Miami Living Magazine

Mario Lopez

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Page 74 of 147

H. Grégoire: Canada's Car Superstore founder, Greg Hairabedian, a successful entrepreneur and developer of malls, strip plazas, restaurants, clubs, etc, has taken the used car industry by storm. Heavily invested in the car business for several years now, his entrepreneurial ventures began when he first opened Vente d'auto HG, where he focused on the reselling of used vans. HG rapidly made a name for themselves in the Greater Montréal area and business steadily rose. Looking for a way to boost his business into the next stratosphere, Hairabedian discovered that he could profoundly benefit by purchasing used cars in Québec (at phenomenal prices) and sell them to various auction houses and used car lots in the United States. His acquisition of used (virtually new) vehicles directly from dealers proved to be a lucrative decision. He continued these dealings until the Canadian dollar appreciated in 2003— then it was on to his next venture. Like all savvy businessmen, Hairabedian used his prior experience and knowledge of auctions to his advantage. Auctions proved to be a hot place to buy cars, so Hairabedian decided to bring the American- inspired idea to Canada, which transpired into the opening of Encan Direct H. Grégoire in 2003. By arranging a public auction every Sunday, customers were able to walk away with a car at a price they were comfortable and content with. The demand for cars in all makes and models became so high that they reassessed their business plan and decided to refocus on used car sales from multiple sources; as a result, H. Grégoire: Canada's Car Superstore was opened. With superstores in Trois- Rivières, Laval, Carignan, Montréal and Saint-Eustache, and set-up costs totaling over $50 million, there was undoubtedly a demand for this market leader. H. Grégoire strategically built their business up to become the leader in the industry. As indicated on the H. Grégoire website, L'Actualité Magazine named the company among the top 5 Quebec businesses with the strongest growth. Careful consideration went into the construction of how this business could excel, and the numbers say it all. In 2006, sales reached 15,000 used vehicles sold — leaving the competition to look on in amazement. Finding such immense success in this industry sparked Hairabedian to branch out beyond the borders of Canada. H. Grégoire Launches Their First American Used Car Superstore in South Florida Words by Vanessa Pascale ML FEATURE MIAMI LIVING 73

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