The transformation of the former Murray Chev building in Brandon to Murray Chrysler Westman was complete in June.
"Brandon residents are very pleased with our acquisition of the former Radics Chrysler last year (as of April 1, 2011)," said the Murray Auto Group's Doug Murray (who is the longtime general manager of the Murray Family's flagship General Motors store in Brandon).
Shortly before acquiring Radics Chrysler, the Murray family had moved its GM store to a new facility on the same lot (which is now the Murray Auto Centre) in south Brandon. The family spent a couple hundred thousand dollars sprucing up its now 38-year-old former GM building to accommodate the new Chrysler store. The store now boasts the Chrysler Tower and image look, Chrysler colours in the showroom, an updated drive-thru and improved lighting in the showroom and shop.
The Murray Family retained all of the former Radics Chrysler staff and added some new faces -- in particular Mark Dabbs as service manager and Chris Smale as general manager. Smale worked for Murray Chev for 15 years -- most recently as financial services manager -- before his promotion to Murray Chrysler Westman GM.
Dabbs started his career in management as service manager at Garden Gate Pontiac (now Jim Gauthier Cadillac Buick GMC) in Winnipeg. He served with Murray Chev as both service manager and body shop manager (at different times) before transferring to the Chrysler store on Feb. 1.
"It's a good time to be a Chrysler dealer," Doug Murray says. "Chrysler is doing very well across Canada and Murray Chrysler Westman is also doing very well."
He reported the grand opening for Murray Chrysler Westman will be some time in the fall.
Murray also said the Murray family opened a third auto store at the Murray Auto Centre at the beginning of May. Marshall Motors is a used-car clearance centre.
"Marshall Motors carries used models by manufacturers other than Chrysler and General Motors," Murray said. "We have been very happy with sales so far."
Winnipeg dealers support Habitat for Humanity
Winnipeg dealers, under the leadership of Bob Kozminski and his wife, Deirdre, have once again teamed up to support Habitat for Humanity in Winnipeg.
"It's a great cause," said Kozminski, who was Keystone Ford dealer principal until early this year when he merged his dealership with the Birchwood Auto Group. (He is now a director of Jaguar Land Rover Volvo Winnipeg.)
2012 marks the 25th year of the Auto Dealers Build in Winnipeg. The objective of the program is to raise funds subsidizing the construction of a home for a low-income, working family.
The auto dealers, including Kozminski, the Birchwood Automotive Group, Gauthier Automotive Group, Murray Chevrolet/Murray Hyundai, Vickar Automotive Group, Eastern Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Focus Hyundai, Mid-Town Ford Sales, Pembina Chrysler Dodge Jeep and The Dilawri Group, have raised a combined $50,000 to date.
"Habitat for Humanity is very grateful to Bob and Deirdre Kozminski for championing this project within the industry," said Habitat for Humanity spokesperson Kim Wilson. "They were instrumental in achieving the fundraising results, which is enough to pay for the kitchen, the parent's bedroom, the living room and the landscaping/fencing for Allan's and Carlota's new home."
(The building site is off North Main Street on Fernbank.)
Originally from the Philippines, Allan and Carlota (Habitat for Humanity doesn't release client families' last names) are health-care aides who have five children ranging in ages from three to 18. For the past five years they have been living in a three-bedroom co-op townhouse.
Any members still wishing to get involved with this great project should contact Geoff Sine at the MMDA Office at 985-4200.
Five Hole for Food
The Five Hole for Food is an annual coast-to-coast tour organized by Chevrolet Canada, which uses hockey to support food banks across North America. The week before last, the tour stopped in Winnipeg at Vickar Community Chevrolet. From July 6 to July 14, Vickar staff and customers were encouraged to fill a Chevy Equinox with non-perishable food. On the afternoon of the July 14 -- last Saturday -- staff drove the Equinox to The Forks where the food was donated to Siloam Mission before members of the local community played a game of pickup road hockey at The Forks (at Scotiabank Stage).
This is the fifth year for the Chevy program. Already this year, the Five Hole for Food program has amassed more than 70,000 pounds of food for the needy.