The LausGroup of Companies that the late Liberator “Levy” P. Laus founded and led until his untimely death last April 25 has come a long way from its modest beginnings more than four decades ago. This might not have been possible if not for his hard work, dedication, passion, and  business acumen.

The conglomerate started as a small subdealer called Carworld in 1978, operating from a bare office in San Fernando, Pampanga. Over the years, that subdealer expanded into a network of dealerships that grew increasingly large, so much so that there are now more than 50 of those dealerships located in Central Luzon, Northern Luzon, and Metro Manila.

Carworld, Inc. is now the flagship company of LausGroup. According to its Web site, it has contributed to the transformation of its surrounding communities into robust business districts. “Its stature is a manifestation of the economic stability and countryside development in the region,” the site adds.

Carmix, a sister company of Carworld that has been operating for decades, is also successful in its niche. It retails quality and affordable secondhand vehicles and provides trade-in options and financial assistance to its customers.

Automotive dealership remains the core business of the conglomerate. The range of the brands the LausAutoGroup carries is vast, including Mitsubishi, Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, BMW, Volkswagen, Jeep, Peugeot, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki, Foton, and Haima. Not only does it sell passenger vehicles, but also trucks and buses. The conglomerate’s Web site says that it is “the biggest and fastest growing auto dealership in the country,” with over 98 business units and more than 2,100 employees.

The other automotive-related businesses of LausGroup include Comtrust Finance and Investment Corporation (Laus Auto Finance), which is engaged in auto loan financing and check discounting; Laus Marketing and Trading Corporation, which sells Voltronic motor oils and lubricants; and Laus Auto Services, which offers maintenance and repair services for all cars of all makes and models.

In 2018, a publication named Mr. Laus one of the 33 most influential persons in the Philippine automotive industry.

“Through the years, the LausGroup has remained committed to its core values of customer satisfaction, honesty & integrity, hard work and productivity, efficiency, and social responsibility. Its success is fueled not only by its passion for cars but also the passion of its people to provide the best service to its customers, a tradition that continues to transform the way every dealership conducts business,” the conglomerate’s site says.

The conglomerate is a force to reckon with not only in the automotive industry but also in other fields, like insurance. Corporate Guarantee and Insurance Company (CGIC) is a non-insurance firm that Mr. Laus founded in 1997 that offers a variety of non-life insurance products (fire, personal accident, casualty, motor, marine and bonds).

It is one of the biggest non-life insurance companies in the country. According to data from the Insurance Commission, in 2017, CGIC ranked 20th in terms of net income (P73 million), 21st in terms of net worth (P862 million), 27th in terms of premiums earned (P442 million), 28th in terms of assets (P1.519 trillion), and 41st in terms of invested assets (P487 million).

Since its inception, the firm has also garnered distinctions, including ISO 9001:2000, ISO 9001:2008, and ISO 9001:2015 certifications for quality management system. In 2011, at the 1st Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association Awards, the “Best in Corporate Social Responsibility” award went to CGIC.

“To this day, CGIC continues to conform to global standards, offering services that are, indeed, certifiably world-class,” the non-life insurer’s Web site says. The company’s base of operations is San Fernando, and maintains offices in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pangasinan and Tarlac.

LausGroup has its own media businesses: radio station RW 95.1 FM, Stun.Star Pampanga and CLTV 36, a regional television network.

The conglomerate’s portfolio also includes LausGroup Event Centre (LEC), which was inaugurated in 2016 and boasts state-of-the-art facilities. It’s where all sorts of events, from conferences to concerts to private functions, are held, and it serves as the main venue for LausGroup’s product launchings and multi-brand auto dealerships.

The group also owns the four-story Microtel by Wyndham Pampanga, which was developed in partnership with Phinma Microtel Hotels, Inc. The hotel, which is a short distance from LEC, has 80 furnished rooms and amenities like a swimming pool and function rooms. There’s also a shuttle service available to the hotel’s guests to and from a nearby mall.

“Consistent with its corporate advocacy of championing countryside development, the LausGroup has slowly but surely expanded to the north, opening new dealerships and eyeing other viable businesses to sustain and spur growth and progress wherever it goes,” the conglomerate’s site says.