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A native of Abitibi, André Sinclair was born in the heart of the daily automotive world: his father’s service station. The station was a part of his summers throughout his youth. He filled his first tank of gas at 10 years old and accomplished his first oil change at 14. After completing his Mechanics course and spending a few years in the business, he realized he wasn’t happy under the hood or even serving customers in the service department. His passion and ambition pointed him towards customer service.
Now, as the General Manager of Mazda Sherbrooke and Mazda Magog, André Sinclair directs his dealerships like the general manager of a hockey team. This ensures that all his departments are working together and that they advance as a team in all their services in the dealership. “I do not feel like I’m done pushing. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved, but I want to go further. That doesn’t necessarily mean having more, but instead being the best at what I do. I want to be even closer to my world and my clients. I develop my teams to all feel like they are a part of something concrete that looks more like a family than a business.”
The proof? André Sinclair has surrounded himself with strong people to manage his sales, after-sales and parts department. The managers still have the loyalty to follow him after all these years of collaboration. In the corporate mind of André Sinclair, it’s more important for him to gather talented collaborators so that he can relinquish some control and concentrate on influencing their work instead. He takes great pride in knowing that they will do what needs to be done to make sure everything moves smoothly when it comes to using their talents and knowledge to satisfy customers. “Actually, it’s as good, if not better, than if it were me working in each department. I chose them for a reason so I let them have control of their teams. I try to interfere as little as possible and, because of this, the turnover rate is very slow. On the other hand, for the bigger picture and the overall plan, I know what I have to do, say and not say to keep my departments operating like a single machine. I’ve managed to bring together the right people at the right time for it all to work. I’m happy to have a stable and happy team in each dealership.”
His natural leadership qualities and his capacity to see the potential of his employees through their attitude is why his employees look up to him. He leads by example and has a beneficial influence that gives them confidence. Easily accessible, hard to catch off guard, he listens, he’s supportive and he is the ideal role model. That said, his nervousness coupled with strong emotional intelligence, ultimately allowed him to better manage his dealership. “I want to have a feeling of closeness with my employees. I’ve participated in many activities with my group. I try to talk with everyone to balance that.”
It’s one thing to have a well-running business, but for that to happen you need to have happy customers. While Sinclair takes pride in his team, above all his pride comes from his happy customers. A while ago a customer sent André a photo taken during a family gathering. The photo was of eight family members standing in front of eight Mazda vehicles. These eight Mazda vehicles were all purchased from us. The word ‘friendly’ is probably the first word used by customers when describing the service at Kia Magog, Mazda Magog and Mazda Sherbrooke.
From his father’s service station to Kia Magog, Mazda Magog and Mazda Sherbrooke, you may think that these dealerships are his greatest pride. That, however, would be underestimating André Sinclair. If you read between the lines on his way to here, you’ll see that his employees are part of a family that’s bigger than a business. He is a family man and his children are his greatest pride.