Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba dealers finish renos, head west

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GIMLI Auto, the town's Ford dealer, recently completed a $1.5-million expansion of its 35-year-old facility.

In addition to complying with the new Ford Image standard, the aim of the expansion was to combine the dealership's sales and service departments in the same facility, said dealer principal Russell Einarson.

"We built here in 1977, but our service centre remained at our original location across the road," Einsarson said. "It's nice to have everything under one roof."

Work on the 11,000-square-foot addition began last October. The showroom remains basically the same, with the addition located behind and to the south of the current showroom. The new service area will have nine service bays.

"This consolidation of our operations makes it more convenient for our customers," Einarson said.

Gimli Auto will hold a grand re-opening sometime in August.

(Gimli's other auto dealers were also in expansion mode over the past year. GM dealer Giesbrecht and Sons spent $1 million to build a new showroom, offices and drive-thru, rebranding the dealership in the new GM Image look. At the same time, Chudd's Chrysler was building a stand-alone powersports building to house its booming power sport division.) -- -- --

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Terry Ortynsky, the former operator of both Ortynsky Nissan and Ortynsky Kia on Nairn and Regent, has opened Royal Honda in Yorkton, Sask., the first Honda store in that area and the first new dealership to open in Yorkton in at least a decade.

The dealer principal of Royal Ford in Yorkton since 1985, Ortynsky expanded into Winnipeg in 1998 when he acquired Nairn Nissan from partners Harry and Ike Vickar. He opened Ortynsky Kia a couple of years later. From 2003-2008, Ortynsky Kia was the top-selling Kia dealer in Winnipeg.

After a number of years in operation in Winnipeg, Ortynsky said he found it a strain to be running auto dealerships in two different communities. While continuing to operate Royal Ford in his hometown, he sold his Kia dealer to the Birchwood Auto Group in 2008 and his Nissan dealership to the Vickar Auto Group in 2010.

Ortynsky opened Royal Honda in a new building next door to the new facility he's building for Royal Ford in Yorkton. The 14,500-square-foot Honda store's showroom will have room for seven vehicles. There will also be a six-bay service area in the rear.

The new 36,000-square-foot Ford store -- which is scheduled to be ready in November -- replaces the current 16,500-square-foot building and a 9,500-square-foot body shop. The new store will have a 10-vehicle showroom and 18 service bays plus integrated body shop.

Ortynsky noted that the Yorkton area in Saskatchewan is the third-largest trading area in that province after Saskatoon and Regina.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2012 E8

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