Vickar Nissan has just been certified as Manitoba's exclusive GT-R dealer, and the first models arrived at the Regent Avenue dealership in Mid-May.
"The GT-R (which is new to Winnipeg) is a supercar," said Vickar Nissan sales manager Adriano Dibiase. "Every GT-R engine is built by hand -- and the builder signs his name to the engine."
The AWD GT-R is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8L V6 engine that produces an estimated 545 hp and 463 lb.-ft. of torque. Some of the engines are even more powerful, Dibiase said -- it (depends on the builder. The top speed is 315 km/h (or 196 mph).
"If you like racing on a track, the in-car computer will make the necessary adjustments," Dibiase said. "For a lot of sport enthusiasts, the GT-R stacks up with the best of superchargers at a fraction of the price."
The starting price for the GT-R is about $105,000. Vickar Nissan currently has two in stock selling for $113,500 and $119,000 respectively.
"We've had a lot of interest in this model," Dibiase said. "It's a dream car. While we have just two at the dealership, we are taking orders for more."
Vickar Nissan is also the first Nissan dealer in Manitoba to be able to offer the new NV200 commercial van, the smaller version of the NV van.
Nick Guffei, Dibiase's fellow sales manager, said the smaller van has a four-cylinder, 2.0L engine and is available in a number of different configurations. He describes the NV200 as a mobile office for couriers and small businesses who have to move small orders around the city.
Vickar Nissan has six of the new models in stock at a selling price of about $20,000 each.
The dealership has also completed a 9,000-sq.-ft. expansion of its new and larger service area on the west side of the building, plus new delivery bays, a business office, meeting room and more space for storing parts on the east side.
Dibiase said the service department's new state-of-the-art alignment machine and tire machine can accommodate tires with rims as large as 20". There are also new hoists for the NV commercial van and the GT-R. The new service area includes a Quick Lube service -- oil changes while you wait -- over an Enviro pit.
"Our new Quick Lube service is open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.," Dibiase said. "The service includes a free car wash and wheel alignment. No appointment is necessary, and we service all makes and models."
New Nissan dealer for North Winnipeg
It's a win-win for Jeff Novakoski, partners Dale Isfeld and Darrel Endresen, and Nissan Canada.
With the conversion in early May of Novakoski's Auto West used-car operation at 2150 McPhillips St. (across from the Garden City Shopping centre) into Winnipeg's newest Nissan dealership, the Auto West partners have achieved their goal of operating a new-car franchise.
For Nissan Canada, the new store -- their fourth in Winnipeg -- completes the circle. Nissan has existing stores in east, west and south Winnipeg. "Nissan was impressed by our outstanding sales and service record over the past two years," Novakoski said.
AutoWest had been one of Winnipeg's largest used-car dealers, carrying between 200 and 240 late-model vehicles. The dealership had been selling a varied selection of makes and models manufactured between 2002 and 2011.
Auto West was founded in 20014 by former Manitoban Lawrence Isfeld, who operates a number of new car dealerships in Alberta and British Columbia. Novakoski and his partners bought the business from Isfeld (no relation to Dale Isfeld) in early 2011.
Novakoski had been the sales manager at AutoWest for two years prior to becoming managing partner.
McPhillips Nissan is located in the former home of the defunct Garden Gate Pontiac Buick GMC. It will carry up to 140 new Nissan models, as well as about 100 used models of various brands.
"We have a lot of loyal customers." Novakoski said. "We want to continue to offer them the kinds of choices they are used to."
Novakoski has augmented his Nissan management team with the hiring of Gary Doyle as sales manager and Brendan David as business manager. Doyle has been in the auto business for 23 years, 14 of them as a sales trainer for a number of different dealerships. David has worked in the industry for 18 years selling Nissan products and other Asian-built models.
Novakoski and his team are excited about becoming a Nissan dealer.
"Nissan sales are growing in both Canada and the United States," he said. "Nissan's market share is growing and the company has introduced a number of new redesigned models over the past few months."
The first order of business for the new Nissan dealer is going to be a thoroughgoing makeover.
"We're starting renovations in mid-July and hope to be finished in November," Novakoski said. "We will be replacing the windows, doors and ceiling as we create our new Nissan Image look."
He added that the dealership is in the process of hiring more sales rep and technicians.
"We've sold a few Nissan models already. We look forward to June and our first full month as a Nissan dealer. We're hoping for big things in June."