Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg's new store has been in the works for several years now, but enthusiasts won't have to wait much longer.
Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg president Brian Lowes and his partners, Bruce and Doug Danylchuk, officially broke ground on May 9, to kick-start construction of their new dealership on Kenaston Boulevard near Rothwell Road, just a couple of blocks south of Winnipeg's IKEA store.
The new building is scheduled to be open for business on April 1, 2015.
In town for the occasion was Mercedes-Benz Canada President Tim Reuss, who noted that Winnipeg is a fast-growing market for Mercedes products and has been designated as one of 17 AMG Performance Centres across Canada.
"We're happy that Brian, Doug and Bruce are making this commitment to expand and grow," he said.
The new building, Reuss said, will include an 18,000-square-foot new car showroom, a 17,000-square-foot pre-owned vehicle showroom and a 16,000-square-foot service area with 16 general service bays, four service bays for Sprinter vans, four wash bays, a detailing area and a six-car service garage.
"The new store is being built with sustainability at top of mind," he added. "It will be open-concept with a lot of windows. The new building will be energy-efficient in terms of lighting (using LED lights throughout), water usage and heating."
Reuss also praised Lowes for how much he has added to the dealership since he joined the Danylchuk family in partnership in January, 2008.
"We're very excited about this next chapter in our company's history," Lowes said. "Almost as soon as I arrived here, we knew that we would need a larger facility. (The current store on the corner of Portage and Moray measures 19,000 square feet with space at a premium for customer parking.)
"We're excited to be moving to this fast growing part of the city, We're a destination store and this new store will make a big difference both for our customers and our staff. Our staff will be better able to establish meaningful connections with our customers."
"Our growth has been astounding and we expect our sales to accelerate over the next five to 10 years. We expect to sell 600 models this year and our goal for 2015 is 1,000 models."
Reuss outlined the new Mercedes models arriving in September, including the all-new C-Class, the GLA-Class small crossover and the new S-Class coupe, which Reuss described as the most beautiful car he's ever seen.
The most recent model to arrive at the current Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg showroom is the 2015 CLA-Class four-door coupe with AWD, which Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg general manager Mark Kelley said is intended to appeal to the young professional with its fuel-efficient 2L turbo 4-cylinder engine.
"We find that once we get a customer into one of our models, our customer retention is the highest among luxury brands," Kelley said. "So, if we can get people driving our cars at a younger age, they're likely to keep driving Mercedes as they grow in their profession and start families."
He notes that the 2015 CLA-class models, which start at $36,900 with AWD, are selling out rapidly.
"We've already sold out our initial allotment of the AMG version and are taking orders for next year."
2015 Nissan Micra Canada's most affordable small car
McPhillips Nissan sales managers John Medeiros and Dan Jaman report a lot of excitement around the new 2015 Micra, which began arriving in dealer showrooms just this week.
"We have a number of customers who have been waiting for the model to arrive," Medeiros said, adding that the Micra is hard to beat for value.
"There is no other new car available for under $10,000, and it has Nissan Innovation on top of that. Those who do their research will find unbeatable value in the Micra."
All Micras (including the base model, the S4AT, the SV and top-of-the-line SR trim) are powered by a 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder engine, rated at 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm..
Standard features at the base level include 15-inch alloy wheels, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/AUX sound system, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, four-way manually adjustable seats up front, a rear window wiper and a 12-volt power outlet.
Although the current Micra has been on sale in 160 countries since 2010, Nissan has specifically tweaked it for the Canadian market. Enhancements like front and rear sway bars and a tighter turning circle were made to Canadian specifications. Rear heater ducts are standard and the folding rear seat has been redesigned to accommodate hockey sticks.
"Micra was one of our better sellers in years past," Medeiros noted. "We're expecting this new model to boost sales."
McPhllips Nissan celebrates grand opening
McPhillips Nissan, Winnipeg's newest Nissan dealer, celebrated the grand opening of its expanded store with a six-day sale starting on April 24.
The year-old dealership across from the Garden City Shopping centre completed a major expansion late last year that doubled the size of the building. The expansion includes a second floor for the head office and accounting functions and a new service drive-thru.
"We now have the largest Nissan showroom in Winnipeg," said dealer principal Jeff Novakoski in an interview earlier this year. "We have a new customer lounge with a coffee bar and entertainment system, an information centre where you can build your own model online and 18 service bays."
Before acquiring the Nissan franchise for north Winnipeg, Novakoski and his partners operated the business as Auto West, one of Winnipeg's largest used-car dealerships.
Sales manager Dan Jaman said that, as part of the grand opening celebrations, McPhillips Nissan is holding a draw for two new Nissan products. Between now and the end of December, all customers who purchase a vehicle will be eligible.
"April was the best month for sales that we have ever had," Jaman added.