Serving the SARNIA – LAMBTON COUNTY area, Glen Fenwick Motors Ltd, located at 885 Campbell St in SARNIA, ON, is your premier retailer of Hyundai, Subaru and fine Pre-owned vehicles. Our dedicated sales staff and top-trained technicians are here to make your auto shopping experience fun, easy and financially advantageous. Please utilize our various online resources and allow our excellent network of people to put you in your ideal car, truck or SUV today!
THE HISTORY OF FENWICK MOTORS
We have a vast and exciting history. See our timeline below:
July 1, 1955
Ron Fenwick and Sam Beatty open a service station at the corner of Shepherd and Ontario (now it’s a convenience store) with Edna as the bookkeeper. They quickly become known as, “The best mechanics in town.”
After a move to our present location at the corner of Campbell and Ontario St, which was precipitated by a fire, Beatty & Fenwick Garage begins to service a funny little import that looks like a 1946 Ford. It’s called Volvo.
Ron is impressed by Volvo’s handling, toughness and a seldom recognized quality known as “safety”. He buys and repairs a wrecked 1963 Volvo 544, and begins a lifelong relationship as a Volvo owner.
Looking to move up in style, Ron buys and repairs a wrecked 1967 Volvo 144 for the family vehicle. Beatty & Fenwick is known as the hotbed of things that go fast and are fun in Sarnia. Race cars, motorcycles, airplanes, snowmobiles and the occasional boat are found here.
Business is strong so Ron & Sam add 2 more work bays for a total of 5. Motocross and Cross Country Dirt Bikes are a staple of Beatty & Fenwick. Ron and Sam become the highest volume Husqvarna dirt bike dealer in Ontario. It’ no coincidence that some of the best riders in Canada are from Sarnia at this time. Delaware Speedway, a stock car racing track near London see’s many trophy’s and track championships ending up at Beatty & Fenwick Garage.
Ron & Edna purchase their first brand new car, a 1973 Volvo 142 GL, Pumpkin 0range with Black Leather (keep in mind this was the 70s).
The last of at least 5 consecutive Volvo dealers stop selling the brand in Sarnia. With Beatty & Fenwick Garage doing all the service work, it is very hard for the dealers to make it worth their while. When Ron approached Volvo Canada to buy parts directly, they said, “Sorry, we only sell parts to dealers. You’ve been fixing them for 20 years, why not sell them?” And that is how we became a big time car dealer. Sam and Ron purchased 2 new Volvo’s & Volvo Canada gave them the hockey stick shaped Volvo sign that stood for 30 years at the point of the lot.
Rapid acceptance of Beatty & Fenwick Volvo allows us to exclusively service Volvo cars. Hoo-Ray! No more domestics! An amazing number of long-time customers switch to Volvo, and stay with us to this day.
After a successful 31 year partnership, Sam retires to spend more time with his family and hobbies. Ron and Edna become sole proprietors with Glen lurking in the background. The Beatty and Fenwick families remain very close lifelong friends.
A single car showroom is added to the front of the building.
Volvo statistics tell us the Sarnia has more Volvo cars per capita than any other city in Canada. They also tell us that our service penetration (the number of cars we fix compared to how many we sell) is 101%. Normally a great score for a dealership is 65%. Ours is very high because many people come from outside our area for repairs.
Two more bays are added to the rear of the shop for a total of 7 work bays.
Beatty & Fenwick Volvo changes it’s name to Glen Fenwick Motors to represent the changing times as Ron & Edna edge closer to retirement.
We finish the year with the highest ratings for a Volvo dealership in Canada for customer satisfaction in sales and service and them most Volvo’s per capita of any area in Canada. We continue this trend for another 10 years!
Major facility upgrade occurs with an expanded showroom. We have an all new exterior with signage and a new parts & service area. During this time we finished again at the top of the heap for customer satisfaction. We also sell more cars than ever with Volvo’s less boxy styling and highly regarded safety.
On July 1st, Glen Fenwick Motors became the new authorized Subaru dealer for Lambton County. Most people asked us, “What’s a Subaru?”
Still the leader for total customer satisfaction. Dennis Dwyer, one of the few Volvo Expert Technicians in Canada, is taken to Sweden in recognition for belonging to group of the best of the best Volvo Expert Technicians in the world.
The direction of Volvo under Ford ownership begins to change. We love our Volvo’s however it’s moving away from the practical family car we’ve always known and starts looking to compete as a high end luxury car. Subaru is starting to take Volvo’s place in the market as the safest, most affordable, fun to drive and economical car in the industry. Many of our traditional Volvo owners begin to drive Subaru’s.
2006 was a big year for us. The Hyundai brand had not had a dealer in town for the previous 2 years. Sensing that Hyundai was “the Next Big Thing” in the auto industry, we took on the franchise and opened it up in our old Volvo building on Nov. 1 2006. The local response was immediate and overwhelming!
