Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Province's first Scion store open for business

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The Dilawri Auto Group opened Manitoba's first Scion store this past Monday as part of its new Crown Toyota Scion complex at the Manitoba Auto Mall at Waverley Street near Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

The 10-year-old Scion brand is a branch of Toyota. Scion specializes in affordable models owners can personalize with different accessories.

"The Scion models are intended to appeal to the younger buyer," says Crown Toyota Scion general manager Dave Alsop. "We think the Scion brand, because of the styling and pricing, will bring younger buyers back to Toyota."

Pricing for the Scion lineup, Alsop says, starts at about $17,000 for the IQ model to about $26,000 for the FR-S.

On the Toyota side, Crown Toyota Scion has a new-car inventory 35 per cent larger than before and is looking forward to annual increases of 15 per cent in inventory.

The new, $12-million, 40,000-square-foot Crown Toyota Scion store, which was 18 months under construction, replaces the Dilawri Group's 11-year-old, 17,000-square-foot Sunshine Toyota facility across Waverley from the new building)

Crown Toyota Scion's showroom has room for 11 Toyota models and three Scion vehicles in a completely separate section. There are also 17 service bays.

Alsop said the new facility was built with the environment in mind. The building will be heated geothermally, with an in-ground fully self-contained oil-retention system.

The dealership's EnviroLube express service is not just for oil changes, but includes machines for washing floor mats and vacuuming vehicle interiors, a fully automated car wash and a laser alignment machine The entire process takes 25 minutes and no appointment is necessary.

"With our new lube service, we are responding to our customers' needs," Alsop said. "Times have changed. People want to get in and out as quickly as they can."

The upstairs serves as the Dilawri Group's training area.

The Dilawri Group includes Winnipeg Honda, Crown Acura, Crown Nissan, Automax (a pre-owned vehicle showroom), Wam Collision, D-Max (detailing centre) and Gas Performance (a specialty aftermarket and performance accessory showroom) at the Manitoba Auto Mall, as wells as Crown Mazda on west Portage near the Perimeter Highway and Crown Honda on north McPhillips.

Gerry Gordon Mazda breaks ground on new building

Gerry Gordon, Canada's longest-running Mazda dealer, is taking his act to the Manitoba Auto Mall. Gordon and his team officially broke ground at the site -- across the road from the new Crown Toyota Scion store -- on Tuesday, March 5.

Gordon came to Winnipeg from Northern Ireland as a young man. His father had been in the auto industry in Ireland. Originally a race-car driver and mechanic specializing in high-end European models, he signed on as a Mazda dealer 36 years ago. Gerry Gordon Mazda has been located on Pembina Highway near Confusion Corner ever since.

In his remarks prior to the ceremonial shovels in the ground, Gordon spoke movingly of his positive association with Mazda through the years through thick and thin. He also recognized his bankers, financial adviser and the architect, designer, contractor and builder who will be making the new Gerry Gordon Mazda a reality.

"Gerry Gordon Mazda is not just a business," he said, "but, rather, an incredible family of like-minded people who share a belief in our product, our service, our goals for the future and, especially, each other. I would not be standing here today, christening this new building, without the support I have had from my Gerry Gordon Mazda team. I am truly honoured that you could all be here with me."

At 18,000 square feet, the new store will be three times the size of the current location. The showroom will have space for eight vehicles as compared to five now -- and 12 service bays where the old building had eight. Gerry Gordon Mazda will be carrying about 300 new models at the new location.

The new Gerry Gordon Mazda is scheduled to be completed and open for business by the beginning of November.

New GM at Birchwood Keystone Ford

Birchwood Keystone Ford has a new general manager in D'Arcy MacLean.

MacLean, a veteran of 11 years in auto sales and two years in management, joined the Birchwood Keystone store as general sales manager on Feb. 1. He was promoted to general manager on March 1, replacing Ron Ledbrook, who decided to step down. (Ledbrook will be taking on special projects for the Birchwood Group.)

It's the first time MacLean has sold Ford products, and he said he's very excited about the opportunity.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 E4

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