Rolling out a whiteout

Supplied / Jeff Miller The showroom at Gauthier Chrysler is bedecked in white and filled with white vehicles to show pride for the Winnipeg Jets. It is one of several dealerships to do so.

Supplied / Jeff Miller

The showroom at Gauthier Chrysler is bedecked in white and filled with white vehicles to show pride for the Winnipeg Jets. It is one of several dealerships to do so.

While Bell MTS Place may be the epicentre of the whiteout, where thousands of Winnipeg Jets fans wear white in support of the high-flying NHL team, local auto dealers have also joined in the fun — displaying white vehicles in the front rows and showrooms of dealerships across the city.

It took some digging on the Regent Avenue strip to determine who in Transcona actually moved the white vehicles up front first.

It turns out Jake Keip, the lot manager at Vickar Chevrolet, holds that honour. He dreamt up the vehicular whiteout about 10 days ago.

“I just thought it would be a great way for us to support the Jets and have some fun,” said Keip. “It took our crew about an hour to move all the white vehicles up front and it didn’t take long for the other dealerships to follow our lead.”

Keip figured his co-workers were surely playing a prank on him when the Free Press arrived to take his photo. “These guys have to be messing with me,” he quipped while grinning for the camera in his pristine white Winnipeg Jets jersey.

Vickar Chevrolet may have been the first to get in the spirit, but like Keip says, it didn’t take long for the other Regent Avenue dealerships to shuffle all the white cars, trucks, SUVs and vans to the front row. Next door at Birchwood Ford there is a sea of white; it’s all-white up the strip at Frontier Toyota too.

On the other side of Regent Avenue, at Gauthier Chrysler, even the showroom is decked out in white.

So where did all these white vehicles come from? Did they have to order them in special?

According to Bryan Ambrozik, new car sales manager at Gauthier Chrysler, white is always a strong seller. “White is without question the most popular vehicle colour,” he says. “It’s a very classy colour and when paired with blacked-out rims and other black accessories, white has become more attractive than ever before.”

Which means finding white vehicles to fill the front row of the lot was actually quite easy. A quick computer search of the inventory for all the white vehicles and a round of coffee for the hard working lot jockeys later, a whiteout was born.

“We are all big Jets fans and this is a little bit of a fun competion amongst dealers,” Ambrozik says. “It also goes to show you how our community is banding together to support the Jets — it really is a lot of fun.”

Winnipeg certainly isn’t the only city where white vehicles are preferred. American paint manufacturers PPG Industries and DuPont both conduct surveys about car colour popularity around the globe.

According to the most recent surveys, white was the top car colour worldwide, followed by silver, grey and black.

Yellow, the primary colour found on the uniforms of the Nasville Predators, didn’t even rank in the Top 10.

willy@freepress.mb.ca

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free PressFrom left: Bryan Ambrozik, Marc Letourneau, Kevin Schumacher and Barry Olinkin from Gauthier Chrysler in their whiteout showroom.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

From left: Bryan Ambrozik, Marc Letourneau, Kevin Schumacher and Barry Olinkin from Gauthier Chrysler in their whiteout showroom.

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press‘I just thought it would be a great way for us to support the Jets and have some fun’— Jake Keip, lot manager at Vickar Chevrolet, who pioneered the whiteout on the Regent Avenue strip

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

‘I just thought it would be a great way for us to support the Jets and have some fun’

— Jake Keip, lot manager at Vickar Chevrolet, who pioneered the whiteout on the Regent Avenue strip

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press