Myron Love / Winnipeg Free Press
Groundbreaking at the site of the new Audi Winnipeg store. City of Winnipeg Coun. Marty Morantz (fourth from right), was among the dignataries in attendance.
The future site of Audi Winnipeg, which will be located in the Seasons of Tuxedo retail development across from IKEA, was the scene for a groundbreaking ceremony March 1. Formerly St. James Audi, the new location will no longer share space with its sister Volkswagen operation.
Audi Winnipeg president Mark Warsaba spoke of the excitement from management and staff about having a stand-alone Audi store. “This has been in the planning for three years,” Warsaba said. “This ground-breaking marks the beginning of a new era for the Audi brand in Winnipeg.”
Warsaba reported the Audi brand has been steadily gaining strength in the city, a process he said is expected to accelerate even more this year with a host of new Audi models coming in the next few months.
The location of the new store will give it high visibility and easy access from the main road. At just over 76,000 square feet, the new store will be double the size of the current Audi store. The showroom will be able to accommodate 12 new vehicles. There will also be a customized Audi Sport display area for performance vehicles.
On the main floor will be two modern customer lounges stocked with fresh pastries and refreshments, a children’s play area, a drive-in service area with 14 service bays, six detail bays, a dedicated new-car delivery centre, an external drive-through car wash system and an express service lane for oil and tire changes. The new store will also have a 28,000-square-foot basement with three dedicated detail bays and a redelivery area for vehicles brought in for servicing. Upstairs there will be a fully digitized room where customers can cyber-build their own Audi models and view 3D images of the model they produced in real time.
It is business as usual at the current Century Street dealership, with Audi and Volkswagen brands sharing the location. The Audi Winnipeg project is expected to be completed by summer of 2017, at which point St. James Volkswagen will be expanded to fill the entire building.
Mercedes-Benz Metris a smaller Sprinter
THE new Mercedes-Benz Metris, a commercial van, which arrived at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg late last fall, occupies a market niche all its own, says Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg commercial van specialist Dan Quigley.
Smaller than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the new Metris can be used as either a cargo van or a passenger van with a seating capacity of up to eight.
“We are excited about the Metris,” Quigley said, “we have had a good response to the model, we have sold several to appliance repair people because the height of the van is a perfect fit for most appliances.”
Quigley also noted customers have appreciated the fuel economy. The Metris is powered by a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine — with seven-speed automatic transmission — that puts out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Metris has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
The starting price for the Metris is $33,900. “We would like to see more of them on the road,” Quigley said. “It is just of matter of time.”
Myron Love / Winnipeg Free Press
The new Mercedes-Benz Metris can be adapted for commercial or passenger use.