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.

uap-histoire-fondateur

A flair for business

With an exceptional flair for business, Mr. Préfontaine quickly earned a reputation as a disciplined and rigorous businessman committed to providing his customers with unrivaled service. Throughout his many years as head of the company, he always made a point of recognizing the importance of his employees’ contributions to the company’s success.

“Throughout his many years as head of the company, he always made a point of recognizing the importance of his employees’ contributions to the company’s success.”

A pioneering vision
of human resources management

With a brand new vision of human resources management, Mr. Préfontaine had his own technique when it came to recruiting. His philosophy was simple: a happy employee is a thousand times 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, and the company needs to get to know them in order to better equip them to achieve their full potential.

This vision served him well. Over the course of 90 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 Inc. has both hands on the wheel as it drives into the future.

“His philosophy was simple: a happy employee is
a thousand times more productive.”