Our pioneers, 29 independent glass installers, formed a cooperative and joined forces to increase their purchasing power and to offer their services to insurance companies allowing them to compete against G. Lebeau (TCGI), which at the time controlled 70% of the Quebec market.
VitroPlus, a new franchise — The glass installers got together and formed a franchise network called Groupe VitroPlus (GVI). Franchisees owned 50% of the network while the glass distributor Malor Auto Glass owned the other 50%. At the time, franchising helped to standardize the product range, training, and advertising.
SPAV the first anti-theft system — The network then began to diversify its product offering by adding auto accessories and auto-theft prevention systems. In 1992, Groupe VitroPlus was the first network to offer an immobilizer system under the SPAV name to prevent auto theft. The innovation brought the company an annual increase of 40,000 customers. Today, as technology continues to evolve, theft prevention remains an important component of product offering and network services. Meanwhile, the Quebec auto glass replacement industry was preparing for market globalization.
PPG Canada, shareholder — PPG Canada, the leading glass manufacturer in the world, acquired GVI and Malor Auto Glass. In the years that followed, PPG and VitroPlus combined their operations and distribution centres in Quebec, enabling them to offer VitroPlus customers the highest quality glass in the industry. p>
A new life — A pivotal year in the development of the VitroPlus network, the new management team comprehensively increased its commitment to its business partners so as to instill its business philosophy.
This philosophy served as a springboard for the development of the corporate mission that was redefined as follows: « To provide consumers with the best solutions for their motor vehicles in the areas of prevention and protection using innovative concepts and offering high-quality products and services that combine comfort with security ».
To support this mission properly, Groupe VitroPlus innovated in its marketing strategy by offering greater depth in its products, by redefining business relations with its customers, and, finally, by promoting the development of new technologies.
Co-franchising with Ziebart — The first co-franchising program in the automotive sector in Quebec was established between VitroPlus and Ziebart, the global leader in automotive rust proofing, paint protection, and detailing. The network then developed an ongoing training program and improved its customer service to meet the changing needs of consumers.
Major shift — The new management team made firm commitments to its business partners and adopted a new philosophy: create a partnership where everyone wins. AIR MILES® Reward Program VitroPlus/Ziebart became a major partner of the AIR MILES® reward miles program, the leading loyalty program in Canada with a membership consisting of two-thirds of the population in Quebec. Serving our customers VitroPlus and Ziebart developed and implemented continuing professional training for the network staff so as to improve customer service and to best meet the continually changing needs of consumers.
New synergy created — PH Vitres d’Autos Inc., the leading glass wholesaler in eastern Canada, and Marc Desmarais became owners of Groupe VitroPlus Inc. This association enabled glass installers to reduce the cost of their products, to improve their services, and to consolidate overhead.
Customers thus benefitted from the availability of larger inventory in Canada, a better installation network, and the best mobile service with 250 service vehicles available across Canada.New in-store decor — VitroPlus/Ziebart also inaugurated new in-store decor, designed to create a more pleasant atmosphere for the consumer.
Securi-Clear Warranty — VitroPlus/Ziebart launched its new and exclusive Securi-Clear Warranty, which covers any future windshield repairs with no claim to file with the insurance company.
Maillon d'or Award — VitroPlus won its first Maillon d’or award for Franchisor, communications and marketing, large network, awarded by the Conseil québécois de la franchise.
Création or Uniban Canada — To continue to expand its network outside Quebec, the company formed a new holding company, Uniban Canada, to protect the interests of the network and to ensure its strategic development. A new banner, UniglassPlus, was also created in order to provide expertise in automotive glass to customers outside Quebec. For Canadians, Uniban Canada quickly became the preferred solution for processing claims and a truly technological company for all franchisees.
Acquisition of the Ziebart Canada master franchise — In June, Uniban Canada acquired the Ziebart Canada master franchise in addition to the rights of the 28 existing Ziebart franchises outside Quebec. This transaction resulted in the UniglassPlus/Ziebart franchise. The network then had the necessary elements to expand its diversified business model throughout Canada.
Franchisor of the year — VitroPlus/Ziebart won the Maillon d’or award for Franchisor of the year, large network, at the annual Conseil québécois de la franchise gala in Quebec.
Franchisee of the year - One point of sale — VitroPlus/Ziebart Joliette won the Maillon d'or award for Franchisee of the year, one point of sale.
1st pan-Canadian company to recycle windshields — In April, VitroPlus/Ziebart and UniglassPlus/Ziebart again showed their innovative ability by becoming the first and only franchise network to recycle windshields in Canada.
Maillon d’or award—Communications/marketing — For the second time, VitroPlus won the Maillon d’or award for Franchisor, communications and marketing, large network, and this thanks to its bold advertising campaigns and its environmental efforts by means of its windshield recycling program. In addition, Jean Foucher, a franchising pioneer and Montreal (Hochelaga) franchisee, won the Recognition Maillon d’or awarded by the Conseil québécois de la franchise.
Pay with your AIR MILES® — Customers can now exchange their AIR MILES® reward miles for VitroPlus/Ziebart and UniglassPlus/Ziebart products and services.
Maillon d’or award—Franchisee, Community Engagement — décerné par le Conseil québécois de la franchise à Yvon Beaulieu, franchisé de Montréal (Jarry), P.A.T., Pierrefonds, Montréal (Anjou) et Ville Lasalle.
Maillon d’or award—Franchisor, Innovation — Uniban Canada, headquarters, Groupe VitroPlus Inc., won the Maillon d’or for innovation in franchising for creating its technological platform for Insurance Glass Claim Management. Today Uniban Canada is the leading automotive glass claims manager in Canada.
Maillon d’or award—Franchisee, young entrepreneur under 40 — The Conseil québécois de la franchise awarded the Maillon d’or for a young entrepreneur under 40 to Janick Thériault, VitroPlus/Ziebart Joliette franchisee.
Brigade SANSZO, for a better world — SANSZO, co-owner with the One Drop Foundation, markets waterless washing products under the SANSZO name. VitroPlus/Ziebart is proud to launch Brigade SANSZO, an innovative financing program for non-profit organizations, across Quebec. In addition to helping these organizations to raise funds, the program aims to raise awareness of the importance of sound management of our drinking water.
Molson Coors and the Conseil québécois de la franchise (CQF) inducted Joliette franchisee Janick Thériault into the CFQ franchising hall of fame.
Molson Coors and the Conseil québécois de la franchise (CQF) inducte Yvon Beaulieu, co-franchisee of 5 stores in the Montreal region to the CQF Franchise Hall of Fame in recognition of his community involvement.
Launch of the new Auto360® application, exclusive to VitroPlus, which allows you to start your vehicle from anywhere in the world on your smartphone, with no monthly fees.
Official launch of the Germ Defender® product. The only antimicrobial treatment approved by Health Canada in the automotive industry. This exclusive Ziebart® product offers lasting protection against germs for an entire year.