts advisors take the same approach.
Scottsville’s focus on new approaches was also extended to the building of a replacement Subaru dealership.
When opened in June 2019, Scott Subaru was the world’s first Passive House-certified car dealership, achieving the international organization’s ecological footprint standards. The dealership is twice the size of its previous facility but consumes approximately half the energy.
“On top of the being energy-efficient, the building also provides one of the best living conditions due to the air quality, air circulation, consistent pressures, humidity, temperature, and quietness,” said Scott.
Scott has been active in the organizations representing dealerships. He served on Alberta’s Motor Dealership Association board for eight years, including a 2015 stint as president. He has also served as a director on the Canadian Auto Dealership Association.
Scottsville has also been a big charity supporter and has been funding a new kitchen at Red Deer’s Normandeau School. The dealership also funds meal programs for children in need at Normandeau and in Red Deer’s Spanish immersion school.