Craig Becker, Birchwood Infiniti Nissan's general manager, describes the newly arrived 2013 Infiniti JX all-wheel drive crossover SUV as "the ideal SUV for Manitobans."
"It is one of the quietist and most comfortable SUVs on the market," Becker said. "And, at $44,900 (plus freight and pdi), it has the best starting price-point in its class."
The new mid-sized JX is powered by a V6 engine that produces 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque at 4,440 rpm. It also brings a high level of new technology, such as free concierge service -- known as Infiniti Connect -- for the first year of ownership. Thes includes automatic collision notification, drive-zone monitoring, Google calendar and destination assistance.
Among other options are moving-object detection, back-up collision intervention, Blind Spot Intervention and Infiniti's Safety Shield, which helps avoid collisions. There's also voice activation for the audio and navigation controls, a rear-seat entertainment system, intelligent cruise control, an automatic braking system for front-end collisions and a dual sunroof.
"You can send emails directly to your vehicle," Becker said, "and the model incorporates a tracking device if someone is driving your vehicle outside your zone."
While the dealership currently has one JX model in the showroom for viewing. Becker said "there's been a lot of interest in the JX, judging by phone calls and emails and people coming into the showroom. "We're expecting a huge spike in sales from the JX."
In fact, the store's sales have increased to the point where the Birchwood Auto Group has seen fit to build a separate Infiniti wing attached to Birchwood Infiniti Nissan's current store. Work began on the $3.5-million, 13,500-square-foot addition last October and is expected to be completed in late August.
"Ours will be North America's first dual-store concept," Becker said, explaining that this means separate service drive-throughs for Birchwood's Infiniti and Nissan stores.
"With our new Infiniti store, we intend to provide our clients with a luxury experience. Our Infiniti showroom will be the most luxurious showroom in Winnipeg."
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Dennis Friesen, the general manager of Steinbach Trailers, reports a very positive response to the new company's official grand opening over the last weekend in April.
"People have been coming in ready to buy," he said.
The drop-in -- featuring doughnuts and coffee -- was an opportunity to officially introduce the new truck-trailer supplier, its staff and product line to the people of Steinbach and area.
"We actually opened for business in October," said Paul Neustaedter, president of the new operation and longtime president of Steinbach Dodge Chrysler Fiat. "Truck sales are big in southern Manitoba. At this location, we are focusing on the trailer needs of truck owners. "We have spent the last few months getting our inventory in place so we would be ready for the spring trailer season."
Steinbach Trailers is sharing a 10-acre lot with Ike's Auto Sales, a business founded by Steinbach auto-industry veteran Ike Kroeker, and a company in which Neustaedter has an ownership stake. The business is located on the west side of Highway 12 in Steinbach.
The company's product line consists of a wide variety of truck trailers -- both open and enclosed.
"We are focusing on Sure-Trac products," said lead sales rep John Penner. "Sure-Trac offers a fantastic selection of top-rate trailers. The quality is impeccable."
Sure-Trac's product line, he notes, includes hydraulic dump trailers, equipment trailers, car-hauler trailers, landscape trailers, hot-dipped galvanized trailers and custom-built trailers.
Penner himself has impeccable credentials in the industry. He's been in the business for more than 20 years, and his father was in it before him.
"My father was the first to sell Manitoba-built truck-trailers," he said.