The Murray Auto Group Story
In 1926 in Souris Manitoba, A.A. (Andy) Murray began to sell Star, Essex and Hudson cars from his implement business, expanding into the General Motors line in 1934. Today, that one dealership has expanded across much of Canada. The Murray Auto Group now consists of numerous dealerships from coast to coast.
Souris, Manitoba was like any other small prairie town back in the roaring '20s and a Souris Saturday night was like any small-town Saturday night. The streets would come alive as every farm family for miles around would make the trip into town to do their shopping and socializing for the week. Starting in 1926, there was a new hangout on Saturday nights. That was the year A.A. (Andy) Murray opened his implement business and sold Star, Essex and Hudson cars.
A.A. (Andy) Murray took on the General Motors line of vehicles. He kept the garage open on Saturday nights until midnight and beyond, to allow the farmers, railroaders and other passers-by a chance to visit while gawking at all the latest automobiles. Back then, a fully-loaded luxury car would cost roughly $1,500.
WE WON! the headlines proclaim, and the boys are heading back home after the conclusion of the Second World War. Among them were Ewart and Clair Murray, two of A.A.'s three sons. Few cars were sold during the war. Those that were sold did not have chrome, as chrome and almost all of Canada's resources were directed toward the war effort. Those wanting to purchase a car had to sign up on a waiting list to have any hope of making a purchase. It was a different story after the war, as Canada entered upon an era of unprecedented prosperity, and not only automobiles but tractors and other motorized farm machinery began to dominate the prairie landscape.
Murray's Garage expands to Brandon, Manitoba. Clair Murray becomes president and general manager of Brandon Automobile Ltd. For the next decade, Pontiac, Buick, and Vauxhall cars, together with GMC trucks, are sold here
Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Central Plains Pontiac Buick GMC Ltd. in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, is purchased, and Craig Dunn, a former sales manager for Murray Chev-Olds Cadillac in Brandon, becomes the dealer at Craig Dunn Motor City.
Wiens Chevrolet Oldsmobile Ltd. in Oak Bluff, Manitoba, is purchased. Dan Murray becomes the dealer at Dan Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile, Oak Bluff
Bill Thompson Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac, Ltd., in Medicine Hat, Alberta, is purchased by the Murray Group. Paul Murray is the new dealer at Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile, Medicine Hat. Edmondson Chevrolet Oldsmobile Ltd. in Portage la Prairie is sold to the Murray Group. All four lines of GM vehicles are now sold from Craig Dunn Motor City.
Carter Motors Ltd. on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg is purchased. That dealership becomes Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile, with Dan Murray as the dealer. Chris Murray takes over as principal dealer at Dan Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile in Oak Bluff.
Martin Motors Ltd. in Dauphin, Manitoba is sold to the Murray Group. Dean Cooley, who had been a sales manager at the Brandon dealership, becomes the dealer at Dean Cooley Motors in Dauphin, where he sells four lines of GM product.
The original Murray dealership in Souris is destroyed by fire on August 17. It had been operating as a satellite of the dealership in Brandon since 1990. After the fire, the local Ford dealership in Souris was purchased, and the satellite office moved to that location
Bow Island, Alberta, is also added to the Murray Auto Group as a satellite of the Medicine Hat dealership. Dwight Kurtz is manager of the new outlet.
Band City Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac Ltd. in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is purchased. Charles Vanden Broek, a former sales manager for Murray's in Medicine Hat, is the new dealer at Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile in Moose Jaw
Twenty-two Acres of Land in Winnipeg are purchased by the Murray Group at the intersection of two busy auto routes, Waverley and Bishop Grandin. This is to be the location for the "Auto Mall of Manitoba" and new home of Murray Chevrolet Hummer.
Beny Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac Ltd. in Lethbridge, Alberta is purchased. Chris Murray leaves Oak Bluff when the dealership closes, and becomes the dealer at Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac in Lethbridge
Carroll Motors Ltd. in the Pas, Manitoba is sold to the Murray Auto Group. Guy Bordian, a sales manager at Dean Cooley Motors in Dauphin, becomes manager of Dean Cooley Motors in The Pas.
In Fort St. John, B.C., sixteen acres of land known as the Chiulli Triangle is purchased by the Murray Auto Group. This property lies between the Alaska Highway and 100 Ave. in Fort St. John, and is the home of Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile Pontiac Buick GMC, as well as other commercial outlets.
The Pontiac, Buick, GMC dealership located in Abbotsford, British Columbia was acquired with Rob Taylor acting as Operating Partner.
The Murray Auto Group partners with Charles Vanden Broek to purchase Murray GM in Estevan, Saskatchewan and the associated satellite dealership in Oxbow, Saskatchewan. Brian Carlston acts as General Manager
A major addition to the shop portion of the facility in Fort St. John was completed to accommodate the growth in its business.
Construction was completed of a new full line General Motors store in Dauphin and dealership operations were relocated to that facility.
We completed a major renovation of our facility in Medicine Hat to accommodate the continued expansion of that dealership's volume
We purchased the GM store in Merritt, British Columbia together with our operating partner Scott Robertson
Murray Hyundai is built in the Waverley Automall in Winnipeg and becomes the first non-GM dealership within the Murray Auto Group. Damain Mannion, who worked with Dan Murray at the Chevrolet dealership becomes General Manager for this location. The Hyundai Dealership is recognized as the most Energy Efficient Dealership in North America with Solar Window, a Heat Recovery Ventilation system and Geothermal Heating.
