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Manitoba’s top-selling Chrysler store doubles in size, adds Fiat


Myron Love

WINNIPEG, MAN. – After a year-long expansion, Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Manitoba’s top-selling Chrysler dealership, is now double the size – and has added Fiat to the lineup.

“We have reconfigured the store,” says general manager Glen Trafford.

“We have added 12,000 square feet and six more cars to our showroom. We have our new reception desk facing the front entrance. We have moved our sales desks out front, making them more visible and welcoming and we have expanded our customer lounge. Overall, we have made the store easier for customers to navigate.”

On the back end, Trafford continues, there are four additional service bays, an expanded drive-thru and a new detailing centre.

“Now we can do all the day-to-day detailing within the building,” he says. “We also have the capability to hand wash all customer cars that are in for servicing.”

He describes the new drive-thru as unique among Winnipeg dealerships.

“We aren’t just doing oil changes,” he notes. “We can do regular maintenance while you wait – or we can provide you with a complimentary vehicle to drive and do some errands while our service staff is doing the maintenance work on your vehicle.”

Upstairs are executive offices, an expanded lunchroom for staff and an expanded boardroom – with TV and computers – for staff meetings and training programs.

Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler unveiled its new Fiat products around the end of July.

The Pointe West AutoPark dealership is the exclusive Fiat dealer in Winnipeg. The models are in the west wing of the showroom.

“On the service side, we are very busy servicing Fiat owners,” Trafford says.

Fiat has been available in Winnipeg and Steinbach (Steinbach Dodge Chrysler) since 2011. The original Fiat franchisee in Winnipeg dropped the product line about a year ago.

The volume of sales for Fiat models has been constant, Trafford reports. As for Dodge and Chrysler sales, Trafford reports volumes remain strong.

“What is surprising is that we have seen a dramatic increase in used-car sales over the past few months,” he says.

Trafford is also relatively new to Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler. He was appointed GM at the beginning of January. Originally from Medicine Hat, Alta., Trafford began his career in the auto industry while still in high school working on the service side.

He says that he sold his first car in 1993 while working for working for a small dealership in Bow Island, Alta.

His management experience includes six years with the Capital Group out of Regina, two years as general manager for Kia City in Calgary and six years managing the four Dilawri Group of Companies’ dealerships in Calgary (up until the end of December last year.

Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler is part of the Calgary-based McManes Automotive Group. The McManes Group operates 18 dealerships almost all based in Alberta and British Columbia. Winnipeg Dodge is the only McManes store outside the two of western provinces.