Winner drives off in new Infiniti from OpenRoad Infiniti

OpenRoad Infiniti in Langley recently presented the lucky winner of the “Infiniti at Your Service” Sweepstakes with a brand new Infiniti vehicle. Darryl S. of Surrey, B.C. and his wife were greeted by Jo Luckasavitch of Infiniti Canada and OpenRoad Infiniti General Manager, Roger Bhajan, as they arrived at the store to pick up their new 2013 Infiniti FX35 Premium. The occasion was celebrated with champagne and a custom-made Infiniti cake.

Darryl is one of thousands of participants across Canada to have entered the sweepstakes to win the new 2013 Infiniti FX35 Premium, and is also an existing owner of an Infiniti G35 sedan from OpenRoad Infiniti.




“Everybody at the store was very excited when we heard that the winner was one of our customers. Our store just opened last summer, so having events like this brings a lot of excitement to the entire team here. We’re all very happy for the winner, and I’m sure he will enjoy his new FX very much,” says Bhajan.

Making wishes come true

OpenRoad continues its commitment to working closely with and supporting the Make-a-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon. In 2012, the OpenRoad stores collectively funded six wishes to raise a total of $36,000.

In 2010, OpenRoad began a relationship with the Make-a-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions and to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

After having successfully funded five wishes for a total of $25,000 in its first two years, OpenRoad targeted six more wishes in 2012 by raising a total of $36,000. Funds are raised through outdoor activities such as the Sun Run and the OpenRoad Grouse Grind Challenge, annual staff events and auctions, sales of the OpenRoad mascot Opie, and staff pledges and donations.


Q&A with Vancouver’s top Japanese chef – Hidekazu Tojo

We’ve all read about Chef Tojo and the accolades for his award-winning restaurant, but did you know that he started cooking when he was only 7 years old? Or that he created the official Olympic Roll during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver? In this issue of the Club OpenRoad newsletter, we sat down for a quick Q&A with one of OpenRoad’s most well-known customers – Hidekazu Tojo of Tojo’s Restaurant.

1) You moved to Canada from Japan in 1971. What was behind your decision to move to Canada, and what made you choose Vancouver?

That time it didn’t matter where it was. I wanted to see and experience outside of Japan. At the time, it was only the businessmen from trading companies or the diplomatic people who could get out of Japan. There were few choices, but because I had background in cooking, I could go to big cities to become a cook.

Back then, I was working at a very high-end restaurant in Osaka, and the daughter of one of the geishas married a Canadian-born Japanese. They were looking for a young chef to open up a Japanese restaurant in Canada, so I said, “Yes, I’m interested!” They happened to be Vancouver-based. I once saw pictures of Spanish Banks, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver while I was still in Osaka, and I thought to myself, “This is beautiful!”

At the time I had a 2-year contract to work in Canada, and when I returned to Japan during my 2-week holiday, I decided I wanted to stay in Canada. What makes Vancouver special is that it’s very close to Japan, and also to the sea. I like seeing the mountains and the ocean every day. I’ve had many offers to open restaurants in cities like New York, London, Shanghai, Beijing, etc., but when people open up so many restaurants or businesses, they lose control of their lives. Vancouver is the best city, and I choose quality of life – a lifestyle where I can live comfortably, take time off and enjoy.

2) What is one advice you would give to someone wanting to become a sushi chef? Do you think there is an age limit to start learning?

To become any kind of chef, not just a sushi chef, or even for any kind of job, you must love what you do. You must have passion for it, and that’s it. For me, I like to be proud of my job and my role.

Age doesn’t matter. As long as you feel good, it doesn’t matter how old or how young you are. When I was about 7 years old, I started cooking. My brothers and sisters all thought it tasted good, and it made me very happy.

3) What sushi or types of dishes would you recommend during the summer season?

My philosophy is that I use as much local ingredients as I can. For Vancouver, I suggest a variety of cold and hot dishes for a balance. Now is a good season for zucchini flowers, so we use a lot of zucchini, stacked with scallop, or make it as a tempura. Also, a great cool dish would be a seafood salad or a cold noodle salad, using summer vegetables like eggplant, tomato, cucumber, daikon radish, and noodles.  Japanese cooking always depends on weather. During the hot weather we make a lot of cold dishes, and in the winter we serve a lot of cooked dishes.

4) You spend most of your time at the restaurant. When you do have a bit of spare time, what do you like to do?

When I wake up, I take a look at the newspaper, watch the news on TV, enjoy some tea, and then I take a stroll in my neighbourhood for about one hour, rain or shine. After brunch, I phone all my suppliers and go shopping for ingredients. I come back to the restaurant, check on that day’s reservations, and then start preparing the dishes for that night.

When we are closed on Sundays, I go on my usual stroll around the neighbourhood in the morning. I have a small garden, so on my days off I like to work on my garden and trim the bonsai.

