Yokohama Toyopet – The Origin of the Group
Based in Yokohama, the second largest city in Japan, our parent company operates one of the largest dealership networks in the country.
The founder of Yokohama Toyopet, Mr. Kanji Miyahara, Sr. (1910-1998) was an early advocate of the “Customer First” philosophy and endeavoured to incorporate this philosophy into all aspects of his business since establishing the company in 1956. As a result, Yokohama Toyopet grew rapidly, and soon became one of the most respected dealership networks in Japan.
Continued growth resulted in the formation of several subsidiaries dealing in expanded lines of products as well as non-automotive areas of business, including communications and business equipment, rentals and leasing, sound systems and market research.
In the early 1990s, the group showed significant growth and was integrated under the name “WEINS GROUP”. WEINS is an acronym derived from the words West, East, Information, North and South implying that the group expands around the world and is closely integrated with each other for synergy by information.
Today there are 13 member companies in Japan, including 4 automotive dealer companies, and one in Canada which is us, Weins Canada Inc. The entire group sold over 70,000 units of new cars in 2010. They include 4% of total national sales of both Toyota and Lexus in Canada and Japan respectively. The number of employees of the group is close to 7,000.
Weins Canada Inc.
With the global nature of the automotive industry in mind, Mr. Kanji Miyahara Sr. recognized that a presence in the North American segment of the industry would be a definite asset to the organization. In the early 1970s, Mr. Miyahara acted on this premise. Working closely with Toyota Motor Corporation and its National Distributor in Canada, he called C.M.I. and then placed a dealership in Canada.
Situated on approximately 4 acres of land, with a 23,000 square foot facility and 27 employees, Don Valley North Toyota opened its doors on October 5th 1973. In the first full year of operation, 304 new, 100 used retail and 65 used wholesale units were delivered. Sales figures grew by leaps and bounds and by 2005 had grown to 4208 new, 1036 used retail and 1428 used wholesale, representing an increase of 1293% since 1974!
Increases in sales means increases in all facets of our business. As such, modifications, adjustments and expansion to all departments are periodically undertaken. The following is a brief history of some of the more notable changes throughout the company’s history:
The company Don Valley North Toyota Ltd. was established by investment of Yokohama Toyopet and its subsidiaries.
Don Valley North Toyota launched the business at 3120 Steeles Avenue East in Markham.
An addition was built at the North end of the building to give the body and paint shops separate work areas.
Markville Toyota was established as the second dealership owned and operated by Don Valley North Toyota Ltd.
The rental car department, TRAC, was created.
The bodyshop office was enlarged to accommodate increased numbers of administrative staff.
The accounting and administrative department was moved out of the main building to a rental unit at 3160 Steeles Avenue. This move allowed the Sales Department to expand into the vacated area.
Vehicle prep centre was established at the Markville Toyota location.
The Time 2000 computer system was installed.
Bodyshop was moved off premises to its current location at 391 John Street. The Service Department was expanded to fill the vacated area, approximately doubling the productive capability of the department.
Gormley Automotive Centre was established. GAC performs almost all pre-delivery servicing and accessory installation on new vehicles sold through our dealerships, permitting the Service Departments to spend more time on servicing customer vehicles.
A Lexus franchise was awarded to the company. The dealership operating name was changed to Don Valley North Lexus Toyota.
The three level Eastern expansion was completed, taking the dealership from its existing 23,000 square feet to a massive 65,000 square feet. At this point, the accounting/administrative personnel moved back to the main location.
The Customer Retention department was established to provide both short and long term customer follow-up.
The Human Resources department was established to implement and maintain a variety of programs designed to maintain legislative compliance and provide a climate where employees have opportunities to improve and grow.
The Luxury Used Car Department was established to provide improved control over “high end” used vehicles.
The Lexus service reception area was relocated to the Lexus showroom area to provide improved service to our Lexus customers.
The staff cafeteria was opened.
Our current computer system, Reynolds & Reynolds ERA, was installed.
Sold the TRAC department to Economy Rent-a-car who established an office on our premises and to serve our customers. In 2003 Hertz purchased Economy.
The parts department was relocated to provide better access from the Toyota & Lexus service departments & to free up space for additional sales offices, an extended service reception area, and an improved cafeteria with better customer access. The cafeteria relocation, in turn, freed up space to allow for an improved technician change area.
Company name Don Valley North Toyota Ltd. was changed to Don Valley North Automotive Inc.
Lexus of Richmond Hill was established as the second Lexus dealership.
Don Valley North Lexus Toyota franchise was split (operationally) to form Don Valley North Toyota & Don Valley North Lexus.
The Don Valley North Leasing Division was established.
Markville Toyota reconstruction was completed.
Don Valley North Toyota moved to a new location at 3300 Steeles Avenue.
Don Valley North Hyundai was established as the fifth dealership of the company.
Don Valley North Lexus completed the renovation at 3120 Steeles Avenue.
Oakville Volkswagen and Audi Centre Oakville were merged as the sixth and the seventh dealerships.
Company name changed to Weins Canada Inc.
Mercedes-Benz Barrie and Barrie Subaru become the eigth and ninth dealerships to joing the group
In the Summer of 2017 Audi Oakville Opened the doors of it’s brand new facility
Mississauga Honda and it’s sister store Parkway Honda joined the Weins Group
In the Fall of 2017 the former Audi Centre Oakville Building was re-imagined as the Weins Pre-Owned Centre