Having consolidated our Subaru – Volvo brands to the current location at 835 Ontario, we set forth on watching our 3 brands grow at a rate we’d never experienced before.
While plans were underway for the construction of our new Hyundai dealership we again saw great increase in Hyundai and Subaru sales. Volvo was beginning to feel the effects of the parent company, Ford and their decision as to what the future was for Volvo while national sales started to slip.
Subaru Shane Witham comes on board in our Subaru Sales department with a compelling story of how his Subaru Impreza saved his life in spectacular accident that would have had a tragic ending in most other vehicles.
At the end of the year, the Great Recession captures the world and whole new chapter is about to be written for Fenwick Motors.
At the height of the Great Recession, on November 14th 2009 we moved into our amazing new Hyundai facility located beside our original building. This new building would really help us during the surprising blizzard of 2009 that which garnered Lambton County national attention. The larger showroom allowed us to present the entire line up of cars in a warm, comfortable environment in the midst of the Great Recession. Surprisingly, with the public looking for the best value in their next automobile our Subaru and Hyundai sales increase while other brands tumble.
In the fall of 2009 Jim MacKenzie joins us in our sales department at Hyundai. Jimmy had been taking care of Sarnia’s Happy Hyundanian’s since the Pony arrived in Canada in 1984! At the height of the world economic meltdown that was just hitting full bloom, we experienced an amazing phenomenon when our sales went up for Subaru and Hyundai as people placed a new emphasis on value, safety and quality above all else. We began to focus on Volvo service, parts and warranty ahead of sales during 2009 while backing away from the sales of new Volvo’s.
After another year of growth while most all other major brands saw significant decreases in sales, we partnered up with Todd Clark. Todd comes from a similar background in Wyoming as the Dealer Principal of Ron Clark Ford, a well known 2nd generation dealership like ourselves. Todd becomes and equal partner with Glen and they make for a great team achieving long and short range goals while leveraging the stunning growth experienced during the past 6 years. Fenwick Motors has become the best selling import dealer in Lambton County. Our excellent staff and the staunch support of the most loyal ownership group of friends and clients has been the foundation of this growth. The continual referral of our burgeoning dealership with small town values by those who have been with us over the decades provides our fuel for growth while reminding us not to get too big for our britches.
This is the first year that our Hyundai’s outsell top ranked brands such as Toyota and Honda in Sarnia. It’s a major accomplishment for us considering we’ve been with Hyundai for only 4 full calendar years while the other two have been around for 20+ years. Our Subaru business has now grown to twice the volume of what Volvo was during its heydays! People are no longer asking “what’s a Subaru?” Hyundai’s bold new styling and proven quality has taken them from an up and coming brand to a leader in the automotive industry.
In 2012 we formally open our Fenwick Pre-Owned Centre for our locally sourced pre-owned inventory. It’s located in our original Volvo building at the corner of Campbell and Ontario streets. Our AutoSpa comes into it’s own providing complete auto detailing services to make your car look like new again. Complete interior and exterior care along with headlight polishing and other services keep us hopping. Sales end up on a high note as we top all other import competition for the year with Hyundai. Subaru continues to develop the same passionate, cult like ownership group that we have with our Volvo owners as new models are introduced that win a variety of industry and consumer awards.
The Tint Shop opens! Seeing that over 70% of the vehicles that we sell request some form of paint protection or window tint, we acquire the highest quality tint to be installed with the best training and equipment available. We rack up another great year of Sales and Service while we welcome our new General Sales Manager, George Caceres to the family.
Celebrating 15 years of Subaru sales and service, Fenwick Subaru completes a major renovation and expansion of the dealership. We increase capacity by 33%. We build additional service bays, more showroom space for the expanding model line, additional seating area for our guests and a designated bay for the delivery of the new Subaru’s.
In September, our hearts are broken with the loss of our founders Ron and Edna, who passed away within 24 hours of each other. Married for 66 years and in business together for 64 years, their passing at the ages of 90 and 87 are a graceful ending to a great Canadian life well lived.
We are incredibly saddened by the sudden loss of Todd’s brother Randy who leaves us long before his time. A terrific family and business man, loved and respected by everyone, the loss of Randy will forever be felt.
We dedicate our efforts everyday in the memory of these 3 beloved family members.
By now, Mike Van Acker has hit the ground and is running wide open with us at Subaru in our Sales Department. We now have the tandem’s of Jimmy and George at Hyundai along with Shane and Mike at Subaru. They are backed up by the finest group of people in the best service departments in the country.
After 10 years in our Hyundai building we jump on board with the new look of Hyundai. We complete a major renovation inside and out while adding a Service Drive Through lane. The new bronze age look of Hyundai leaves us gleaming while the world is stopped in it’s tracks by the COVID19 Coronavirus. As an essential business for transportation, we stay open and quickly adopt stringent levels of cleanliness while providing safe touchless service and sales practices. Like so many times in our 65 year history, our incredible staff show their commitment to excellence in disrupting the disruption.