‘We’ve coveted these three brands for a long time:’ Luxury automobile dealerships under new ownership in Waterloo

WATERLOO — With construction about to begin on its new Porsche dealership in Kitchener, a Brampton-based automotive retailer has acquired three other luxury dealerships in Waterloo.

Family run Policaro Group has added Jaguar Waterloo, Land Rover Waterloo and Volvo Cars Waterloo to its southern Ontario roster with their acquisition from Grand Touring Automobiles.

The three brands are new to the company, said chief executive officer Francesco Policaro, whose father and two uncles founded the dealer group in 1979 with a Honda store in Brampton.

“We’ve coveted these three brands for a long time, and when the opportunity came, it just made a lot of sense for us to partner with brands that we’ve long had a lot of respect for.”

Today, Policaro Group operates Acura, BMW and Lexus locations in Brampton and a Porsche store in Oakville, along with the new additions in Waterloo Region. Expected to open next year are a BMW location in Etobicoke and Porsche stores in Kitchener and St. Catharines.

Oakville is also home to Policaro’s leasing, performance car, motorsport and exotic car divisions. The company also operates the non-profit Policaro Foundation, with a focus on children’s health care initiatives in local communities.

Policaro Group had already identified Waterloo Region as a desirable location to expand into, given its fast-growing population, respected post-secondary institutions and status as a “global hub of innovation and investment,” Policaro said.

“We’ve been watching over the past few years,” he said. “It is going to be the place to be, if it isn’t already.”

The Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar dealerships stand side-by-side on King Street North, across from Conestoga Mall. Newly renovated, they’re also on a large property that would allow for expansion, if required.

The acquisition brought about one staffing change; Anthony Poole, vice-president, operations for the Policaro Group is now also general manager for the three Waterloo locations, overseeing a team of 44 employees.

“In addition to their strong reputation in the industry, we are impressed by the Policaro’s commitment to redefining the automotive experience through outstanding customer service and cutting-edge technology,” Volvo Car Canada Ltd. managing director Matt Girgis said in a release.

Excavation work is set to begin this month at the site of the Policaro Group’s new Porsche Centre Kitchener-Waterloo on Victoria Street North, near Centennial Road, in Kitchener.

Environmental remediation work at the site was more extensive than expected but is complete, Policaro said.

Plans announced last year call for a 75,000-square-foot facility that’s expected to open in mid-2023.