Motorize opened its doors in 2008. At that time our name was Motorize Auto Direct. We focused on special order vehicle procurement, with an emphasis on efficient vehicles including hybrids. Motorize started out of a house in Sooke while a better property was located. By 2009, Motorize was in Sidney serving local peninsula clients. The business grew yearly, and by 2010 we had to move to 2031 Malaview Ave West for more space. We were incorporated in the same year and solidified our position in the local automobile sales marketplace as a reliable and forward-thinking business. We hired our first detailer.
In 2011, Julian Sale, Dealer Principal, drove a new Nissan Leaf and knew this was the future… Most of our clients wanted efficient cars, and one of our local repeat clients asked us to bring in a used Nissan Leaf. That was a turning point for Motorize, as we immediately started planning a future around plug-in electric vehicles. It was clear electricity would become the fuel of the future. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S drove nails into the fossil fuel industry. We realized the future of internal combustion was disappearing in a near term and measurable future. Finding used EVs was a major challenge, as new EV sales were nearly non-existent, as well as any meaningful charge network.
May 2012, Julian moved Motorize into unit 203 at 2031 Malaview Ave, a corner office with parking for eight vehicles, where we actually squeezed up to twenty. Major interior renovations made for the new, bigger, and better Motorize. New investors, and finally with slightly more access to used EVs, Motorize dropped gas cars from our focus and focused on EV and hybrid vehicles only.
In 2015, it became clear that EVs were about to hit their stride: North American and the rest of the modern world were voting with their dollars. New EV sales and offerings were materializing, and Tesla was just starting to cause dramatic and fast disruption to the automotive status quo. The Canadian government claimed to be making environmental initiatives more prominent and the winds of change were blowing in favour of clean energy vehicles. We hired a full-time employee, Cameron Wall. Cam had previously worked with Julian at another business and, at 20 years old, would learn to detail, advertise, sell, manage more employees, and take responsibility for day to day in-store operations. Cam now owns his own successful automotive business, Beyond Clean Victoria.
2016 was the year to pull the pin on internal combustion vehicles. The exponential growth of the EV market created enough used inventory to generate a reasonable supply of used EVs. This would catapult Motorize Auto Direct inc into there future. Again. Motorize “Your EV Store” was born. I climbed the ladder and removed the word “Gas” from our marquis sign which featured vehicle types as “Electric, Hybrid, and Gas.” Motorize ditched gas. Technically, Motorize passed gas. LOL. We were growing. We struggled to find good detailers and office staff and lost Cam due to a complete staff layoff as a result of Nissan’s recall for occupant classification system. I had invested all of my money into several truckloads of used Nissan Leafs in May 2016, only to have all sales come to a grinding halt. Nissan didn’t have the parts or any plans to build the parts to complete the recalls, affecting every vehicle we owned. It took Nissan until September to perform recall work as needed, thus opening the floodgates. But we had to restaff, a serious setback.
2017 Motorize’s yearly sales exceeded $4 million. Stephanie Arias joined our team as an administrative assistant. We assessed all facets of business and discovered bottlenecks in funding, transport, recondition, and detailing. We strived for 5 star online reviews, and they came naturally and matched our relentless drive to be better. Customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and Motorize was recognized as a national leader in EV sales and leadership. Motorize’s commitment to community support, education, and environmental stewardship were profound. We started a long term relationship with the Zone 91.3FM radio station. We developed a plan to secure higher calibre detailers so we could finally deliver used vehicles in exceptional condition. After carefully studying live inventory at nearly all major car dealers in Victoria, it became clear that the quality status quo was quite lame. Our philosophy to always do better, always find a better way – was cemented. From now on, we grow, we adapt, we create, we invent, we build, we sell, we win. A $100,000 investment would be needed to overhaul the Sidney office space. A complete new Detail Studio space was in planning stages, along with significant equipment and operational improvements. The goal: sell more used EVs, build a stellar reputation, sell more used EVs. Earn the cash upfront for every cap-ex project.
In 2019, Julian opened a second location. After a four year search for property, Motorize found its second location at 1671 Island Highway in View Royal. Although only 30 km from the original Motorize store in Sidney, the new location is closer to many more potential buyers. Sidney and North Saanich have a population of roughly 22,000, within a 5km radius. Motorize Westshore is surrounded by approximately 112,000 people within an eight-kilometre radius. August 24th marked the soft opening of “Motorize Westshore.”
In 2020, Motorize welcomed some outstanding, talented automotive professionals from other large new car dealers. While gas car dealers are beating the same old drum, Motorize is doing things differently, changing the guard. Immediately before COVID-19 paused our retail operations, we undertook a major renovation project. Just as we welcomed Michael McGie and Jace Norman formerly from the Gain Detail Studio, COVID-19 gave us all some pause – time for Motorize to become ultra-resilient and learn to operate without the conventional norms of the industry. All sales were moved to Westshore, where we began an outdoor expansion to handle socially distanced sales transactions. Custom equipment outfitted our new bigger, brighter, and more beautiful and certainly ultra-efficient workspace. Our volume has tripled and will double again within a year. Motorize is growing, and will continue to do so until all drivers have the opportunity to experience what we sell.
Our original location is where all the magic behind the scene is happening. We find all those gems, get them in for a full spa experience, make them all shiny and looking like new. When you shop at Motorize, you know every centimeter of your vehicle has been inspected, every nook and cranny has been vacuumed, and the paint is as good, and probably better, than when your car just rolled out of the factory.
Customer service? Car sale?
Our Detail Studio doesn’t only make our cars for sale look like new, we also detail and protect any car you want looking fantastic. Electric, Gas, old, new, expensive or not, we offer full detail, polish, ceramic coating, you name it. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable and will make you wish you took your car in sooner.