By Amy Palumbo-LeClaire
Vice President Marc Lamoureux is becoming more and more like his father, a quality he admits isn’t such a bad thing. His Ford dealership, located on 366 East Main Street, East Brookfield, and founded by his father, Lionel Lamoureux (in 1977), who first opened up at a small shop only minutes down the road from its current location, after he purchased the Ford franchise (then known as Varney’s Garage) from Donald Varney. About to celebrate its “40 Year Anniversary” during a Christmas party which will be held on dealership grounds and hosted by Struck Catering, Worcester, the car business boasts a simple philosophy for success—one that’s earned them a President’s Award for twenty years in a row.
“Treat customers with respect, courtesy, and friendliness. What we do is not rocket science,” said Marc, confessing that even his pet peeves have sort of morphed into those of his Dad’s: ‘Why is that car parked here? Is anybody helping those folks?’ “We get along very well together. It’s hard to separate the father-son and father-boss thing but we manage to do it very well.”
Lionel Lamoureux took a risk on a business that began with only twelve employees in the late seventies, following ten years of employment as a zone manager for Ford Motor Company. It was a decision that came with the persuasion of his wife, Cindy, who was unwilling to relocate across the country every two years.
“If you get involved with this life (as manager at Ford Motor) you will never have to worry about curtains,” the wives of Lionel’s co-workers had advised a woman who, at nearly one hundred pounds, rules the roost, according to Marc. “My Mom stepped in and said ‘no’ to the travel. My Dad’s decision to stay put and open up his own business stemmed from her wishes.”
Opening up his own shop, despite ten years of experience in the business and the support of his wife (whom he’s been married to for nearly fifty years) came with inevitable challenge. There was the “early eighties” gas crunch, high interest rates, product issues, and a recession in the early nineties. There was the need to expand in order to alleviate the problem of transporting customers back and forth when the shop was smaller, and located up the road. Nevertheless, Lionel Lamoureux (presently a healthy seventy-two who now travels to Florida with his wife every six months) survived and prospered through hard work and an innovative attitude, according to a son who hasn’t forgotten sweeping the lot, washing cars, filling up the soda machine, and dusting the show room vehicles. “To be ten years old and around cars was very exciting, a dream,” he recalled.
Marc Lamoureux made a decision to continue his father’s legacy during his junior year at Franklin and Marshall College, in Pennsylvania, where he studied history. As though it happened yesterday, the vice president with a sales attitude that’s more casual than cunning, takes customer satisfaction seriously. Kind and congenial, he has chosen to follow his father’s original words to “just be yourself” when pressure in the auto industry mounts. “A lot of dealerships play the game,” said Mark. “We don’t. We do the numbers on paper and do everything we can to earn you as a customer. Our business is based on repeat customers and referrals. We have generations of people coming back. We take care of the grandkids of original customers. It’s pretty exciting.”
Their sales motto – “Where Friends Send Their Friends” not only has people driving back for more vehicles, it also propels a value for community service. Lamoureux Ford supports Assumption College, David Prouty High School, Little League, 4th of July parades, fireworks, and public libraries.
The dealership stocks approximately one 150 new and used vehicles and have happy employees driving back to the dealership, along with satisfied customers. Their service director has been with Lamoureux for over thirty years and the service manager, for twenty-eight. The advisors and techs are all certified through Ford and their philosophy of kindness, respect, and courtesy carries over to every department. Marc’s older daughter, Danielle Bachand, is the office manager, and her husband, Derek Bachand, is the Internet manager.
“They are the next generation,” said Marc Lamoureux, happy to pass down a good thing.
Call Mark Lamoureux at 508-885-1000, ext. 3020 or email him at [email protected]
They are located at 366 East Main Street, E. Brookfield, www.lamoureuxford.com.