Driv­ing force

New Char­lot­te­town Mit­subishi deal­er­ship to start sell­ing ve­hi­cles by the end of De­cem­ber

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY TER­RENCE MCEACH­ERN ter­rence.mceach­ern@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/ter­ry_mcn

Tammy Roach be­gan her 19year ca­reer with Brown’s Volk­swa­gen in Char­lot­te­town as a re­cep­tion­ist and then pro­gressed all the way to the role of gen­eral man­ager.

She thought she reached her ca­reer ceil­ing as a gen­eral man­ager of an auto deal­er­ship.

Then one day in May, Roach re­ceived a call that Mit­subishi was look­ing to set up a deal­er­ship on the Is­land after a 12-year ab­sence.

She was asked if she was in­ter­ested in be­ing its owner.

“Ab­so­lutely,” replied Roach. “Who wouldn’t want their own deal­er­ship?”

Roach fol­lowed through on the in­quiry and is now the owner/ dealer prin­ci­pal of Char­lot­te­town Mit­subishi, which will be lo­cated at 451 Mount Ed­ward Rd. at the cor­ner of Sher­wood Road.

“I love it. I ab­so­lutely love the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try. It’s so much fun,” she said.

The site is cur­rently un­der­go­ing some con­struc­tion work and ren­o­va­tions. Given that, Roach is plan­ning to start sell­ing ve­hi­cles us­ing a tem­po­rary trailer and shop on the site by the end of De­cem­ber. The of­fi­cial open­ing is planned for midFe­bru­ary. She is start­ing out with nine em­ploy­ees, but hopes to ex­pand to 12 to 14 em­ploy­ees.

A few days after first be­ing con­tacted about the pos­si­bil­ity of own­ing a deal­er­ship on P.E.I., Roach and her hus­band vis­ited a Mit­subishi deal­er­ship in Saint John, N.B. to get some more in­for­ma­tion, talk to staff and test drive ve­hi­cles.

“I have to be­lieve in the prod­ucts that I sell,” she said, adding she also did some on­line re­search into the com­pany’s ve­hi­cle war­ranty plan as well as price com­par­isons with com­peti­tors.

“We were like, ‘Wow. We could to­tally make this hap­pen’.”

After a ca­reer at Brown’s that also in­volved work­ing as a comptroller and a fixed op­er­a­tions man­ager, she’s ex­cited to be run­ning her own deal­er­ship and be­ing the boss.

“It’ll be nice that I can do what I want to do. And, I’ll never have any­body step­ping in and say­ing, ‘You can’t do that’, be­cause I’m it. I’m the last straw,” she said.

As the owner, her main re­spon­si­bil­ity is peo­ple – staff and cus­tomers.

“If you have a happy team, you’re go­ing to have happy cus­tomers,” she said. “I’ve al­ways treated my staff and my cus­tomers the way I would want to be treated.”

Roach is also mind­ful that as a new owner of a busi­ness in an in­dus­try that is of­ten con­sid­ered male dom­i­nated, she can be a role model for women look­ing to fol­low that ca­reer path.

“If I can be a role model or trail­blazer, that’s great. And that’s just sort of a side­bar. I’m do­ing this be­cause I love it.”

TER­RENCE MCEACH­ERN/THE GUARDIAN

Tammy Roach is the new owner of Char­lot­te­town Mit­subishi, lo­cated at 451 Mount Ed­ward Rd. Roach plans to start sell­ing ve­hi­cles at the deal­er­ship in late De­cem­ber.

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