Spotlight on Grégoire Thalheim Bellavance: Motivating young professionals to work in the auto care industry

February 29, 2024

Greg Tech is the name of the mechanical shop owned by Grégoire Thalheim Bellavance, a young entrepreneur and father of three, located in Rimouski. He bought the 1989-founded family business in 2010. Grégoire discusses his secrets to success for keeping a skilled workforce that is happy to work for his organization. 

Grégoire Thalheim Bellavance, owner, Greg Tech

How long have you been in the auto care industry? 

I purchased the family business, Greg Tech, from my father 12 years ago at the age of 22. In addition to seven service bays, our mechanical garage employs six committed technicians, three technical consultants, two parts clerks, and administrative and accounting staff. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have a staff that is so stable and a low employee turnover rate. My team members are friendly, helpful people who genuinely want to get things right the first time around. The work environment is incredibly enjoyable, with a shared goal of exceeding oneself and taking the business to new heights. 

The success of the organization is everyone’s shared objective, and we actively encourage the valorization of the experience of others within the company. The collaborative spirit and strong sense of teamwork contribute greatly to the success and development of my company. 

Did you plan on working in the auto care industry? 

My vocation is the result of a long-standing enthusiasm, since I was raised by a father who chose to become a mechanic when he was young and had to overcome many obstacles to open his own workshop. Originally intended to train in leisure skills, the administrative aspect of this course drew my attention in particular. I was able to take advantage of the chance to purchase my workshop and become the owner in October 2012 with the help of regional development centres that supported this kind of purchase. 

What are your biggest challenges? 

The two biggest issues I deal with as a local entrepreneur are data accessibility and training requirements. 

Unfortunately, after earning the Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS), there aren’t many local options for up-skilling. In order to combat this, my team mostly relies on knowledge exchange and mutual aid because much of the training is provided virtually due to our remote location. This makes the practical side less approachable and elevates technicalities. 

Due to our small-town location, our shop has embraced a generalist approach to accommodate a range of needs. But more money needs to be spent on knowledge, training, and tools for this. For the benefit of specialists and technical advisers alike, data access is essential for acquiring technical details, specifications, and procedures. Even when manufacturers offer some information, it’s not always assured that all the information is available. 

Occasionally, we have to decline repairs due to a lack of resources or expertise. Clients are then compelled to travel to a dealership around three hours away from our community. 

Nevertheless, we must remember that life is surely full of unforeseen difficulties. We recently had to relocate due to a fire that occurred in November 2022. Still, I think we’ve made the most of this challenging circumstance. Our new premises are better than we could have imagined, considerably more tailored to our new demands. 

What advice would you give someone new to the industry or looking to make the transition into the industry? 

Young people, understandably enough, tend to assume that things will be better when they see visually appealing establishments and structures. However, if someone were just entering the field, I would advise them to prioritize learning and the opportunity to work on exceptional projects so they may advance. Select administrators who will allow you to gain knowledge! 

Have you had an industry mentor? 

I have been privileged to have mentors in a variety of fields that have had a significant impact on how I view life. Through trial and error, these resources helped me better understand how I perceive the world, which in turn strengthened my confidence. Their experiences in life provided me with invaluable insights. 

These mentors have been my pillars, playing a vital role outside of my father’s influence. Their resolute assistance, their keen ear, and their kind dissemination of their successes and experiences served as vital cornerstones for my development both personally and professionally. 

What inspires you most about your work or the industry? 

A major factor in maintaining the attractiveness of our industry is the necessity for training.  

It is vital to me to be able to contribute to getting young people interested in the field and giving them the chance to receive the training they need. Among other things, I work locally to provide young people with the chance to learn and live up to their potential at the vocational centre in Rimouski. 

I see myself as an entrepreneur rather than a manager. Bringing a human element to my actions and decisions is at the heart of my approach. 

About the campaign I am AIA 

I am AIA aims to raise the profile of auto care industry professionals in Canada with the goal of humanizing our industry and showcasing members of AIA Canada. If you are interested in participating in sharing your story through this campaign, we encourage you to apply


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