Head for the hills in the new Colorado

BY Myron Love . Jul 14 03:00 am

The all-new for 2017 mid-sized Chevrolet Colorado — which began to arrive in dealer showrooms in mid-June — is built to be a true off-road vehicle, says Murray Chevrolet sales rep Jamie Erb.

“The new Colorado ZR2 in particular — with its unique suspension — is designed for rock climbing,” Erb says.

He notes everything about the new Colorado — the fascia, the front grille, the wheels, the suspension, the shocks — are new.

The new model is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with the option (standard on the ZR2) of a 3.6 L V-6 or 2.8 L turbo-diesel, Erb reports. Drivers can also choose from either an extended or crew-cab style — with two bed lengths, RWD or AWD, and either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2017 Colorado has a tow rating of up to 7,600 pounds. The optional GearOn storage system offers two-tier loading and a bed divider to help secure and store cargo.

The Colorado is the first small truck to feature inlaid triple-sealed doors, thick windshield and side glass, and liquid-applied sound deadener to help keep outside noise out.

Inside, there is ample legroom in both front and rear seating and a choice between leather and standard cloth seats.

The vehicle is also equipped with a Bose sound system, Apple CarPlay Android Auto Compatibility and Chevrolet MyLink10 with seven-inch diagonal colour touch screen display to access select apps, send and receive hands-free text messages and Bluetooth12 connectivity.

The Colorado also offers active safety technologies such as a standard rear-vision camera and available Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning to help prevent collisions before they happen.

Erb reports Murray Chevrolet has a good sized inventory of 2017 Colorados either in stock or in shipment.

“They are selling very well,” he says. “The Colorado is our most popular truck model. The most popular Colorado model, the Z71 crew cab, sells for about $41,000.”

Murray Chevrolet first to earn SAFE work certification

Murray Chevrolet in Winnipeg has become the first auto dealer in the province to earn the Motor Vehicle Safety Association of Manitoba (MVSAM) SAFE work certification.

MVSAM Safety Director Mallory Corbett was at the dealership on June 29 to present president Dan Murray and body shop manager and workplace safety committee leader Kelly Waddell with a plaque in honour of the achievement.

“Being able to grant SAFE work certification to our first new car dealership in Manitoba is a major milestone,” Corbett says.

“Murray Chevrolet has emerged as a safety leader, and we look forward to seeing other dealerships follow suit. This is just the beginning of significant injury prevention and awareness across our industry.”

“MVSAM staff came into the dealership last fall and did a gap analysis of the entire dealership,” Waddell says. “They left us with a template to measure our performance against.”

Dan Murray notes Murray Chevrolet already had safe work systems in place before MVSAM came calling.

“We just needed to improve on a few things,” he says.

“We already were holding quarterly safety committee meetings and all new employees receive a safe work orientation. We needed some more documentation. There were just a couple of steps we needed to take to be up to date.”

It took six months to prepare for the MVSAM audit, Waddell reports. That included he and Dan Murray taking a leadership course through MVSAM and he and his co-chair taking further MVSAM courses.

In March, MVSAM staff came into the dealership and conducted a three-day safety audit.

“They gave us some insight as to where we could improve and gave us praise where it was warranted. They graded us and gave us a passing grade.”

The next step, Waddell says, will be for him to attend a four-day Safe Work Manitoba Safety Certification course to train to be a certified safe workplace auditor — which will allow Waddell to do internal audits at the dealership himself for MVSAM.

He is also now an MVSAM board member and will be chairing board meetings.

Murray reports several other dealers, including the Murray dealerships in Brandon, are working on SAFE work certification and have approached Murray Chevrolet for guidance.

The Manitoba Motor Dealers Association created the Motor Vehicle Safety Association of Manitoba over two years ago.

MMDA member companies include auto sales and repair companies, auto body shops and heavy industrial and agricultural equipment sales and repair companies.

MVSAM was officially introduced at a press conference held at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg in 2015.

“Our industry’s success depends on our workers,” Brian Lowes, the president of Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg and MMDA president, said at that time. “We are committed to keeping them safe and healthy by making safety through injury or illness prevention a priority — and the MVSAM will help us achieve this.”

He noted every year there are about 600 injuries among new car dealer service technicians and body shop personnel.

In addition to the real human cost of injuries to workers, the MMDA estimates workplace injuries cost the motor vehicle industry about $30 million annually.

Member companies can go to mvsam.ca to learn what safe workplace resources and workshops are available and register to begin the certification process.

Mike Dobush new MMDA president

Mike Dobush, a veteran of 20 years in the auto industry, is the new president of the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association. Currently, the vice-president of operations for the Birchwood Auto Group, Dobush began his two-year term as the head of the MMDA in mid-May.

The main focus during his tenure, he says, will be continuing the implementation of the five-year strategic plan that the MMDA introduced in 2015.

“One important issue that we continue to work on,” he says, “is truth in advertising. We are working closely with the Consumer Protection Office in terms of advertising regulations and we are helping our members implement the regulatory changes.

“The price the consumer sees is the price he should be paying.”

Dobush is also an enthusiastic supporter of workplace safety. He is hopeful that many more dealers will follow Murray Chevrolet and work towards MVSAM certification.

myjolove1@gmail.com

 

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