In redesigning the CX-5 for 2017, Mazda listened to what its customers were calling for, Crown Mazda sales representative Brendan Price notes.
Thus, the new version of the popular compact crossover has, among other standard features, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a refined interior with high-quality components and a significant reduction in road noise.
“Drivers who own CX-5s love them,” Price says. “A lot of people were waiting for this new model. We have one customer, for example, who has already owned three CX-5s and is planning to buy a 2017 model.”
Crown Mazda officially introduced the 2017 CX-5 on April 25 as the high point of an evening celebrating the dealership’s 15th anniversary.
The new model is powered by a now-standard SKYACTIV-G2.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine (it was an option in earlier models) that puts out 187 horsepower.
The model is available in a choice of three trims — the GS, GX and GT. A rear-view camera is also standard with all three trims. Stop-and-go function, smart brake support, distance recognition, forward obstruction and lane departure warning and lane-keep assist are available with the GX and GT trims.
Price says Mazda dealers are receiving a good selection of the new models, which are priced starting from a little more than $30,000.
Crown Mazda is also celebrating being recognized by Mazda Canada as the best Mazda dealership to work for based on employee evaluations. In a pilot program, Mazda Canada chose 27 Mazda dealers and gathered comments from their employees in terms of leadership. Among the values taken into consideration were communication, respect, approachability and inspirational leadership.
And Crown Mazda has just welcomed on board new sales manager Cameron Scammell. Scammell, who joined the Crown Mazda team at the beginning of April, has 10 years of experience in auto sales, the last four in management.
“I was looking for a change and there are good opportunities for advancement within the Dilawri Auto Group (of which Crown Mazda is a component),” he says. “I am looking forward to helping Crown Mazda become the top-selling Mazda store in Manitoba.”
Big changes at Vickar Ford
Big changes have taken place at the former Parkside Ford store on north Main Street over the past four months. The renamed Vickar Ford has a largely new management in place, the sales staff has been more than doubled and the parts department has been reorganized under a new manager.
Even the restaurant in the northeast corner of the building — opened a couple of years ago as part of the dealership’s most recent renovation — has a new name and new menu. Hot Rod’s Grill, operated by Rod Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal, features Filipino-Canadian cuisine.
The changes at Vickar Ford start at the top with partners Stephen Vickar — the president and dealer principal, and vice-president Domenic Sacco.
“It’s nice being part of the ownership group here and part of the Vickar Group of companies,” says Sacco, a veteran of 17 years in auto sales management. “The Vickars are great people.”
The new fixed operations manager is Tom Fones, a veteran of the service side who was most recently service manager at a local truck sales and service company.
While Reid Irving has retained his position as used vehicle sales manager, Len Peech and Kyle Desjardins have stepped in as general sales manager and new vehicle sales manager, respectively. Desjardins has six years of experience in management, while Peech has been in the industry for 18 years.
“I have worked with Chrysler and GM stores previously,” Peech says. “This is my first time selling Ford models. I am excited to be here.”
Six members of the former Parkside Ford sales staff, led by perennial star Shawn Henke, have been held over, the sales team has been increased to 14 — and two new service technicians have been added to the mix.
“We are looking to hire as many as five more service technicians,” Stephen Vickar reports.
He adds the parts department has been reconfigured to make it more customer-friendly — and that department has a new manager in Len Glueheisen. The management position had been vacant when the Vickar Group acquired the dealership at the beginning of the year.
Vickar reports there are more changes to come at Vickar Ford. The outdoor delivery area is to be enclosed and more than doubled in size to accommodate up to six new vehicles waiting for their owners.
“That should take about three months,” he says of the upcoming construction work. “We hope to schedule our grand opening for some time in August.
“We are bringing the Vickar touch to Vickar Ford,” Stephen Vickar says. “Within two years of acquiring our Nissan store from the previous owner, we turned the store into the top-selling Nissan dealer in the province. We are looking to grow Vickar Ford sales the same way with a greater focus on customer satisfaction.
“Our sales are already ahead of last year. By year’s end, our goal is to be the top-selling Ford store in Manitoba.”
Steinbach Dodge Chrysler customer appreciation day
On April 22, Steinbach Dodge Chrysler held a customer appreciation day.
“We had 730 people attend,” says dealer principal Paul Neustaedter. “Free pancakes, ham and eggs were served by the Lions Club. Door prizes combined with great food equated to everyone having a lot of fun at this event.”
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Daniel Ribeiro
Dealership: Auto Haus Volkswagen
No. of Years: 20 months
Favourite Model: Volkswagen Passat
Why: “I drive a Passat myself and I love it,” Ribeiro says. “I like the luxury, the space and the comfort level. The quality of the ride is unbeatable.”