Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jarman Mazda no Landmark Mazda

From the Hicks on Six column in the January 20 Edmonton Sun.


Heading into the annual Edmonton Motor Show next week, Edmonton auto dealers have emerged from their 2009 industry turmoil remarkably unscathed. Sales overall in the Edmonton area were flat last year. But these days, "flat" is excellent. The General Motors re-structuring meant some 240 dealerships across Canada were closed, but we lost just five in this area -- Stedelbauer Chev-Olds, Saturn West, Grove Pontiac in Spruce Grove, and Murray Chevrolet in Leduc.

Stedelbauer principal Ron Gibson bought and moved Jarman Mazda into the Stedelbauer building on 97 Street, re-naming it Landmark Mazda. Grove Pontiac is now Grove Motor Products. Welcome Ford in Fort Saskatchewan just declared bankruptcy, but not because of the economy. Otherwise, the local auto biz has been all about consolidation and improved presentation.

The Ericksen Auto Group (Ericksen Nissan, Ericksen Infiniti, and recent acquisitions Weber Motors Mazda and Weber Motors Mercedes-Benz / Smart) was itself fully acquired by Mike Priestner's Go Auto group. Crosstown Motors, the flagship of brother Pat Priestner's AutoCanada group, left the downtown to be the Crosstown Auto Centre at the Yellowhead and 156 Street.

AutoCanada's Capital Chrysler Jeep Dodge moved to the Gateway Auto Mall on Ellerslie Road, just off Calgary Trail. It's now the Capital Auto Centre. Yellowhead Honda moved and reopened as Pointe West Honda, selling other Honda products as well as cars. Once its new premises is ready in Sherwood Park, Healy Ford will move out of the downtown. So things weren't that bad. It'll be upbeat at The Motor Show. It always is.

Hopefully the staff at Jarman / Landmark are still most at Weber Motors have changed over the past year. More details in the March issue of the Miata Musings once I know.

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