In horse racing terms, you could say Murray Chevrolet has won the daily double.
On March 1, Murray Chev president Dan Murray hosted an employee appreciation lunch in celebration of the Murray team earning both an inaugural General Motors of Canada President’s Club ranking and ranking in GM’s Top 16 (GM dealers across Canada) in 2016.
While Murray noted two other Winnipeg dealers (Vickar Chevrolet and Jim Gauthier Chevrolet) also ranked in the top 16 — and one other Manitoba dealer (Craig Dunn Motor City — also part of the Murray Group of Companies — in Portage La Prairie) earned a ranking in the President’s Club (which recognizes the 50 top GM dealers in Canada based on vehicle sales, accessory sales, parts sales and customer satisfaction scores).
Murray Chev was the only dealer in Manitoba — and one of just three GM dealerships in Canada out of a total of 450 GM dealers — to earn a spot on both lists.
"We had the highest customer satisfaction score of any dealer in Western Canada," Murray says.
In his remarks to his team at the luncheon, Murray gave full credit to every member of his staff for their individual roles in the dealership adding to its winning record — a record that includes 14 GM Triple Crown Awards (prior to the honour being discontinued in 2008; the President’s Club is GM’s replacement for the Triple Crown Award), every GM Jack Smith Leadership Award (recognizing Canada’s top 10 GM stores) until that award was discontinued in 2008, Mobial and Consumer’s Choice Awards and several listings as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and Top Employers. The dealership was also the Canadian Auto Dealers Association’s 2009 Laureate Award Winner.
"The awards speak to the quality of our team members," Murray said. "Our goal is to be the best of the best. We want to emulate perennial winning teams such as the New England Patriots, the New York Yankee dynasties of old and the Montreal Canadiens’ winning teams. We aspire to win every year."
Representing General Motors at the lunch — which was sponsored by ADESA Winnipeg — were District Sales Manager Felipe Michel and Jennifer Ledbrook, district manager for customer care, who presented the dealership with the Top 16 in 2016 Award.
The President’s Club trophy will be presented some time in May.
Dilawri Group changes
For Nick Guffei and Mark Carver, rejoining the Dilawri Auto Group in management positions is akin to a homecoming. Carver returned to the DiLawri Group in late February — after a two-year hiatus with another Asian import dealer — to fill the recently vacated general manager’s role at Crown Acura.
Carver’s career in auto sales stretches back 20 years (in May). Most of his experience has been in Asian imports.
"I didn’t realize how much I would miss working for the Dilawri Group," he says. "I appreciate this new opportunity. It feels like I never left."
Also being promoted to management for the first time at Crown Acura is long-time sales rep Tony Schaubroeck. The new sales manager has been a fixture at Crown Acura for the past nine years.
"I am excited about the new challenge," he says.
Schaubroeck notes that Crown Acura was an Acura Canada Ace Award winner last year for the second year in a row. The award recognizes outstanding customer satisfaction levels. Crown Acura was one of just five Acura stores across Canada (out of 55) to receive the award for 2016.
Nick Guffei has returned to the Dilawri Group — as general manager at Crown Nissan — after 15 years working in management for another import store.
"It was a good opportunity," he says. "The Dilawri Group is a good group to work for."
It was an unusual request — but the team at Vickar Ford rose to the occasion.
“We were asked by Sunova Credit Union in Selkirk to convert one of our small Transit Vans to accommodate two large St. Bernards,” says Jeff Smyth, the dealership’s commercial fleet sales manager. “They take the van to different festivals around Selkirk and area throughout the summer.”
Vickar Ford technicians created two separate compartments for the St. Bernards that will keep them cool and comfortable on hot summer days.