Re­sponse pos­i­tive to deal­er­ship’s up­grades

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - AUTOS - MY­RON LOVE

JA­SON Cross, vice-pres­i­dent of Jim Gau­thier Cadil­lac Buick GMC, re­ports en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponses among his cus­tomers to the north McPhillip deal­er­ship’s new look.

The wraps came off the store’s new GM Im­age ex­te­rior three weeks ago af­ter eight months of work. The nearly $1-mil­lion up­grade gives the deal­er­ship the sil­ver and black GM logo and ex­te­rior ap­pear­ance which has be­come stan­dard for Cadil­lac Buick GMC deal­ers.

“Our new look is quite im­pres­sive,” Cross says. “It is re­ally eye-catch­ing for any­one ap­proach­ing our store on McPhillips from the south, es­pe­cially at night with the light­ing.”

He re­ports this was the store’s first ma­jor up­grade since the fa­cil­ity was built in 2003.

Cross and his staff are also ex­cited to fi­nally have some 2015 Cadil­lac Es­calades on the ground. The model was in­tro­duced al­most a year ago, Cross notes, but all of Gau­thier Cadil­lac’s pre­vi­ous al­lot­ment had been pre-sold.

“We have just re­ceived three mod­els in our show­room and six more are on their way,” says Shay­lan Oka­piec, Gau­thier Cadil­lac’s gen­eral manager. “The public re­cep­tion has been phe­nom­e­nal.”

The 2015 SUV is avail­able in a choice of three trims and two wheel­bases. Among the three in Gau­thier Cadil­lac’s show­room, Oka­piec notes, is one top of the line Plat­inum model.

The base model is pow­ered by a 6.2L di­rect in­jec­tion V8 Flex Fuel en­gine with vari­able valve tim­ing that pro­duces 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque.

Gau­thier Cadil­lac sales rep Bryant Caruk notes the new model lights the way with all LED light­ing which, he points out, is more ef­fi­cient, longer last­ing, cleaner and brighter. Cadil­lac’s crest and wreath logo will even glow in the dark.

“LED light­ing is closer to day­light and eas­ier to see,” he says.

On the Plat­inum model, he points out the hands-free tail­gate open­ing fea­ture.

He also notes the built-in rear win­dow wipers that will keep the win­dow clear of rain or snow.

In­side, he points out the re­designed heated and ven­ti­lated leather seats up front (with heaters for the sec­ond row as well), three zones of au­to­matic cli­mate con­trol, a new in­stru­ment panel and cen­tre con­sole that fea­tures Cadil­lac’s heated and cooled cup hold­ers and a DVD player with two screens for rear oc­cu­pants in ad­di­tion to the stan­dard fea­tures in the other trims.

Caruk also notes Cadil­lac’s ac­tive safety gear for the Es­calade which in­cludes a blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. The for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing sys­tem and lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tems are also avail­able.

Caruk re­ports that the price for a new 2015 Es­calade ranges from $83,100 (in­clud­ing freight and pdi) for the base model to $102,585 for a fully loaded Plat­inum edi­tion.

“We are look­ing for­ward to more new and ex­cit­ing prod­ucts en route,” adds Ja­son Cross.

Epic wins in­no­va­tion award

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Amanda Saun­ders and her team at Epic Busi­ness So­lu­tions on win­ning the Win­nipeg Cham­ber of Com­merce’s Small Busi­ness Award for In­no­va­tion. The award was pre­sented to Epic at the cham­ber’s Spirit of Win­nipeg Awards on Fri­day, March 13.

“This is huge for us,” says Saun­ders. “It’s very ex­cit­ing.”

Saun­ders founded Epic Dealer So­lu­tions in 2007. Her com­pany spe­cial­izes in ar­rang­ing fi­nanc­ing for auto sales.

PHIL HOSSACK / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Ja­son Cross says cus­tomer re­sponse to the new-look Jim Gau­thier Cadil­lac Buick GMC deal­er­ship has been grat­i­fy­ing.

SALES REP: Henry Clyke DEAL­ER­SHIP: Park­side Ford Lin­coln NO. OF YEARS: Three years at Park­side, 17 years in auto sales FAVOURITE MODEL: The Lin­coln MKC WHY?: “I re­ally like MKC’s drive con­trol,” Clyke says. “The Lin­coln MKC is the most sure-footed ve­hi­cle in its class.”

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