Murray Auto Group staff continue to haul in awards

BY Myron Love. Jun 10 04:00 am

Murray Chevrolet hosted its annual employee recognition luncheon on June 3 for both Murray Chevrolet and Murray Hyundai staff.

Murray Chevrolet president Dan Murray opened the formal part of the program with a short video commemorating the Murray Auto Group’s 90th year in operation.

“Over the past 90 years,” Murray said, “the Murray Auto Group has built a reputation for outstanding service. Our CSI scores are among the best in the country. No one does sales and service like we do, a fact that is backed up by our customer service scores.”

As a store, Murray added, Murray Chevrolet Winnipeg was a perennial winner of General Motors’ Jack Smith leadership Award and GM’s Triple Crown Award before GM discontinued handing out dealership awards in 2008. And — unique among General Motors — virtually all of the store’s sales reps and service technicians annually place in General Motors of Canada’s Sales Marketing Guild and General Motors Service Technicians Guild.

“When it comes to national recognition,” Murray said, “no other business in Canada — in or out of the auto business — has earned as many accolades over the years. As a group, the Murray Auto Group (with 30 stores across Canada) has been designated several times as one of Canada’s 100 Best Employers and one of the country’s 50 Best Managed Companies.”

On the sales side, as usual, Craig Pucely, Mike Richardson, Teddy Edwards and John Puchniak set the Gold Standard not only for Murray Chevrolet’s sales staff, but also for the Murray Auto Group as a whole.

Puchniak and Richardson finished first and third respectively for total sales among all of the Murray Auto Group’s 30 stores across Canada. This was the second year in row that Puchniak was the Murray Group’s top selling sales rep. (He sold 261 vehicles last year, up from 237 sales the year before.)

The achievement earned Puchniak and (Murray Chev in Winnipeg) the honour of displaying the Murray Auto Group’s Revere Cup (the auto group’s equivalent of the Stanley Cup) which will be on view at the Winnipeg store for the year. (Edwards finished in ninth spot while Tony Dang from Murray Hyundai, which is also located at the Waverley Auto Mall, finished in 10th place.)

Timm Slaney, Murray Chev’s fleet sales manager, once again earned a Gold placing in GM’s Fleet Managers Club. Murray Chev sales reps Daniel Bean, Jamie Erb, Dennis Holmes, Keith Place and Cody Wiebe earned Silver rankings while Tanner Franklin, new hire Liam Li and Ray Reimer earned Bronze ranking. Just 23 per cent of GM’s more than 3,000 sales reps earn ranking in the Master Sales Guild each year, Murray noted.

Of the 4,700 GM service technicians across Canada, 38 per cent make it into the guild. Fourteen of Murray Chev’s service technicians qualified for the Senior Master Technician designation, the highest ranking. Dan Murray noted that the next closest dealership in terms of number of Senior Master Technicians had two.

Also congratulations are in order for Murray Chevrolet general sales manager Jim Chewka on his 30th year with the dealership and Jim Shozda (who works in outside sales) on his 35th year with Murray Chevrolet. The employee luncheon this year was sponsored once again by ADESA Winnipeg in recognition of Murray winning the auction house’s Top Gun Award. Every six months, ADESA recognizes the top used-car sales teams among GM, Ford, Chrysler and import dealers both in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba.

“Our goal is to take the hassle out of buying or leasing a vehicle,” Murray said. “When it comes to offering the best price and the best service, we want the Murray name to be the first one that comes to mind to people looking to buy a new or used vehicle.”

New general manager at Murray Hyundai

Over the years, as the Murray Auto Group has added new stores, the company has developed a policy of looking for managing partners from within the group. Damian Mannion, the long-time general manager at Murray Hyundai, is the latest Murray Auto Group general manager to benefit from that policy.

Mannion will be leaving Murray Hyundai June 30 to become the new managing partner at the auto group’s Murray Chevrolet Cadillac store in Medicine Hat. The opportunity came about because Paul Murray (one of Dan Murray’s three brothers), is moving to Calgary to oversee a new Chrysler store the Murray family is building in Strathmore, Alta., a city of about 12,000 located about 65 kilometres east of Calgary.

“This move is the realization of a lifelong dream,” says Mannion, who has been with the Murray Group in Winnipeg for 20 years and has headed Murray Hyundai since it first opened nine years ago. “I am really excited about going to Medicine Hat.” Mannion will be assuming his new role as of Aug. 1.

Richard Eccleston, who has been Murray Chev’s financial services manager for almost 20 years, has been tapped to fill Mannion’s shoes at Murray Hyundai. “I am very excited about this opportunity,” says the transplanted Scotsman. “I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career with the Murray Auto Group.”

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