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Many car dealers in Quebec are family-owned businesses that have to grow and adapt with each new generation to strengthen and maintain their position within the community.

The face of business succession in Quebec is changing. Historically, businesses were passed down from father to son, but today it is not uncommon for young women to take the reins.

It is also not unusual to see an employer transfer ownership of a business to a manager or other employee.

Given an aging population and the current labour shortage, the automotive industry in Quebec is not immune to the economical challenges posed by business succession. Nevertheless, car dealerships are an excellent way for entrepreneurs to help shape the future of the most important economic force in Quebec.

Facts

Succession planning is key to success in business

Successors will often join a family business, taking positions in accounting, marketing, human resources, or sales, to gain hands-on experience and earn the respect of employees.

In a study released by the Comité sectoriel de main-d’œuvre des secteurs automobiles (CSMO) in 2017, 48.6% of car dealers reported having a succession or transition plan.

Combining innovation and tradition

When a company changes hands, it benefits from an infusion of new energy that drives growth and performance.

New practices are integrated into the existing operational processes while the company’s values, traditions, and vision remain intact.

The importance of a good team before, during, and after a transition

If you are planning a family succession or a transfer to a third party, it is important to surround yourself with professionals who can provide neutral and impartial support during this delicate process.

Resources are available to help ensure a successful transition: lawyers, tax specialists, accountants, management consultants, etc.

Identifying candidates for succession: A strategic decision

According to the results of CSMO-AUTO’s 2017 sectoral analysis, 31.4% of respondents had selected a family member as a potential successor, 28.6% were planning to sell to a third party, and 22.9% had not yet chosen a successor.

Only 17.1% were considering a sale to a business partner, employee, or manager.