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Victoria auto dealers and related news


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#61 North Shore

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:27 AM

I would love to see car dealers not have to be tied to one company, let them sell any new cars that they like, let them operate more like other retail businesses.

If I am looking for a minivan, I would love to have dealer that specializes in that and can offer me many different options to choose from. The current model is bad for consumers and tends to keep weak car models and weak car manufacturers alive.


Good idea. OTOH, it would be a nightmare for the parts/maintenance department trying to keep stock in and mechanics trained...
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#62 Bernard

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:57 PM

Good idea. OTOH, it would be a nightmare for the parts/maintenance department trying to keep stock in and mechanics trained...

That does not seem to be a problem for most garages that repair cars. We also have Lordco et al to supply with parts.

Used car dealers do not stock parts or do car repairs, why do new car dealers?

It would be a benefit to cut the ties between the car manufacturer and car dealer. It would also mean that the market would quickly kill off bad models of cars as no one would be trying to sell them. I am not sure about the law, but I suspect that the exclusive selling of new cars by tied dealerships is actually an illegal monopoly/restraint of trade.

#63 Koru

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:21 AM

Vancouver Island's only Acura dealership is closing Monday and being replaced by the hot-selling Kia brand.

The Graham family, who own the Honda and Nissan dealerships in Victoria, said the shift away from Honda's premium brand was due to a deteriorating market for high-end automobiles and the parent company's new blueprint calling for expensive improvements to lots and showrooms.

Ed Graham said yesterday the family has acquired the rights to sell Kia from Reg Midgley, who is converting his lots on the Old Island Highway back to used vehicles.

Kia models were being delivered and Acura signs dismantled yesterday at the dealership at 2620 Government St., at Hillside and Gorge. About $300,000 in improvements will be pumped into the new dealership -- now called Kia Victoria -- and all 24 staff, including sales manager Rick Proctor and dealership manager Eli Pasquale, will be retained in the changeover, said Graham.

Graham said Acura owners can still have warranty and service work done at Campus Honda in Victoria, which has been certified to handle the work.

"Acura's new image program and the economy being what it is, didn't make any [financial] sense to us," said Graham, adding higher-end cars were not selling well during the recession.

"We had to look at the viability of the whole organization and things were beginning to get tough in a tough economy. When the economy was going good with Acura we did really well, but when the economy got tough, it got really tough around here. It was time to make a change."

Graham said consumers are shifting not only to fuel-efficient vehicles, but cars with a better price point.

Kia Motors Corp. is South Korea's second-biggest automaker behind Hyundai. Both are being buoyed by double-digit sales increases in Canada, while some luxury-model makers, Japanese brands and the Big Three in North America have suffered sales slides.

Last month, Kia sold 5,110 new cars in Canada, a 30 per cent increase from July 2008, according statistics compiled by Desrosiers Automotive Consultants.

Although Kia's total market share of new auto sales in Canada is slim -- about half a percentage point -- the company has sold 27,219 vehicles over the first seven months of the year, up more than 20 per cent from a year ago.

Hyundai, meanwhile, has doubled its market share to eight per cent this year compared to last, according to Desrosiers

Graham said a Kia Rio, a standard four-door sedan, sells for under $10,000 and comes with a five-year warranty. The range goes to a $40,000 sport utility vehicle with V8 motor and all the extras. The company also introduced the Forte brand, which is exceeding sales expectations across Canada.

Graham's bother Dick Graham operates the Campus Honda and Campus Nissan dealerships in Victoria.

Their father, Bill Graham, founded the dealerships in Victoria after arriving from North Battleford, Sask., more than 30 years ago where he operated a Pontiac-Buick outlet.

The senior Graham bought a Toyota dealership at Fort and Foul Bay and moved into Datsun products a few years later. When Datsun became Nissan, Graham moved to the family's current location on Oak Street, where they also sell Nissan's high-end line, Infiniti.

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#64 Koru

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:22 AM

speaking of slowing sales and such, every time I drive by Suburban Motors it seems there are less and less vehicles there, has anyone else noticed this?

#65 Holden West

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:31 AM

^I haven't noticed that but it is interesting. Ford is the most stable of the big three due to their cash reserves. But here in Victoria there's another Ford dealership just down the street. Suburban is another dealership with a huge Douglas to Blanshard property.

I thought I caught a radio ad saying Saturn/Saab down the street was having a clear out sale. I don't know if this is the standard monthly clear-out or if they meant they were liquidating all inventory permanently.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#66 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 08:53 AM

Did you see the cash-for-clunkers stats:

TOP SELLERS

1. Toyota Corolla
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Ford Focus front-wheel drive
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Nissan Versa
7. Toyota Prius
8. Honda Accord
9. Honda Fit
10. Ford Escape front-wheel drive

TOP TRADE-INS

1. Ford Explorer four-wheel drive
2. Ford F-150 Pickup two-wheel drive
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee four-wheel drive
4. Ford Explorer two-wheel drive
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan two-wheel drive
6. Jeep Cherokee four-wheel drive
7. Chevrolet Blazer four-wheel drive
8. Chevrolet C1500 pickup two-wheel drive
9. Ford F-150 pickup four-wheel drive
10. Ford Windstar front-wheel drive van

TOP MANUFACTURERS OF NEW VEHICLES SOLD

1. Toyota, 19.4 percent of Cash for Clunkers sales
2. General Motors, 17.6 percent
3. Ford, 14.4 percent
4. Honda, 13 percent
5. Nissan, 8.7 percent

I don't know how GM got 17.6% of sales with none in the top-10. But anyway, CfC got lots of NA-made cars off the road, put lots of the foreign-owned brands on the road. But, to be fair, most of those were also NA-made, but not by the companies that got the bail-outs.

