Hyundai Canada’s first compact hybrid model, the Ioniq, began arriving in local showrooms at the end of May. “I drove from Kenora to Winnipeg using just one-eighth of a tank of gas,” says Dean Peterson, Focus Hyundai’s general manager.
He reports the Ioniq hybrid is a little larger than its competitors and a little less expensive. “There is also an actual (dual clutch) transmission,” he notes. “It doesn’t feel like you are driving an electric car.”
The Ioniq hybrid combines a 1.6-L gas engine with a 32 kW electric motor. You can go more than 1,000 km on a single tank of gas.
The model is designed to be more aerodynamic with its hexagonal grille featuring active air shutters that open and close. Exterior features also include LED lighting and a two-tone rear bumper.
Inside, heated front seats, Bluetooth and seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with all trims, as is a rearview camera. Leather, heated rear seats, power sunroof and advanced safety features such as blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning system and autonomous braking with pedestrian detection are some of the additional standard features in higher-end trims.
A lot of people have been coming in to look at the new Ioniq hybrid, Peterson reports. “We have sold eight units and still have six available,” he says.
The Ioniq hybrid ranges in price from about $24,000 to just under $30,000.
Still to come are the all-electric and electric plus models.
Peterson is one of the many new faces at Focus Hyundai, Winnipeg’s oldest Hyundai dealer, since Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg president Brian Lowes and his partners bought the dealership from the Carey family last August. Peterson comes from the Mercedes store where he was most recently operations manager. He had been a fixture at the Mercedes store for the past 15 years.
“It’s different working at a much higher-volume store,” he says. “You’re dealing with a lot more competition. But I am enjoying the challenge.
“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to build an awesome team here and we are seeing the results.”
In fact, other than longtime Focus Hyundai sales manager Dave Fjeldsted, the management and sales team is entirely new, with industry veterans Jason McLean in the role of general sales manager, Brandon Lucas as sales manager and a relatively young sales staff including Justin Conchada, Vincent Juan, Ian Kendall, Zak O’Connell, Jesse Pelletier and Sumit Thapar.
“We have been the number one Hyundai store in Manitoba for new cars sales for the past three months,” Peterson says. “Over the past year, our new car sales have increased by 20 per cent and our service work has become more efficient with the addition of several new technicians. Hyundai is going to be bringing out a bunch of new products in the next six months. “We are really looking forward to the new models.”
Murray Hyundai celebrates
In further Hyundai news, Murray Hyundai celebrated its tenth anniversary in June with a month-long sale and a number of customer appreciation barbecues and giveaway as well as employee appreciation barbecues.
“We’ve enjoyed great growth,” says Murray Hyundai president Dan Murray. “We have had a lot of success, especially considering that we started the dealership from scratch. Sine we opened Murray Hyundai, the Murray Auto Group has opened two other Hyundai dealerships (in Medicine Hat, Alta., and White Rock, B.C.) and we are planning to add more where it makes sense.”
Murray reports the auto group’s Winnipeg location is scheduled to undergo a multimillion dollar expansion and reimaging, with work to begin in late fall.
The Waverley Auto Mall dealership has also welcomed back Pat Guenette as sales manager. Guenette first joined Murray Hyundai in 2009. Last year, he took a brief hiatus but is happy to be back. Like Peterson, Guenette is looking forward eagerly to the cavalcade of new Hyundai models coming down the pike. The next one to arrive, he says, is the all-new 2018 Elantra which is expected next month.
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Terry Turbo
Dealership: Mid-Town Ford Sales
No. of Years: 4 months with Mid-Town, 36 years in auto sales
Favourite Model: Ford Explorer
Why: “I love the comfort and handling,” Turbo says of the Explorer. “I also like that it can seat up to seven passengers.”