Our Story

Why O'Regan's?

Many of our customers are small to medium sized business owners.  We understand the importance of accommodating the changing needs of your business.

The O'Regan family involvement dates back to 1915 in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia where patriarch, S.E. O'Regan, operated dealerships including Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Cadillac through to 1956.

Our founder, S.E.'s youngest son, Paul O'Regan, started his business in 1974 with a small gas station and used car lot.  Times were so lean in the early years that he used a pay phone for business use.

Mike Burke, the manager of O'Regan's National Leasing, joined the company in the 1980's to help develop O'Regan's lease portfolio.  Interestingly, 1981 would be one of the first major obstacles O'Regan's would encounter as a small growing business.  In the span of one year, interest rates had doubled from 12% to 23%.  With interest rates at this level, very few customers were interested in buying a car and our carrying costs for inventory had doubled.  Times could not have been worse.  Paul and his brother Stephen were tracking for a severe financial loss.  It was at this time Paul's accountant strongly recommended that he return to teaching and Stephen return to engineering.  But Paul and Stephen were not prepared to give up that easily.  They chose instead to ignore this advice, turned back their salaries to the business and showed a modest loss in the ensuing year.  The following year interest rates dropped somewhat and the brothers were able to turn a profit.

In 1990 the country suffered another economic downturn, and the introduction of the GST crippled the automotive business and its dealers.  It was a "dog eat dog" environment, each dealership struggling to make ends meet.  There were six GM dealerships up to that time in Metro Halifax and only one has survived with its original owner.  Two others were sold and three more went out of business altogether.

The industry enjoyed almost two decades of growth until the industry began to crumble again in 2009.  Sales in the U.S. were down 22% and in Canada 16%.  Despite this, O'Regan's rallied the troops early in the year and instead of retreating, pushed ahead with attractive offers and incentives by way of an aggressive marketing campaign.  As a result, O'Regan's had their best year in the history of the company with a 20% increase in market share over the previous year.

We use these stories to show you that we understand what it takes to be a small to medium sized business owner.  We are here to help and would be pleased to customize a lease solution for you at whatever stage your business may be in.

Tell us your story.  Let us know how we can help you!