'Why would I look for something different?' Meet the man believed to be Ontario's oldest car salesman
GUELPH -- Gerald Kowalsky is just a few weeks shy of his 98th birthday, but most days you'll find him at Olympic Honda in Guelph, still loving the industry he's been part of for most of his life.
He's sold thousands of cars in his career, switching to sales from the building industry on his 35th birthday after seeing a newspaper ad.
"I thought, well, that would be a good fit for me," he says.
"I always thought, 'If I could be successful in selling automobiles that had been so good to me, why would I look for something different?'"
Kowalsky joined the Olympic Honda team in the early 80s.
He's stepped away from sales these days, but is still considered a key part of the team.
"Mr. Kowalsky is the oldest, on our records, living, active salesperson working five days a week in the province of Ontario," says John Carmichael with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.
Over the years he's seen a great change in his industry. Now, he says, customers come in with a lot more knowledge thanks to the internet.
But he says the fundamentals stay the same.
"Don't try to make a killing, just make a reasonable living and you'll have repeat business, and that's what you live on," he says.
His advice to salespeople: talk less and listen more.