Local dealers win consumer choice awards

by Myron Love  . May 27 2016
SUPPLIED PHOTOAuto Gallery opened a second location on Portage Avenue across the street from the original location and began offering more luxury and custom-ordered models such as this stunning Chevrolet Corvette.


Auto Gallery opened a second location on Portage Avenue across the street from the original location and began offering more luxury and custom-ordered models such as this stunning Chevrolet Corvette.

Murray Chevrolet and Auto Gallery of Canada have been recognized as 2016 Consumer Choice award recipients in the new car dealer and used car categories, respectively.

For Auto Gallery, this was the eighth time in 10 years the dealer at the end of Portage Avenue has been award the Consumer’s Choice Award winner in the Used Car Dealer category.

“This is an award based on customer surveys, and that makes it a difficult award to win. The survey is very professionally done. The questions aren’t leading in any way,” says Auto Gallery co-founder Gord Pedersen (in partnership with Dan Gagnon).

For Murray Chevrolet, the award came as something of a surprise, notes dealer principal Dan Murray. “The surveying for this award went on without us even knowing we were a candidate,” Murray says.

The Consumer’s Choice Award winners in each major city in Canada and the United States are chosen by the general public. The awards cover a wide range of categories and are intended to identify businesses consumers feel have reached a level of excellence.

Opinions, perceptions and expectations are gathered through the responses of thousands of consumers and businesses, Murray notes. All winners have gone through a rigorous selection process conducted by a third party research firm to ensure only the most outstanding service providers are the winners within their respective industry.

Murray Chevrolet has a long list of awards testifying to the Waverley Auto Mall dealer’s level of service. The dealership has earned 20 GM Presidents Triple Crown awards, recognizing them as one of GM’s top 100 dealers, and numerous Jack Smith Leadership Awards given out by GM recognizing them as one of the top 10 dealers in Canada. Murray’s has also been recognized several times as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed companies. And, just last February was named as the Manitoba provincial finalist by Mobials and autoTRADER.ca in recognition of consistently receiving high online consumer experience reviews.

“Our current star rating is 4.7 stars with over 1,380 completed customer reviews,” Murray reports. “We pride ourselves on not only being one of GM’s top volume dealers — we were number six in Canada last year out of over 400 — but more importantly, we are top three when it comes to customer-satisfaction rating. It’s a philosophy handed down over the years from generation to generation.”

Murray attributes much of the dealership’s success to its employees. “We have an amazing team that makes up the heart our dealership,” he says. “Our goal is not only to provide a healthy, positive and great work environment, but to our customers, our team works very hard to provide a hassle-free customer experience, in all departments. We thank our entire team here at the dealership for doing such a amazing job and to all our customers for their wonderful feedback helping us to achieve these recent awards and to always keep us improving our services for our future customers.”

In addition to the Top Choice Award, Auto Gallery’s Pedersen reports the company has earned the Top Choice Award for the ninth year in a row and has been named as DealerRater’s Used Car Dealer of the Year.

“These awards are important,” Pedersen says. “They demonstrate a high level of customer satisfaction. We do the best we can to encourage our customers to rate us online – but we have no control over what they say. We received 149 reviews last year and scored a rating of 4.9 out of five. We are very happy with the responses that we have been getting from our customers.”

Pedersen and Gagnon opened Auto Gallery 14 years ago. Over that span, the dealership become one of the largest-volume pre-owned auto dealers in Manitoba.

While the meat and potatoes of the business remains everyday models (trucks, grand caravans, SUVs), four years ago, Auto Gallery opened a second location across the street from the original location and began offering more luxury and custom-ordered models.

Last year, Pedersen and Gagnon began bringing in sport models such as Corvettes, Mustangs and Dodge Challenger Hellcats.

“We do business across Canada,” Pedersen says. “This is a real competitive market. You have to stay sharp.”


Service promises quick sale


John Gordon knows first hand the frustration of trying to sell your vehicle online.

“I tried selling a car online on one of the popular internet sites,” he says. “In three months, I only got eight phone calls.

“I had a neighbour who tried to sell his car privately for two years. The car rusted and rotted away sitting in his yard over that time.”

The problem, he says, is that every day, 1,500 new ads are listed. “It takes a lot of time and effort,” he points out. “You need to renew your ad every couple of days. It can be almost a full-time job, and people who lack sales experience have few people they can turn to for information and help.”

The co-founder of Quick Auto Seller is promising readers that his new online listing can get results.

The website — quickautoseller.com, which has been in operation since earlier this year, lists autos for sale (with photos and information), testimonials from satisfied customers and auto industry news.

And, this week, Quick Auto Sellers has upped its game with the first edition of a regular flyer — being distributed through the Free Press — which will feature several pages of cars for sale by their owners, with descriptions, photos, detailed information, phone numbers and ad numbers so readers can follow up online.

“We guarantee that between our online site and our mass flyer distribution more than 10,000 people will see your listing,” says Gordon, who has auto sales experience.

“We are planning in the future to put out regular magazines to showcase our clients’ vehicles,” he says.




Dealer of the week

Sales Rep: Michael Rodrigues

Dealership: Knight Auto Haus Volkswagen

No. of Years: One

Favourite Model: Golf GTI

Why: “I have liked the Golf GTI ever since I was a kid and my brother bought a Golf for his first car,” Rodrigues says. “I just bought a 2016 model. I particularly like the hatchback.”