By Perry Lefko
Plaza Auto Group president Robert Stein has not only bought three dealerships in Orillia since 2016, he is also making a significant contribution to the community.
Stein, a prominent Toronto-area businessman, ventured into Orillia taking over an existing dealership and re-naming it under the Plaza Auto Group brand. He has since expanded with two more dealerships and collectively has Subaru, Kia and Chrysler stores. But rather than just taking out of the community, Stein has put considerable money into it.
“I love Orillia,” he said.”I think it’s a beautiful town. I would love to buy more stores there and make that my home base. I’d keep the stores in Toronto, they are great stores, but to really grow and go into the future and build new buildings, I find Orillia to be a growing town. The employees are very humble, very loyal and it allows you work as a family business, which is important to me.”
He is involved in supporting the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Hospice Orillia, minor hockey, soccer and the swim club. The company recently donated $50,000 to have Subaru of Orillia as the main sponsor for the lobby of the new community centre.
“We umbrella (the stores) all under the Plaza Auto Group,” he said. “We promote them individually as a part of the Plaza Group Auto Group family business since 1956 and a proud supporter of the community. Whether it’s my Orillia Kia, Orillia Subaru or Highway 11 Chrysler, each one has its own brand.
“It’s a family business and we treat it like a family business, so we need to promote that. Even though we fly under the umbrella of my Plaza Auto Group, I want or promote it as family-owned and operated – a proud sponsor of your community”
Photo: Robert Stein, Plaza Auto Group president. Perry Lefko photo