Nis­san dealer com­pletes ex­pan­sion, adds staff

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - AUTOS -

MCPHILLIPS Nis­san, Winnipeg’s new­est Nis­san dealer, has just grown a lot big­ger. The deal­er­ship, across from the Gar­den City Shop­ping cen­tre, has com­pleted a ma­jor ex­pan­sion that dou­bled the size of the build­ing.

The ex­pan­sion in­cludes a sec­ond floor for the head of­fice and ac­count­ing func­tions as well as a new ser­vice drive-thru.

“We are con­form­ing to the Nis­san imaging re­quire­ments,” said dealer prin­ci­pal Jeff No­vakoski. “We now have the largest Nis­san show­room in Winnipeg. We have a new cus­tomer lounge with a cof­fee bar and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem, an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre where you can build your own model online, and 18 ser­vice bays.

“And we are sell­ing our fair share of prod­uct.”

McPhillips Nis­san is lo­cated in the for­mer home of the de­funct Gar­den Gate Pon­tiac Buick GMC. The store was most re­cently Auto West, a used­car op­er­a­tion founded by for­mer Man­i­to­ban Lawrence Is­feld in 2004. No­vakoski and his part­ners, Dale Is­feld and Dar­rel En­dresen, bought the busi­ness from Is­feld (who is not re­lated to Dale Is­feld) in early 2011. No­vakoski had been the sales man­ager at Au­toWest for two years prior to be­com­ing man­ag­ing part­ner.

Auto West had been one of Winnipeg’s largest used-car deal­ers, car­ry­ing be­tween 200 and 240 late-model ve­hi­cles. The deal­er­ship had been sell­ing a varied se­lec­tion of makes and mod­els man­u­fac­tured be­tween 2002 and 2011.

For Nis­san Canada, with ex­ist­ing stores in east, west and south Winni- peg, the new store com­pletes the cir­cle. “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 of dif­fer­ing brands.

“We want to thank Winnipeg for the great sup­port,” 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.”

With the ex­pan­sion, No­vakoski and his team have bulked up their sales staff, start­ing with vet­eran sales man­agers Dan Ja­man and John Medeiros. Medeiros joined the store’s Nis­san’s man­age­ment team at the end of July af­ter 25 years in man­age­ment with the for­mer Haber Suzuki on Re­gent.

“I con­sid­ered my op­tions,” said Medeiros, who started work in the auto busi­ness as a sales rep for Nairn Nis­san). “I felt that McPhillips Nis­san would be a good fit for me. I grew up in this area. The pop­u­la­tion in north­west Winnipeg is grow­ing rapidly. This is a beau­ti­ful store with a great prod­uct.”

Dan Ja­man has been in the busi­ness for the past 15 years, hav­ing sold both do­mes­tic and im­port mod­els. Two years ago, he took a break from be­ing in man­age­ment

“I live in Anola,” he said. “For the past two years, I was work­ing at Mel­nyk Mo­tors in Beause­jour. I was the only sales rep. I was sell­ing 10 to 15 cars a month.”

It was his long-time friend­ship with Jeff No­vakoski that led Ja­man to re­turn to man­age­ment in Septem­ber.

“Jeff and I got to know each other when we worked to­gether as sales man­agers at another deal­er­ship,” Ja­man said. “We had been talk­ing for a few months about my join­ing the staff here.

“It’s great be­ing back in man­age­ment,” he says. “I pre­fer work­ing at an in­de­pen­dently-owned deal­er­ship, and this is the right end of town for me.”

No­vakoski and his man­age­ment team have put to­gether a diver­si­fied sales staff. Bob Buchanan is the vet­eran sales rep. He has been in auto sales for 25 years, all at the same lo­ca­tion. He started with Gar­den Gate and stayed on when Auto West moved in.

Among McPhillips Nis­san’s new sales reps are Gemma Gon­za­lez, Olaf Ryzanowski, Nav Bains, Bobby Singh, Remy An­war, Kings­ley Penry and Val Anyanwu (for­merly a pro­fes­sional soc­cer player in Nige­ria).

“We think we have put to­gether a good sales team,” Ja­man said. New look for Craig Dunn Mo­tor City Back in the ‘90s, Craig Dunn Mo­tor City in Portage La Prairie was one of the first Cana­dian Gen­eral Mo­tors deal­ers to in­tro­duce what was then known as GM’s new look.

“Af­ter 15 years, it was time once again to re­fresh our deal­er­ship and up­grade the GM Im­age,” said dealer prin­ci­pal Craig Dunn.

That task was com­pleted a cou­ple of months back. The old tower has been re­placed and the en­trance is now the blue Chevy look.

“We re­mod­eled the in­te­rior as well as the ex­te­rior,” Dunn said. “Our store now has a more con­tem­po­rary look. It looks fresh and invit­ing.

“We have had a very pos­i­tive re- sponse. Our cus­tomers re­ally like the new look.” Ad­di­tion to Winnipeg Hyundai staff Paul Fe­dorowich, a vet­eran of 13 years in auto sales, joined the Winnipeg Hyundai sales team at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber.

“I had tried a new ven­ture with so­cial me­dia,but it didn’t work out,” Fe­dorowhich said. “I wanted to get back into Hyundai sales. I had worked with Dave Al­sip (Winnipeg Hyundai’s new sales man­ager) for five years at another deal­er­ship, so I came here. It was a good move. Hyundai prod­ucts are hot sell­ers.”

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


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