Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hot new Crosstrek trekking out the door

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Frontier Subaru sales manager Jason Carey says the recently arrived 2013 XV Crosstrek is going like hot cakes.

"It's a brand-new model and we're having a hard time keeping it in stock," he said. "The models are in high demand. We pre-sold a lot of them."

Carey describes the new XV Crosstrek as a cross between an Impreza and a Forester. The model is powered by a 2L DOHC Subaru BOXER engine which gets 51 miles per gallon (4.6 L/100km) on the highway and up to 29 m.p.g. (8.1 L/100km) in city driving. The model can tow up to 1,500 pounds.

The base price for the model is $26,000, including freight and pdi, air conditioning, heated seats and power windows and locks. That figure is for a model with manual transmission. The automatic transmission comes in the form of a CVT transmission. Among the options are a sliding moonroof and voice-activated GPS navigation.

Carey recommends that interested readers consider placing orders quickly.

Renovations underway at Auto Haus

The office of Auto Haus Volkswagen's general manager, Gerald Boiteau, is now a construction site.

"I've worked out of this office for 11 years," he said. "I've had to move temporary to our boardroom where there are few windows, no filing cabinets and not much space."

Major renovations of the kind that began at Auto Haus on Pembina Highway in mid-August can create a work environment that is disruptive, confusing and frustrating. Yet, despite the challenges, Boiteau and his staff are maintaining a positive outlook -- and he says business is better than ever.

"People are seeing something happening here," he said. "They're calling and asking about our construction sale. Customers understand that we're building for the future."

Auto Haus is moving its Porsche dealership into a stand-alone building on the same property, into what once was its body shop, and expanding its Volkswagen dealership.

"We're going to have a 10-vehicle Volkswagen showroom when we're finished," Boiteau said. Both the expanded Volkswagen showroom and the new Porsche facility are scheduled to be completed by early December.

In another Auto Haus-related matter, the dealership has welcomed back Michael Desgrossielliers as sales manager. Desgrossielliers got his start in sales at Auto Haus 15 years ago. He left the dealership five years ago to pursue management opportunities elsewhere.

"It's nice to be back," he said. "Volkswagen is a growing brand."

Also, Auto Haus sales rep Bob Koblanski has been off work for a few weeks due to injury. We wish the 50-year industry veteran a speedy recovery and hope to see him back at work soon.

Murray Thanks Day

Murray Chevrolet and Murray Hyundai are hosting their first annual "Murray Thanks Day" on Wed. Oct 3 to help provide Thanksgiving meals for-less fortunate members of our community. All proceeds from oil changes will be donated to Siloam Mission and Winnipeg Harvest. Customers are also being invited to bring a Tin for the Bin or make cash donations.

Management changes in the industry

There have been a number of management changes at Winnipeg dealerships over the past few weeks.

The Birchwood Group has promoted Craig Becker to vice-president of operations and Michael Rawluk to COO as of the middle of August. Rawluk joined the Birchwood Group 10 years ago and has been in management for the past nine years. Becker has been with the Birchwood Group for the past nine years, the last seven in management. He was most recently general manager at the Infiniti Nissan store.

Still with the Birchwood Group, Damien Burns, one of Birchwood Honda West's top sales reps for the past nine years, has moved up to management. He's been appointed sales manager at Birchwood Honda on Regent.

"I achieved my goal of becoming the Birchwood Group's top sales person," Burns said. "I'm looking forward to my new position and setting new goals."

Birchwood Honda on Regent has also welcomed a familiar face to its sales staff. Oliver Williams has been a fixture on Regent for more than 30 years. He was a longtime sales rep at Park Pontiac until the dealership closed in 2010. In his new role, Williams is lease portfolio and business development manager.

"I wanted to try something a little bit different," he said, "and with the Birchwood Group I have access to almost every make or model there is."

Gord Workum has been promoted from sales manager at the BMW store to general manager at Birchwood's north Winnipeg Hyundai store. Prior to joining the Birchwood Group about three years ago, Workum was a well-known golf pro in the city.

"I welcome the opportunity," Workum said of his new role. "Hyundai makes a great product. I'm looking forward to building on Birchwood Hyundai's success."

Ian Peterson is the new new-car sales manager at Murray Hyundai after selling Chevrolet products for Murray Chev for the past 15 years. Like Workum, he has a lot of praise for the quality of the Hyundai brand.

At Jim Gauthier Chev, Jim Mann-Baxter joined the sales team at the beginning of August as used-car manager. Mann-Baxter brings with him 13 years experience in the industry, the last three specializing in used vehicles.

"Coming here is a great opportunity," he said. "I'm looking forward to building on our dealership's already successful used-car side."

Birchwood Chev has welcomed Kevin Mitchell back as business manager. Mitchell joined Birchwood Chev in sales seven years ago. In December, 2010, he was promoted to the Birchwood group's Credit Solutions Department.

"It's nice to be back home," he says of his return to Birchwood Chev.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2012 F7

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