At Mur­ray Chevro­let, auto parts are all in the fam­ily

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - AUTOS -

MUR­RAY Chevro­let’s long­est serv­ing staff mem­ber has re­tired — but, he says, he will be back. Fred Swift had been a fix­ture in the parts depart­ment for 42 years prior to his re­tire­ment at the end of De­cem­ber. He started at the deal­er­ship fresh out of high school in 1973 — when the deal­er­ship was still Carter Mo­tors. (The Mur­ray Fam­ily ac­quired the deal­er­ship in 1994.)

“I started as a driver,” he re­calls. “Af­ter a short time, I was work­ing in ship­ping and re­ceiv­ing. Six months later, I was moved to the front desk.” For the past 22 years, he has been the parts depart­ment man­ager.

“I have loved it here,” Swift says of his time with Carter and Mur­ray. “It has been an amaz­ing ride. I have been able to go all over the world thanks to Gen­eral Mo­tors and I have seen huge changes over the years, that has been one of the fea­tures that has made this in­dus­try so ex­cit­ing.”

Swift notes he led a depart­ment that has been re­mark­ably stable in terms of staffing. “Half of our staff of 18 have been here for more than 20 years,” he says. “As a team, we have won many awards.”

Fred Swift’s suc­ces­sor as parts man­ager at Mur­ray Chevro­let is his daugh­ter, Rachel, who is also a long­time em­ployee of the deal­er­ship. Rachel Swift also started work­ing for Mur­ray Chevro­let fresh out of high school. Af­ter a couple of years, she left the in­dus­try and tried the ho­tel busi­ness and the in­sur­ance in­dus­try. “Dad in­vited me to come back here af­ter I took ma­ter­nity leave,” she says. That was about eight years ago.

Rachel is ex­pect­ing an easy tran­si­tion. “I have al­ways been a car girl,” she says. “I have known the guys in the parts depart­ment all my life. And I will have my dad around to ad­vise me.”

You read that right. Fred Swift is look­ing for­ward to spend­ing a couple of months down south, then re­turn­ing to Mur­ray Chevro­let as a part time con­sul­tant. “I think that Rachel will be a great man­ager,” he says. “I have all the con­fi­dence in the world she and her team will con­tinue to suc­cess­fully grow the busi­ness. She has a great staff to work with.”

PHO­TOS BY MY­RON LOVE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Re­tired Mur­ray Chevro­let parts man­ager Fred Swift, with daugh­ter Rachel, who is the deal­er­ship’s new parts man­ager.

MY­RON

LOVE

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