Since 1988, Calgary’s Charlesglen Toyota has earned a reputation for treating staff and customers like family, building on this reputation every day by striving to make the purchase and service experience better for each new customer.
Tim Beach is Charlesglen Toyota’s Dealer Principal and General Manager. Based in Calgary’s North West Auto Mall, Charlesglen Toyota has been in the business of selling and fixing cars for more than 30 years, founded in 1988 by Glen Richardson and Glen Rumpel. Mr Beach credits the dealership’s success to a strong community and a great city, and here discusses the origins of the dealership, its commitment to supporting the Calgary community, and his belief that every day should be cause for celebration.
Keeping it local
“Charlesglen Toyota opened in 1988, in North West Calgary, at 21 Crowfoot Circle,” Mr Beach says. “We were welcomed by the surrounding communities including Ranchlands, Silver Springs and Scenic Acres. Since that date, we’ve continued our business with the mindset that if we support our city, the city will support us.”
Charlesglen is extremely proud of its achievements and involvement in the local area, which over the years has involved community initiatives, fundraising, involvement in United Way of Calgary and Area campaign, and the dealership’s annual fundraising Show and Shine event, Steel Dreamz.
“Something that we’ve done a lot of work with in the recent past is our Keep it Local merchant network, which helps provide small local businesses the opportunity to advertise with us for no cost, and leverage off our marketing efforts by offering small discounts to our customers. Supporting small business is how we can all grow and flourish together.”
This commitment to community work has helped define the growth of the dealership, as it was founded on the principle that mutual support with a strong community and great city is key to ongoing success.
“I come from a small prairie background, and believe that if you buy local, the people that you buy from will also come back and support you, and it’s served us well. We’re a strong member of North West Calgary.”
Originally from Saskatchewan, Mr Beach studied Business Administration and Marketing at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. He began selling cars in 1991 as his first full-time job, progressing eventually to becoming Dealer Principal at Charlesglen Toyota.
The dealership has grown exponentially over the years. In 2011, it moved from its 18,000sqft Crowfoot showroom to a state-of-the-art facility boasting 107,000sqft, 40 service bays and 116 employees, and began to achieve sales in excess of 2,000 vehicles per year.
“I consider Toyota to be the number one automaker in the world. The main reason I feel that is because of its affordability and maintenance costs. It continually ranks as the lowest in the industry for maintenance and costs per km ownership, and that’s compared to all other Japanese and domestic competitors.”
Charlesglen Toyota works upon the principle that its greatest asset is its people, evidenced by the incredible education and tenure levels of its staff members, many of whom have been working for the dealership for over 10 years.
“Our Auto Rewards program is another big advantage that we have at the dealership, which just helps give back to our customers that support us, and also helps the local business with the Keep it Local initiative.”
The dealership was recently awarded the 2021 Dealer of the Year with DealerRater, and has won the Calgary Herald Readers’ Choice Awards numerous times. The company currently has close to 4,000 Google reviews, at a 4.8 star rating.
With the city’s close proximity to the mountains, the buying public in Calgary tend to be outdoorsy types, with a focus on trucks. Mr Beach explains that this is often reflected in the sales the dealership makes.
“We tend to sell a higher percentage of 4Runners, Tacomas, Tundras, RAV4s and sport utilities in general. [Calgary] is a little more truck-centric than maybe the large, metropolitan areas that gravitate more towards smaller vehicles, like cars.”
Like most industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on automotive buying habits, with the earlier parts of the pandemic seeing ride shares and public transit use growing, minimizing car buying. Recently, however, many people have decided that they want to have their own vehicle to control cleanliness.
“The improvement of vehicles in regards to fuel efficiency, and even electric vehicles, has been changing our landscape, and it’s interesting to see how rapidly things are changing and adjusting. Toyota is very well poised in this, and have been building hybrid vehicles for over 20 years, so they’ve got a really good understanding of what consumers want.”
Charlesglen Toyota is known as Alberta’s Celebration Destination, reflecting the environment and attitude the dealership takes towards its staff and customers, with ‘celebration’ serving as the cornerstone of the business.
“Celebration is a word that can be used to describe pleasure in regards to an occasion, and when you buy a new car most people think of it as a great, fun time, and it is a celebration in itself. So, we chose to make it deliberate. We chose to look at every day and find a reason to celebrate, not just the day they’re picking up the car.”
Many people would conclude that the last year has thrown up very little to be celebratory about, but Mr Beach believes that celebration can and should still be achieved. Every day the dealership has cupcakes available to celebrate something unique happening in the world.
“For example, today [March 22nd 2021] is World Water Day,” Mr Beach explains. “2.2 billion people don’t have fresh water in the world. We’re celebrating even that little thing that we have fresh water here in Canada. Tomorrow is [Canada’s] National Puppy Day. Who doesn’t want to celebrate a puppy?”
Mr Beach admits that the dealership wouldn’t be as successful as it has been over the years without the support of the great guests that have purchased and serviced vehicles from Charlesglen Toyota in the past.
“We’re here for you,” he concludes. “We’re in the community. We want to support any community initiatives that make our city better and stronger. That’s what we’re all about here at Charlesglen Toyota.”
With a commitment to supporting the local community, Calgary’s Charlesglen Toyota makes every day special for its staff and customers. Find out more about Charlesglen Toyota by visiting www.charlesglentoyota.com.