Ed Coates, co-founder and owner of Lordco Auto Parts, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly this morning at the age of 65.
Coates was regarded as a leader in the Canadian automotive aftermarket. He grew his chain of automotive parts stores to over 100 locations, making Lordco a dominant player in the British Columbia market.
Ed and his partner Roy Lord started the company Lordco Parts Ltd. in 1974, and Coates bought out Lord in the early 1980s. Since then, Lordco has grown to become the largest, privately held independent automotive parts distributor in Canada, employing about 1500 people.
In 2011, Coates was the recipient of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Distinguished Service Award.
AIA president Marc Brazeau said people are remembering an icon today.
“There are people from across the country that are touched by this,” he said. “Ed was someone who revolutionized the game in our industry.”
Brazeau, who knew Ed for years and counted him among his friends, described Ed as a proud Canadian who particularly loved his home province of British Columbia.
“He worked hard to build a successful company in British Columbia,” Brazeau said. “He surrounded himself with great people, and did business in a way that was very innovative, very-much focused on the total customer experience.”
Brazeau said Ed’s passion and commitment built Lordco to the success story it is today.
“It was all about the customer, all about the service, all about the personal relationships. He never swayed from that,” Brazeau said. “He certainly will be remembered for that.”