Ford dealer puts finishing touches on major expansion

by Myron Love  . Nov 10 2016
Myron Love / Winnipeg Free PressWilf’s Elie Ford’s expansion brings the showroom to 4,500 square feet, up from 2,000, and adds several windows to brighten the space.

Myron Love / Winnipeg Free Press

Wilf’s Elie Ford’s expansion brings the showroom to 4,500 square feet, up from 2,000, and adds several windows to brighten the space.

Wilf’s Elie Ford Sales Ltd.’s expansion is almost complete. “We are just having the finishing touches being applied,” said dealer principal Blake Legault of the $2-million project that got underway in the spring of 2014. “We are at 15,000 square feet now.

“Before my dad (Wilf Legault) bought this building, it was an implement dealership. It wasn’t well-suited to our business. The flow is much better now.”

As a result of the expansion, Legault points out, the showroom is now 4,500 sq. ft. as compared to 2,500 before.

“We have a nice, new customer lounge,” he says. “We replaced our old 13-inch black-and-white television in our customer lounge with a 50-inch LED model.

“The showroom is also much brighter, with more windows. Our customers and staff are really happy with the results.”

On the back end, there are eight additional service bays — bringing the total to 12 — with state-of-the-art equipment. “We have added more service technicians and sales people,” Legault reports.

Upstairs, the staff has a new lunchroom with room for everyone at the same time.

Elie is just about a 20-minute drive west of Headingley. Wilf’s Elie Ford is located on the right-hand side of the highway, just as you enter Elie going west.

Wilf Legault founded the dealership in 1981. “My dad started the business with four employees,” Legault says. “Now, we are up to 35 employees, several of whom have been with us for more than 20 years.”

Legault says that Wilf’s Elie Ford carries about 125 new and used Ford models — with trucks the major seller.

Legault himself started working in the family business as a service technician in 1992. (“I have worked in every department,” he notes.) He has been dealer principal since 2009.

Although Wilf Legault is no longer active in the business because of health issues, Blake says that his mother, Alice, and his sister, Stacey, are both involved in the business.

Legault suggests that a grand re-opening will be planned for early in the spring.

 

Scion iM rebranded as Corolla iM

The iM is back for 2017 — but under the Toyota Corolla banner in place of the discontinued Scion brand.

The new iM hatchbacks landed in Manitoba dealerships around the beginning of October, says Birchwood Toyota product advisor Andrew Robinson.

The new model, Robinson says, comes with standard LED headlights, heated seats, back-up camera, folding side mirrors, automatic climate control system, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel wrapped in leather, cruise control and a navigation system. The model also comes with a six-speaker sound system that features a seven-inch touch-screen.

The iM is powered by a 1.8 litre, four-cylinder engine that produces 137 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque.

Robinson reports that the new model also replaces Toyota’s discontinued Matrix.

The base price for the new iM is $25,300 (includes freight and pdi).

“We have four models in so far,” Robinson says. “The response has been pretty good considering not a lot of people were aware that the iM was coming. But many of our customers who come into the dealership are noticing the iM.”

myjolove1@mymts.net

 

Dealer of the week

 

Sales Rep: Andrew Robinson

Dealership: Birchwood Toyota

No. of Years: Three

Favourite Model: Toyota 4Runner

Why: “I like everything about the 4Runner,” Robinson says. “It’s a real rugged SUV.”