Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Winnipeg's newest Nissan dealer expands store

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McPhillips Nissan, Winnipeg's newest Nissan dealer, has embarked on a major expansion project that will add 10,000 square feet to the store.

"We're conforming to the Nissan imaging requirements," said dealer-principal Jeff Novakoski. "We will be a state-of-the-art Nissan building."

The new showroom will have room for eight to 10 vehicles, up from the current five and both the waiting and service areas will be enlarged. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-November.

McPhillips Nissan is located in the former home of the former Garden Gate Pontiac Buick GMC dealership on McPhillips Street across from the Garden City Shopping Centre. The store was most recently AutoWest, a used-car operation founded by former Manitoban Lawrence Isfeld in 2004.

Novakoski and his partners, Dale Isfeld and Darrel Endresen, 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.

AutoWest had been one of Winnipeg's largest used-car dealers, carrying a varied selection of between 200 and 240 late-model vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2011.

For Nissan Canada, the new store -- their fourth in Winnipeg -- completes the circle. Nissan has existing dealerships in east, west and south Winnipeg. "Nissan was impressed by our outstanding sales and service record over the past two years," Novakoski said.

McPhillips Nissan carries up to 140 new Nissan models as well as about 100 used vehicles.

"We want to thank Winnipeg for the great support over the past three months," Novakoski said. "We have a lot of loyal customer and we want to continue to offer them the kinds of choices they are used to."

Novakoski said the dealership has increased its staff size to 35 and will be adding eight more employees after renovations are completed.

Returning Gauthier rep surpasses 50 sales in first month back

Ali Abu Kweik enjoyed his best sales month ever in August. The Jim Gauthier Chev sales star sold more than 50 vehicles last month, and he said he's on track for almost that many in September.

Abu Kweik rejoined the Gauthier sales team at the beginning of August after taking a six-month break to try sales elsewhere. But he says he missed the Gauthier store.

"It feels like I have come home," he said. "I know the people and I know the area."

Abu Kweik originally joined the Gauthier team 11 years ago.

Mid-Town Ford welcomes veteran sales reps

Mid-Town Ford Sales at the Waverley Auto Mall has recruited two veteran sales reps, Bob Wolfe and Shane Mealy.

Mealy's first experience in auto sales was with a leading Mazda dealer in Calgary. He had been working for another Ford store in Winnipeg for the past two years prior to joining Mid-Town in April.

"A friend of mine who also works for Mid-Town persuaded me to come here," Mealy said. "He said Mid-Town is a great place to work. It has been a great move. It has been awesome working here."

Bob Wolfe is a veteran of 19 years in the auto industry, starting in service and switched to sales 10 years ago. He came to Mid-Town in August.

"It was a difficult decision for me to leave where I had been for the past 19 years, but I felt that it was time for a change," he said. "It helps that (mid-Town sales rep) Scott Pollitt is a good friend of mine. This is a great organization and it's also closer to home."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2013 E8

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