Car sales legend finds success in new digs

by Myron Love  . Aug 04 2017
Myron Love / Winnipeg Free PressGlen Proutt (from left), Terry Turbo and Samantha Schacht. Team Turbo has found a new home at Mid-Town Ford.

Myron Love / Winnipeg Free Press

Glen Proutt (from left), Terry Turbo and Samantha Schacht. Team Turbo has found a new home at Mid-Town Ford.

Terry Turbo and his support team — Glenn Proutt and Samantha Schacht — are getting a significant boost on their already healthy sales figures as a result of the decision in April to relocate their operations to Mid-Town Ford Sales at the Waverley Automall.

The Ford of Canada Summit Award winner for 2016 reports that where he usually averages about 230 sales a year, his team’s sales statistics since moving to Mid-Town have jumped by about 30 per cent.

“Our welcome here has been really great,” Turbo said.

“Management has given us 110 per cent support and everyone pitches in to make our guests feel comfortable here.”

Turbo has been in auto sales for 36 years and has built a large and loyal following across western and northern Canada. “My business is largely by appointment,” he said. “Almost all of our business is repeat and referral. Samantha handles our schedule. Ninety per cent of our sales are from out of town. We are dealing with third- and fourth-generation customers.”

One notable customer is a client who is flying in from Toronto specifically to buy a new vehicle from Team Turbo. “This client is in the banking industry,” he said.

“We have dealt with her in the past and she likes the way we deal with people. She is coming here for the paperwork and then picking up her vehicle in Toronto from a dealer there we have made the arrangements with.”

Turbo bills himself as the “King of Finance.” He says he was among the first to pioneer sub-prime loans back in the early 1990s. “We have good, long-standing connections with financial institutions and can offer our customers really good deals,” he said.

Team Turbo also has a terrific relationship with the Indigenous community and takes frequent trips up north where they not only write deals but also provide seminars on a variety of topics related to auto sales. The team also advertises frequently in Indigenous broadcast and print media.

“The Indigenous people I deal with are beautiful people,” Turbo said. He points out he keeps his deals with northern Canadians short term. “You can put on a lot of kilometres up north in two years,” he says.

Recently, Team Turbo sent up a truckload of vehicles to Thompson and brought back seven used vehicles taken in trade.

Team Turbo is also generous with financial support. In that regard, the Turbo group are a good fit with Mid-Town Ford and its culture of giving. “Mid-Town Ford encourages its sales reps to donate up to $25,000 to charity,” Turbo said.

According to Mid-Town Ford general manager Scott Campbell, the dealership donated $100,000 last year to a variety of charities including Siloam Mission, Winnipeg Harvest, Winnipeg Pet Rescue, Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue, KidSport Winnipeg, Resource Assistance for Youth, 158 Fisher Air Cadets, the Robb Nash Project (which aims to inspire young people through music and storytelling to make positive life choices) and Sunshine House (a community drop-in resource centre focusing on harm reduction, population health promotion and social inclusion).

Management changes

The beginning of July brought management changes to Chudd’s Chrysler in Gimli and Jim Gauthier Chevrolet in Winnipeg.

Malik Ahmed is the new sales manager at Gauthier Chevrolet. He has been in auto sales for the past eight years.

“This was an opportunity for me to move up,” Ahmed said. “I am looking forward to the challenges in this new position and helping to make things happen here.”

For Harvey Dola, becoming the new sales manager at Chudd’s Chrysler is a homecoming. The 35-year industry veteran began his career in auto sales as a teenager at Chudd’s. Also a longtime sales manager, he says that it is “good to be home.”

“I like working for family-owned dealerships,” he said. Joining Dola at Chudd’s is his son, Hayden, who is the internet manager.

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DEALER OF THE WEEK

 

Sales Rep: Jeremy Pinx

Dealership: Crown Nissan

No. of Years: Five months with Crown Nissan, 17 years in auto sales

Favourite Model: Nissan Titan

Why: “I’m a truck guy,” Pinx says of the Titan. “The 2017 Titan has a stronger, fully-boxed frame and stronger structure, and I really appreciate the 160,000-kilometre bumper-to-bumper warranty.”