By Myron Love
WINNIPEG, MAN. – Pembcorp Auto Group is expanding its footprint in southern Manitoba with the opening of a new Chrysler store Carman.
Carman Chrysler opened for business in April.
“We are very excited about our new store in Carman,” says Pembcorp president Bernie Clement. “Carman (which is about 50 km south of Winnipeg) is a growing community. It has been one of the fastest growing communities in Manitoba over the past five years. It is the right market for us and we feel that we have the right location. This move fits with our strategy for growth.”
The new store is located on Highway 3, next door to Carman Ford Sales. The building used to house a machine shop and a boat dealer. “We have made significant improvement to the property,” Clement says. “We want to send the message that we intend to be there for a long time.”
This new operation won’t be the town’s first Chrysler store. The previous Chrysler dealer closed more than 10 years ago.
The new store will stock about 60 new and used models and be staffed by two sales reps, two technicians and a detail specialist. The dealership will also offer a quick lube service.
Clement has given Ralph Wasserberg, Pembcorp’s newly-appointed vice-president of sales, responsibility for running the new operation.
Wasserberg started working for Pembcorp when it acquired Pembina Valley Chrysler in Morden, Manitoba five years ago.
Wasserberg served in the Morden store at different times as service manager, business manager, sales manager and most recently, general manager and dealer principal. The Morden store’s sales have doubled since 2010, Wasserberg notes.
“We have had a really positive response to our new store from the people of Carman,” Wasserberg says.
Clement has been in the auto industry for more than 25 years. For much of that time, he was an executive with Chrysler Canada. In the fall of 2006, he returned to his hometown of Winnipeg as the new owner of Pembina Chrysler Dodge Jeep. He acquired the long time dealership from original owner Ike Vickar.
He reports that he and his management team are considering some other opportunities for growth in addition to the new Carman location. The group currently owns Pembina Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Prairie Fiat and Portage Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Portage La Prairie.