The past two years have been a particularly eventful time for the Crown Auto Group. With sales growing significantly, the Dilawri family embarked on an ambitious expansion program with extensions being simultaneously added on to four of the auto group’s facilities at the Waverley Auto Mall. Crown Nissan was doubled in size while Winnipeg Honda, already one of the largest Honda stores on the Prairies, now has 25 per cent more space.

The third project, the relocation of Crown Detailing & Car Wash (which was formerly located at the rear of crown Autobody and Glass) to a new facility attached to the west side of Crown Toyota, is now complete and open for business.

"The major portion of the work was actually finished in late fall," says Crown Detailing & Car Wash manager Luis Acuna. "It took a little longer to install our new equipment. We moved in here in mid-December."

The new 12,000-square-foot detailing centre has 15 detailing bays and an upgraded automated car wash. Brand new is a Eurovac chemical dispensing system that processes all the chemicals in one central station and distributes the chemicals in the right mix to each work station.

"Our larger workplace allows us to provide a better quality of detailing service more efficiently in a shorter period of time," Acuna says. "The demand for detailing is growing. At our new location, we are capable of doing 30 to 40 per cent more than we were doing before."

The new detailing centre currently has a workforce of 25 — a 25 per cent increase — with more hirings planned.

"We are able to provide the protection packages that Crown Auto Group customers buy with their automotive purchases, such as interior protection, paint and rust protection and undercoating protection," says Acuna. "We can work with all makes and models. We welcome all challenges and are confident that we have the technology to solve them."

With Crown Detailing now having vacated its former home, the fourth Crown Auto Group project, the expansion of Crown Auto Body and Glass into the vacant space, is just getting underway.

"We are going to be doubled in size," says Darren Beer, Crown Auto Body’s general manager. "The new equipment we are installing will allow for faster drying. We will be adding two new paint booths at the back. With the improved production flow, we will be able to double the number of vehicles we can work on." The body shop currently has 30 technicians and will be looking to add 15 more. Expansion is scheduled to be completed by the fall.

Jack Campbell, who passed away on December 28 at the age of 66, died while doing what he loved. He was driving a car back from northwestern Ontario when he suffered a massive stroke.

In a testament to how well Campbell was thought of, more than 500 friends, customers, co-workers and family attended a memorial for him at Canad Inns Transcona, just down the Regent strip from where Campbell sold cars for more than 40 years.

"He was very well-liked in the business," says Larry Vickar, president of the Vickar Auto Group. "Although he had retired from sales a year ago, he was still working delivering cars for us."

Vickar Chevrolet sales consultant Julien Lacroix knew Campbell better than most. The two had been working together for most of the past 30 years, first at Park Pontiac and more recently at Vickar Chevrolet.

"Jack was the consummate professional," says Lacroix. "The customer was always his number one priority. We would go to the wall for his customers. That is why they were so loyal. At the same time, he was a lot of fun. He never took life too seriously. He was always positive. He was a great friend and family man."

The family is asking that donations in Jack’s memory be directed to 1JustCity, which provides service to Winnipeg’s homeless population.

On Jan. 29, Dan, Kelly and Mitch Murray joined Zoe Nakata, executive director of the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, in cutting the ribbon and officially opening the WHRC’s new Murray Education Centre at the Île-des-Chênes facility. The Murray Education Centre will educate kids on how to care for and understand the wildlife they see.

"It will foster the next generation to be conservation champions," says Murray Chevrolet president Dan Murray. "The fact that the Wildlife Haven is in our backyard in Île-des-Chênes makes it a logical choice for Murray’s to support. Last year alone the Haven helped over 2,100 animals that were brought to the centre."

The Wildlife Haven is the only permanent Manitoba hospital and rehabilitation centre for injured, sick and orphaned wild animals. The Murray Education Centre at the newly built Wildlife Haven Campus, will offer a gathering place for educational opportunities with designated areas so the public can learn more about protection of our wildlife.


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