“If someone had told me when I was growing up North of Red Deer that I would own five dealerships, one of which is located in the area where I used to deliver newspapers on horseback, I would have said they were crazy”- says Gary Moe. “It has been an amazing experience and in looking back even through the rough times I can appreciate how fortunate we have been.”
Moe’s working career began early at the time when his North Red Deer neighbourhood was its own enclave across the river from the city of the same name. “It was a good place to grow up,” he says. “Lots of freedom and plenty of room to roam. I can remember delivering the local paper on horseback and riding in spur-of-the-moment gymkhanas and rodeos not far from today’s Hyundai Dealership.”
His introduction to the world outside Red Deer came early when at 15 he left for the logging camps of Prince George, B.C. After spending 12 years in the rough and ready world of a logger, Moe worked for a series of dealerships, beginning his career in New Westminster, B.C., Calgary and then Kipp Scott Pontiac in Red Deer, before opening Gary Moe Motors on Red Deer’s Southhill. In 1988 Gary and his wife Susan opened the General Motors Franchise called Passport International Automobiles. Susan joined Gary, bringing her 20 years of experience in the banking industry. She was a natural fit in the Business Office and wore many hats in growing their business. Then in 1991 when General Motors launched Saturn, they got in on the ground floor as the only Saturn dealership in central Alberta. In July 2002 the Gary Moe Auto Group opened Gary Moe Mazda in Red Deer’s Gasoline Alley. Then in October 2003 added Gary Moe Hyundai. In July 2008 Gary Moe Volkswagen was added to the group and a couple of years later in 2015, Gary Moe Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram was added to the group. Fast forward a little more and a couple of hundred kilometres away, the Gary Moe Group expanded their operations with the acquisition of Milestone Mazda in Lethbridge in 2019, now known as Gary Moe Mazda Lethbridge.
Gary Moe is proud to have started this journey and come so far with his loving wife Susan at his side, and two sons Dean and Eric. Dean and Eric are a strong part of the Auto group and have joined him in the management of the company. Both men come from the automotive gene and both attended Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario each earning a Bachelor of Applied Business-Automotive Marketing and both graduated from National Automobile Dealers Academy in Washington, D. C.
The Moe family and Gary Moe Auto Group are an integral part of the Central Alberta business community and have and continue to give back. They are strong supporters of the Red Deer Food Bank, SPCA, local sporting events and teams among many other Red Deer organizations. “It’s important to appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to live where we do and be able to do what we do. With that success comes a responsibility to give back”- says Moe.
“We think that it is crucial when it comes to supporting local and buying local. We have noticed the last couple of years there has been a trend in supporting local, and we could not be more appreciative of this. Not only in growing our name, but other businesses thriving as well. Some companies have been more fortunate than others, and some have struggled to keep their doors open. Though at times we struggle, there are times that we do very well, and it is all thanks to our loyal customers” – says Moe.
Not only is Gary Moe local, but he is also adamant about spending money locally in Red Deer and its surrounding communities. It’s not something that is widely talked about, but when building a new site, Gary will always go with a local company, even when companies from bigger cities are willing to provide a better rate.
The Moe family is always eager to donate, focusing on the less fortunate, children, and animals. Supporting sports activities are very important to Gary Moe. You might see a couple of billboards around the rinks within Innisfail, Blackfalds, Clive and Red Deer just to name a few. The Humane Society & Saving Grace Animal Society are very important to Gary Moe as well. “Often, animals get overlooked, but should be treated just as equally as us human’s” -says Gary Moe. Throughout the years, Gary Moe Volkswagen has hosted multiple pet adoption events resulting in the adoption of those animals who need a loving home. Last but definitely not least is Gary’s contributions to the local Food Banks around Red Deer, Blackfalds, Lacombe, etc. It is extremely important for the group as a whole to give back to those who need it. “Whether it is canned goods, cake mixes, toys or toilet paper, we will always support the local Food Banks”- Says Moe.
The Gary Moe Auto Group is more than just a handful of dealerships, it is a family. No matter what your role is in the company, no matter what client wants through the door, you are considered to be a part of the Gary Moe family.