Murray Auto Group acquires four more Manitoba Chrysler stores


Myron Love

WINNIPEG, MAN. – In what may rank as one of the larger deals in Murray Auto Group history, the Brandon-based dealership group has acquired Pembcorp Auto Group, adding four new stores to the Murray Auto Group holdings.

The addition of the formerly New Pembina Chrysler Dodge Jeep and sister Chrysler locations in Portage La Prairie, Morden and Carman bringing the total number of new car dealerships under the Murray umbrella to 31.

Dan Murray, president of Murray Chevrolet and Murray Hyundai in Winnipeg, said the deal became official Mar, 1.

“Bernie (retiring Pembcorp president Bernie Clement) and I started talking about this in early January,” Dan Murray reported. “We quickly came to a mutual agreement and worked to make this deal happen as fast as we could.”

Pembcorp’s flagship store, the New Pembina Chrysler Dodge has been in operation in Winnipeg for nearly 50 years. The venerable dealership was originally opened by the late Ike Vickar, in partnership with his cousin, the late Harry Vickar, in 1970.

The Vickars were both long time car guys from Saskatchewan.

The Vickar family sold Pembina Chrysler to Bernie Clement in 2006. The Winnipeg-born Clement had previously held a senior management position with Daimler Chrysler Canada.

Subsequent to acquiring Pembina Chrysler, Clement and Pembcorp added the former Thompson Chrysler in Portage La Prairie and the former Pembina Valley Chrysler in Morden in southwestern Manitoba and opened the location in Carman, restoring the Chrysler brand to that southern Manitoba community after a 10-year absence.

The New Pembina Chrysler has been known for having one of the top-selling parts departments among Canadian Chrysler stores. Murray also comments on the store’s string fixed operations and central location.

As for the Morden location, Murray notes that this is the Murray Group’s first store in the Pembina Valley region. Other Manitoba Murray stores include the flagship Murray Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC Brandon, Brandon Chrysler Dodge and Murray Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram – all in Brandon, Craig Dunn Motor City in Portage La Prairie, Dean Cooley GM in Dauphin, McLaughlin GM in Neepawa and Virden Chrysler Dodge.

The four new Murray Group Chrysler stores have about 100 employees between them, Dan Murray notes. The only changes that are being made, he added, are to the names and top management.

Jared Lang, a former sales manager at Murray Chevrolet in Winnipeg, is the new managing partner at the renamed Murray Chrysler in Winnipeg.

The former Pembcorp store in Portage is now Craig Dunn Chrysler – under the leadership of Tyler Dunn (Craig Dunn’s son).

The Morden and Carman stores have been renamed Murray Morden and Murray Carman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Chris Willsley, who has been managing the two stores for the past few years, will remain in charge as the managing partner.

“Chris, Tyler and Jared are all young guys who have been working in auto sales for eight to 10 years,” Murray said. “All three have proven themselves to be high quality individuals. With all of our four new stores, we are looking forward to growing sales while continuing to offer excellent customer service.”