Dealership changes hands

Michael Barrett

Longtime Newmarket business man, Dave Wood, right, has sold his Mazda dealership to Michael Croxon, who will raise the name New Roads Mazda on the lot. However, Wood will keep his pre-owned site across the street.
For more information on NewRoads, visit Further details on Pre-Owned can be found at Era
By Chris Simon

Look at the back of a car in northern York Region – there’s a fair chance Dave Wood’s name is on it.

The Newmarket car dealer, who has been selling automobiles since 1968, has sold his Mulock Drive Mazda dealership to NewRoads Automotive Group. The sale was finalized a few days ago.

Wood began selling Mazda vehicles in 1980 and was initially attracted to their fuel economy, given the energy crisis that gripped North America in the 1970s.

“I was in the used car business back then and to get anything small from a dealership, you had to buy three old, big lumps,” Wood said, sitting in his former office overlooking the Mazda showroom, Wednesday afternoon. “Small cars were the direction because of the fuel prices.”

Wood will continue to operate the Dave Wood Pre-Owned used car lot, also on Mulock, as well as a leasing company.

“I decided it was time to take a step back and move on,” he said. “I’m very happy with (the NewRoads) philosophy and what I see. I’ll miss the people.”

Michael Croxon, president and CEO of NewRoads, is excited to acquire the Mazda dealership and says Wood has worked hard to gain a reputation for excellent customer service. The dealership employs more than 35 people and only “tweaks” to the operation are expected.

“I wanted to amass automotive brands but be geographically specific with it and focus on the northern 905,” Croxon said. “When Dave approached me about acquiring the store, I was enthusiastic. It was an opportunity to extend our footprint. I’m obviously very familiar with Dave. One thing we do, as dealers, is look at the back of cars in the community. We see an awful lot of Dave Wood nameplates. You don’t see that if somebody’s not a really good operator. I knew we were purchasing a good dealership; their values are very much aligned with NewRoads, which will make the transition easy.”

Wood says the industry has changed substantially over the last few decades. Consumers are well informed now and often know more about some vehicles than sales associates.

“They look at reports and have totally researched the car,” Wood said. “In the old days, if your father bought a Ford, so did you. Kids today don’t want to buy their dad’s car; they buy what they want.”

NewRoads also operates Kia and Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC dealerships in Newmarket and a Subaru location in Richmond Hill.