Winnipeg Free Press

Birchwood BMW showcases fine food, finer cars

by Myron Love  . May 31 2019
SuppliedBirchwood BMW welcomed more than 200 guests on May 14 to a showcase event featuring three of the company’s newest models, including the 2020 BMW X7, M340 and the reborn Z4.


Birchwood BMW welcomed more than 200 guests on May 14 to a showcase event featuring three of the company’s newest models, including the 2020 BMW X7, M340 and the reborn Z4.

It was a fun and filling evening at Birchwood BMW on May 14 as more than 200 local BMW aficionados enjoyed pizza from Pizzeria Gusto, ice cream from Chaeban, coffee from Deluca and hors d’oeuvres compliments of Piazza De Nardi.

Despite all the tasty culinary creations, the true stars of the event were the 2020 BMW X7, M340 and the reborn Z4.

“In my six years with BMW, I have never seen BMW launch so many new models,” said Steve Payne, Birchwood BMW’s general manager. “We have in our showroom tonight the new X7, our largest SUV; the new Z4 after a hiatus of more than 10 years; and the new M340.”

Payne reported he had an opportunity to drive the new M340 in California. “I drove the model around the track at BMW’s driving school,” he said. “I was very impressed. We have five new models for this year and five more refreshed designs for next year.”

Payne next turned the mic over to senior sales consultant Patrick Hasselmann. “We are living through a time of tremendous change,” Hasselmann remarked. “Every year, there seems to be new technological innovation. And BMW is an industry leader in the introduction of new technology.”

The all-new X7 offers luxury combined with the most up-to-date technology. “The X7,” he said, “represents a new design and new direction in terms of BMW architecture. The fuel economy and performance are state-of-the-art. The X7 combines maximum space, speed and efficiency — a very rare combination.

“The X7 has been described as the world’s best sports saloon.”

The Z4, Hasselmann said, is the complete opposite of the X7. The Z4 is the first two-seater convertible BMW has produced in several years. “This is one of the very few authentic two-seater convertibles in a sports car,” he added.

The new M3 comes with the new iDrive 7.0, which Hasselmann describes as the “most modern interface in the world between car and driver.” The model also has the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever, he added.

“The 3-series accounts for 30 per cent of our sales,” he said.

Also one of the evening’s new stars was the revived 8-Series, which last appeared in 1989. This new Grand Touring V-8, which replaces the 6-series, is currently available in either a two-door coupe or convertible. A four-door grand coupe will be coming out in the fall. The powerful engine produces 525 horsepower, Hasselmann said.

“BMW uses world-class engineering to produce the ultimate driving machine,” Hasselmann said.

New Birchwood BMW sales manager

Steven Weber is moving up in the auto world. At the beginning of April, the six-year BMW sales consultant was promoted to sales manager.

“It’s great,” Weber says of his new position. “I am enjoying being able to help my team to make sure that every customer receives the best buying experience possible.”

ADESA charity anniversary

ADESA Winnipeg recently celebrated its 32nd anniversary with free breakfast for customers and guests.

“We continue to grow apace,” says Gregg Maidment, ADESA Auctions vice-president and general manager for Western Canada operations. “We have buyers from 150 countries worldwide bidding on live feeds on our vehicles.”

Also growing is the number of private individuals seeking to have ADESA broker the sale of their own vehicles. “Two weeks ago, for example, we sold 60 vehicles for private individuals,” Maidment reports.

And ADESA’s transportation and delivery capabilities continue to be enhanced. “We can deliver worldwide,” Maidment said.

On the charity front, ADESA auctioneers have so far this year conducted 21 charity auctions, which in total have raised a record $4.21 million, Maidment reports. “We are seeing more donors and more bidders,” he says.

Veteran enjoys success in auto sales

Over 10 years with River City Ford, Kyle Forcier has gradually worked his way to the top. He started as lot manager in 2010. From there, he was encouraged to try sales. Next was a promotion to leasing manager, then sales manager at Carman Ford — River City Ford’s sister store — then assistant general manager for both stores and, since March, 2018, general manager at the Winnipeg store.

Forcier brings with him to his role in management not only the lessons learned through almost 10 years in auto sales, but also the values he learned in an earlier career as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Forcier joined the Armed Forces in 2004. He says he was attracted to a career in the military by the educational opportunities that were on offer.

“I served in the Armed Forces for 10 years,” he says. “I was a combat engineer. I served one tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009. My team’s mission was to search for IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the roads and scope out buildings with our dog teams to make sure they were safe for our troops.

“It was dangerous work, but it was a great experience. I have no regrets.”

Joining Forcier in management in recent months is Cristele Gagnon, who was appointed new car sales manager in February. Gagnon has been in auto sales for 12 years, the last eight with River City Ford. She was most recently finance manager.

“I used to run a clothing store,” she says. “I was good at sales. I felt that auto sales would be a great opportunity for growth and I haven’t been disappointed.

“I am enjoying the new challenges that come with being new car sales manager.”

River City Ford also owes a big debt of gratitude for its ranking as Winnipeg’s top-selling truck dealer to the Jost family, four of whose members are on the sales floor. Brothers Jev, Sayed and Nazir have all been part of the dealership’s sales team for five years or more. Jev is used car manager, Sayed is desking manager and Nazir is in sales.

They were recently joined by their cousin, Wahid, who started working on the sales floor in late May following a course of sales training. He previously worked in construction.

John Medeiros joins Capital Ford

Last September, after more than 30 years in auto sales, John Medeiros decided to step away from the business.

“After a short time, I realized how much I missed auto sales,” he says.

Thus, in February, he signed on as sales floor manager at Capital Ford.

“Landau Ford always had a reputation as a prestigious company,” Medeiros says.

“And I knew how the Capital Group (which acquired Landau five years ago) treats its people. I am happy to be here.”

Medeiros would like to invite all of his friends and previous customers to drop in and see him at his new location across from Polo Park.