BY MYRON LOVE
WINNIPEG, MAN. – Brothers Andrew and Doug MacIver are Canada’s newest reality TV stars. The co-owners of Ride Time and third generation car guys are the focus of a six-part series on the Business News Network (BNN), which is running from October 20 until November 25.
Dubbed Bargain Brothers, the unscripted show follows the day-to-day adventures at the family car dealership and the dynamics of working with family in the auto business.
BNN is Canada’s only all-business network, notes Andrew, who is a long-time fan of the station.
“I turn on BNN every morning while I’m getting ready for work,” he says. “One morning, I noticed a commercial. The network was looking for a successful family business to feature. I contacted the producer.”
To his surprise, the producer responded. The network did a Skype interview with them and decided to go with the MacIver family. That was in April of last year.
“We shot the pilot episode last fall, which was used for marketing purposes,” Andrew says. “We began shooting the second episode in late January and wrapped up shooting in June.”
The MacIver brothers are the grandsons of the late Jack MacIver – one of the giants of the industry in Winnipeg. Jack MacIver was a long time award-winning Chrysler dealer.
Doug and Andrew’s father, Doug, was a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber football player and dealer principal in Toronto. He operated Chrysler and Volkswagen stores in Toronto. Doug Sr. returned to Winnipeg in 2003 to help his aged father operate Midway Chrysler, the long-standing family dealership.
In 2007, Chrysler closed several of its dealerships across the country, one of which was Midway.
“I was just graduating from Georgian College’s Automotive Business Program and was looking forward to taking my place in the family business,” Andrew recalls of that traumatic time.
Doug Sr. responded to the shutting down of Midway with the opening of Fine Ride, a used-car operation specializing in late model vehicles. Andrew and Doug Jr., their sister, Alex, as well as other family members joined him in business.
However the family was dealt a second devastating blow with the sudden passing of Doug Sr. in January 2012.
At the time of his passing, the family had opened two Fine Ride locations.
“We were planning on opening a third location,” Andrew says, “but we put that on hold when dad died.”
For the reality series on BNN, the cameras followed the MacIver family as they went about their daily activities. (Their mother, Evelyn, Doug’s wife Meagan, and uncle Dave Turnley are also involved in the business.)
“The producers wanted to film us behind the scenes and at home as well as at our dealership,” Andrew says. “They wanted to film our personal interactions.”
The filming included the family history and commentary.
Andrew reports that the response to the series has been positive.
“Our support from our fellow auto dealers has been overwhelming,” he says. “Car people like to support our own and Winnipeggers really like a made-in-Winnipeg story.”
Doug reports that the family stocks about 130 late model used vehicles between its two locations and sells about 70 vehicles a month.
“We ship customized trucks to customers across Canada,” Doug says. “We try to accommodate people with less than perfect credit.”
The brothers are planning a major expansion of their second location, which sits on 28 acres on the edge of the city.
“We hope to get the shovels in the ground ASAP,” says Andrew.