Mark Motors Group celebrates two milestones

Fifty years after opening its first Porsche dealership and 65 years after it started as a business, Mark Motors Group celebrated both anniversaries in style. Earlier this month, the Ottawa-based dealership group opened Mark Motors Porsche Destination Centre, replacing the original Porsche dealership. 

That was the first store owned by the company’s founder Louis Mrak, who came from Europe in 1958 as a mechanic and began the family business a year later. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 77, and his wife has since passed as well. The company is owned and operated by Louis’ four children: Andreas, Michael, Vincent and Liza.

“We’re very engaged in the business — the entire family, we’re all hands-on,” said Michael Mrak, the company’s General Manager, in an interview with Canadian auto dealer. “We all grew up in the business … so (the opening of the new Porsche store) is the passing on of the legacy of what my father started with.”

“That didn’t just start this year. It began back in the 80s. We took it over completely about 10 years ago. We grew up with his values, so it was pretty easy to take it over, because they were already in us. The DNA is there.”

Liza Mrak, who is Executive Vice President, said her father and mother created the Mark of Excellence. “We’re carrying the tradition of excellence, and that kind of goes back to our roots. We were taught about the importance of family, community, taking care of our employees and customers, and just basic hard work.”

Her brother Michael added that, “ultimately if you look after your customers, the customers will look after you.” He said the hands-on formula of all four siblings has contributed to the company’s longevity.

“You can’t just open a store and leave it for three months and go down south, for example,” said Michael. “It just doesn’t work that way. You have to be able to pick and plan your days. In our case, it’s made it easier because we’ve got the four of us. We’re not typically ever away all at the same time.

Mark Motors is Ottawa’s leading luxury car dealership, with seven stores that also retail Audi, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Jaguar Land Rover. It recently purchased a Volkswagen store in Cornwall, Ont.

The company also operates a collision centre and sponsors a Porsche GT3 Cup Series. Louis Mrak worked as a mechanic in the 60s for a small Volkswagen racing team in Ottawa, Ont. The company also sponsored Paul Tracy in the 944 Racing Series from 1985-88.

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