#67 rjag

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:17 AM

speaking of slowing sales and such, every time I drive by Suburban Motors it seems there are less and less vehicles there, has anyone else noticed this?


I think due to the fact they own several dealerships here and on the mainland they may be pooling their inventory, i.e. a limited number of vehicles on display and then a drawdown from a central reserve. Seen it around quite a lot elsewhere and it makes sense.

Anyway, most of these large dealers dont make much from sales, the money is made in service and repairs.

#68 Koru

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:32 AM

I think due to the fact they own several dealerships here and on the mainland they may be pooling their inventory, i.e. a limited number of vehicles on display and then a drawdown from a central reserve. Seen it around quite a lot elsewhere and it makes sense.

Anyway, most of these large dealers dont make much from sales, the money is made in service and repairs.


What other dealerships do they own here in town?

And if that is the case I think now is primetime for the dealership to start cutting down the footprint they have to make way for in fill, offices and condos on portions of land that become redundant. The land Suburban fills in itself would be prime for 4 to 5 towers, sell off half the land, keep the showroom, service bays and a portion of land to display cars and on the south end of the lot a couple condos or offices!

#69 North Shore

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:48 AM

Graham's bother Dick Graham operates the Campus Honda and Campus Nissan dealerships in Victoria.


Ya, I had a pesky sibling at one point, but we outgrew it.:D
Say, what's that mountain goat doing up here in the mist?

#70 Holden West

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 01:23 PM

^Hm, I was wondering why competing brands both were named Campus. But neither are near an actual campus, go figure.

The land Suburban fills in itself would be prime for 4 to 5 towers, sell off half the land, keep the showroom, service bays and a portion of land to display cars and on the south end of the lot a couple condos or offices!


This gets to the core question of this thread--what will Douglas St. look like? What should it look like?

Filling the space between Uptown T&C and Hillside/Douglas with towers will mean an unbroken urban corridor all the way into downtown (assuming Rock Bay gets built out too).

What about keeping that stretch of Douglas entering town low-rise--no point towers until Hillside/Douglas. That way there will be a cluster of density at T&C and another in Rock Bay then the big clusters downtown. That rhythm would look better than continuous sprawl all the way back to T&C.

That way the Scott Building (and hopefully a future signature building across the street at the Petro Can site) would act as the true gateway into downtown.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#71 rjag

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 02:10 PM

What other dealerships do they own here in town?

And if that is the case I think now is primetime for the dealership to start cutting down the footprint they have to make way for in fill, offices and condos on portions of land that become redundant. The land Suburban fills in itself would be prime for 4 to 5 towers, sell off half the land, keep the showroom, service bays and a portion of land to display cars and on the south end of the lot a couple condos or offices!


Glen Oak Ford, Jaguar/Land Rover, Mitsubishi and 1 or more Ford in Vancouver and the Suburban land, they own the site from Saanich rd & Oak St all the way to the corner where the A&W is...quite a nice chunk

#72 LJ

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:01 PM

^.

I thought I caught a radio ad saying Saturn/Saab down the street was having a clear out sale. I don't know if this is the standard monthly clear-out or if they meant they were liquidating all inventory permanently.


Isn't Saturn dead?
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#73 Holden West

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:34 PM

^GM has to shed the Saturn brand but it may stick around in some form. GM is trying to sell Saab to Sweden's Koenigsegg.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#74 G-Man

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 06:24 AM

The Scott building is only impressive in comparison to its surroundings if it was downtown it would be pretty hum drum.

I would like to see towers all along the stretch to Uptown. With perhaps some nodes like Mayfair being taller than others.

#75 Holden West

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 12:12 AM

IMO the Scott Building would be a gem if surrounded by similar quality architecture.

Island GM Dealers evolve

- Victoria Motor Products, Victoria (Former Cornell Chevrolet) -- Bought by Dave Wheaton Pontiac Buick GMC and will move to one location after closing down the Douglas/Finlayson location in October.

- Saturn Saab, Victoria -- GM in process of selling the brand. Dealership owner Dave Wheaton has two options, either wait and see if GM sells the Saturn portion of its business, or terminate sales and service agreement with GM. No decision as yet.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#76 Holden West

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 09:08 PM

Saturn is dead now that the Penske deal to buy it fell through today.

The Suburban (Ford) lot just before Uptown is undergoing some sort of renovation. Between that and the other lots having their final clearout sales, Douglas Street has fewer cars than ever in storage.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#77 Holden West

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:22 AM

GM announced today that Saab is dead. But they will continue supplying spare parts. Which makes me think--has anyone ever built a "new" discontinued car out of spare parts?

The big Victoria Motor Products (Nee Cornell) lot and building is now completely empty and ghost-like.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#78 Bernard

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

We still have way too many car dealerships sucking up turf on Douglas. There should be some sort of way to convince the local governments and car dealers to build an auto mall somewhere in the region and get them all out of the core.

#79 LJ

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 08:57 PM

We still have way too many car dealerships sucking up turf on Douglas. There should be some sort of way to convince the local governments and car dealers to build an auto mall somewhere in the region and get them all out of the core.



That's a good idea. The Richmond auto mall showed increased sales for all dealers when it opened. Makes it a lot easier for customers as well.

What do you see replacing them with?
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#80 Holden West

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 10:59 PM

I'm not a fan of the auto mall concept. Surely in the 21st century there's a better way of marketing cars than paving a parking lot the size of a small village.

What do you see replacing them with?


That's the real reason I started this thread. What's the ideal urban form for Douglas between Uptown and Hillside.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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