Our Story

UAP has come a long way in the past 100 years or so. Discover a brief history of a great entrepreneur and get to know our current president, Alain Masse.

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A brief history of
a great entrepreneur

In 1926, Charles-Émile Préfontaine, known for his enthusiasm, charming smile and boundless optimism, embarked on a great adventure—building an auto parts distribution company. 

What sparked the project? The rapid increase in the number of vehicles on the road in Quebec. Having worked as a mechanic for 10 years, Mr. Préfontaine noticed the constant growth of the automotive sector. As a result, United Auto Parts Limited opened its doors in Montreal.

A disciplined and rigorous businessman, he was committed to providing unparalleled service to his customers and recognizing the very important contribution of his employees to the success of the company.

A pioneering vision of human resources management

With a brand-new vision of human resources management, Mr. Préfontaine had his own technique for onboarding new employees. His philosophy was simple: a happy employee is a thousand time more productive. According to Mr. Préfontaine, when new employees join the company, they need to be taken care of, they need to understand all the employment opportunities available to them. The company needs to get to know them to equip them better to achieve their full potential.

This vision served him well. Over the course of almost 100 years, United Auto Parts grew to become UAP Inc., the Canadian leader in the distribution of auto and heavy vehicle parts. Recognized from coast to coast and a member of the large GPC family, UAP has both hands on the wheel as it drives into the future.

Respect our legacy while revitalizing our practices

Alain Masse is the current President of UAP. Very accessible and down to earth, he makes a point of being available and supportive for all employees. With COVID-19, we have seen firsthand his strong commitment to our wellbeing. During this time, he had to make some tough decisions about our workforce, and he has always taken safety as the primary criterion in all his decisions.

He always has an attentive ear if someone proposes new ideas to better serve our clients. Always questioning what we can do better, he has challenged the whole team to reinvent what needs to, preserve our strengths and challenge what does not add value for our clients.

His sense of humor and memory are legendary in the company and if you see him in your work environment, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. He will appreciate getting to know you and will surely remember your conversation.


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