5) Who are some of your most famous customers at Tojo’s Restaurant?

Tom Cruise, Hilary Swank, and a few weeks ago, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd came. During their most recent visit, a few of the other players from the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team came. David Beckham came before that as well.

6) We were fortunate enough to have you at the grand opening of our OpenRoad Lexus Richmond store last year. The lineup for the exclusively made “Lexus Roll” was insane! Can you tell us what ingredients you used to create that roll and the inspiration behind it?

The Lexus logo is gold, so I used egg yolk to represent the gold, with local crab, scallop, salmon, BC spot prawn rolled together, topped with caviar. I used smoked salmon for an East-meets-West concept. I used local ingredients as much as possible.

My sushi and my food, it’s all original – no MSG, no farm fish. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, NBC asked me to create an Olympic Roll. I also created a BC Lion Roll, and also a Vancouver Whitecaps Roll. There’s also the Yoshi Roll, created for one of my employees who is making his way across Canada on a cycling trip to raise awareness and funds for the tsunami recovery efforts in Japan.

7) We hear that you drive a Toyota Highlander hybrid from OpenRoad. What’s the one thing you love most about your car?

As I said, I use local ingredients as much as possible, and all my creations are sustainable. I am an eco-friendly guy, so that’s why I enjoy my Highlander hybrid. It saves on gas, and is very comfortable. In a few more years, I’d like to buy a Lexus hybrid.

OpenRoad Infiniti Red Bull Show Car Event

September 4-6: OpenRoad Infiniti Red Bull F1 Showcar Event

Experience the excitement of F1 racing when the Red Bull Racing F1 Car makes a pit stop at OpenRoad Infiniti from September 4-6, 2012.

Attend for your chance to win a VIP experience to watch US Grand Prix F1 racing in Austin, Texas in November. View an F1 race live and enjoy gourmet catering and champagne from within the Red Bull Racing Paddock Club at the track. You will also get the chance to meet some of the Red Bull Racing drivers, like Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Retail value: $5,000+ per ticket for the weekend.

Registration is free, register here to attend.

OpenRoad Scion Launches the 2012 Scion iQ !

March 30th, 2012

On March of this year, OpenRoad Scion was proud to announce the launch of the all new 2012 Scion iQ!
In celebration of this launch, the dealership threw a “Scion iQ Showcase” with various modified Scion’s, delicious catering, entertainment from their resident DJ, & tons of door prizes.

Some of the features that the crowd was able to experience in the Scion iQ:


  • The world’s smallest 4 seater
  • 11 airbags
  • Super fun to drive
  • Smallest turning radius in any car making city driving really fun

Features of the event:


  • Scion iQ Showcase & Interactive test drives
  • Complimentary catering from the popular Roaming Dragon
  • Entertainment from DJ Trizzak
  • Door prizes
  • Appearance from the 604Scion Crew

For full event coverage:
OpenRoad Scion’s Facebook Page

OpenRoad Auto Group – Top 50 Employer in Canada

OpenRoad Auto Group Named Top 10 of Best Employers in Canada
Ranked 7th in the annual national study of best places to work

Vancouver, BC  – OpenRoad Auto Group announces it has been named in the Top 10 of Aon Hewitt’s 2012 Best Employers in Canada list. This is the third year that OpenRoad Auto Group has been awarded top placement, and is recognized among leading businesses including Cisco Canada, WestJet, McDonald’s, FedEx, and Delta Hotels & Resorts. Organizations were selected as Best Employers based on survey responses from more than one hundred thousand Canadian employees.

“I am very proud of the fact that OpenRoad has once again made the list of Canada’s 50 Best Employers, and thank our employees for their vote of confidence in our workplace,” said Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group. “What we have accomplished together, is making our company a truly unique place to work and we are committed to build this community even stronger by keeping open dialogue with our employees to foster growth as a company and as a family.”

At the core of the award selection is employee engagement, which is driven by leadership, rewards, workplace culture and values, productivity and the support of performance and development. The average engagement score for the 50 Best Employer organizations was 78 percent. “Those organizations ranked highest on the list have employee engagement of close to 90 percent,” said Neil Crawford, Aon Hewitt’s leader of the Best Employers in Canada study. “That’s an impressive accomplishment, particularly now when many parts of the Canadian economy are showing signs of recovery and employee attraction and retention is becoming more challenging.”

For Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group, which operates ten car dealerships selling 9 import brands – Lexus, Toyota, Scion, Audi, BMW, MINI, Honda, Mazda, and Hyundai – in the Vancouver metro area, focusing on people practices is critical to fostering an environment of innovation. Paving the road for innovation in the automotive industry, OpenRoad Auto Group has created a series of “climate” or cultural goals that contribute to their uniqueness.

Chia continues, “90 percent of the business model is the same from one dealership to the other. We have to work within that 10 percent where we can make a difference. We have to differentiate ourselves by offering the best service provision, and that means the quality of our people.”