We purchased the Chevrolet Cadillac dealership located in the Abbotsford Automall with the intention to ultimately amalgamate its operations with our existing Pontiac store in Abbotsford under the leadership of Rob Taylor.
We purchased the GM store in Nipawin, Saskatchewan together with Craig Dunn and our operating partner Lyall Cook.
We purchased the GM store in Yarmouth and its satellite location in Barrington Nova Scotia with our operating partner Jeff Little
The former Murray GM dealership in Neepawa, Manitoba is purchased in the summer of 2008. Although the former dealership used Murray in its name; it was in fact was owned by a different Murray family unrelated to the founders of The Murray Auto Group. The Murray Auto Group along with Craig Dunn, purchased the dealership with Ryan McLaughlin acting as new General Manager for McLaughlin Motors.
In 2008, we constructed a new dealership to house the expanded operation in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
Murray Chevrolet Winnipeg was awarded with the CADA Laureate award in the category of Retail Operations being the 1st Manitoban to achieve this prestigious award. The Laureate Program draws input from a wide range of industry stakeholders in its quest to identify Canada's finest dealers among all Manufactures, not just GM. At every stage of the process the Laureate is unrelenting in rigor and objectivity with the final selections being made by the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
The Murray Auto Group was pleased to announce that they have "Gone Platinum". February 16th 2010, the National Post announced the Murray Auto Group as official members of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, Platinum Club. Membership is restricted to the elite corporations who have been recognized for excellence as Canada's 50 Best for a minimum of six consecutive years
The Murray Auto Group partners with Cedric Gagne to establish Murray Hyundai White Rock. Cedric had worked within the Murray Group for 16 years and at the young age of 33 had worked his way up to taking on his own dealership.
General Motors assigns responsibility for the Buick and GMC brands, and a 50,000 sq.ft. dealership facility for the new Murray Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Brandon is built
Previously Radics Chrysler, this is the first Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep dealership in the Murray Auto Group. The dealership has since moved into the former Murray Chevrolet Cadillac Building at 1550 Richmond Avenue in Brandon, Manitoba. Chris Smale acts as General Manager.
The Murray Auto Group partners with Darren Bosch to purchase Murray Honda in Chilliwack British Columbia
Murray Auto Group purchases the Buick GMC store in Penticton, BC with operating partner Scott Robertson creating Murray Buick GMC.
Murray Auto Group Partner Paul Murray opens Murray Hyundai Medicine Hat next to his existing General Motors dealership in Medicine Hat, Alberta
Murray Auto Group Partner Chris Murray opens Murray Kia Lethbridge next to his existing General Motors dealership in Lethbridge, Alberta.
The Murray Auto Group partners with Rob Taylor to open Murray Kia in Abbotsford, British Columbia next to the existing Murray General Motors dealership in Abbotsford
The Murray Auto Group, becomes the principal donor to "A Sense of Home" campaign, a project that aims to build a residence for cancer patients receiving treatment at the new cancer centre to stay in a comfortable and convenient residence with their families. "We felt that this was a very good cause," said Murray. "Cancer touches almost everybody. It was a good cause for us as a business as well; Murray House will be housing people from rural communities who need to come into Brandon for treatment, and rural communities make up over half of our customer base. We felt that our customers deserve to know that we support something as important as this." Murray House, located on 521 Frederick Street, began construction in 2012 and opened its doors to guests in the Spring of 2014. The residence contains eight bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and an extra bed, with room for eight patients and family members. "This is absolutely the biggest donation we have received," said Karen Chrest, Fundraising Coordinator."The $625,000 they donated is 25 per cent of the total cost of the project. With this donation we have now raised more than $1.4 million of the $2.5 million required." "The amazing generosity shown by Doug and Laurie Murray and family demonstrates their families' commitment to this community and allows the Brandon RHA to provide much more in terms of care and comfort for patients during their cancer journey," said Brian Schoonbaert, CEO of the BRHA. "The Murray donation not only gives a huge financial boost to the BRHC Foundation's "A Sense of Home" residence building campaign, but provides the name to a residence that will offer a home away from home for the many patients who travel to Brandon from surrounding communities for cancer treatment.
Assiniboine Community College to recognize Mildred Murray, for her lifelong community involvement and volunteerism
Murray Chevrolet wins Trader Dealer of the Year at the provincial level.
Murray Auto Group recently announced that a new dealership, Murray Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, will be opening in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The new dealership, scheduled to be fully operational during 2015, will mark the return of Chrysler and its affiliated brands to the Yarmouth area, after an absence of almost a decade. "So far, reception towards opening an additional dealership has been tremendous with a huge amount of community support from the town, including Mayor Pam Mood." says Jeff Little, President of Murray Dodge and partner with the Murray Auto Group. "We're really excited about this," says Little. "We already have 55 employees in the community and with the new Chrysler dealership we will increase this to approximately 75 people." A renovation, not a new build, Murray Dodge will be located at 113 Starrs Road, operating out of a facility that once served as home to the town's previous Chrysler dealership. "Even though the location had been used by a non automotive business when we acquired it, the building still had some attributes of a dealership," says Little. As a result, he says the process of converting it back into an auto retail facility was more straightforward than starting from scratch or using a building that hadn't been designed to handle vehicle sales and service needs. Once operational, the new dealership will encompass approximately 10,500 square feet and six service bays, with the goal of selling 250 new and 200 used vehicles annually. Jason Ellis, who has been with the Murray Auto Group since 2008, will assume the role as General Manager at Murray Dodge. "A key part of our growth strategy is having the right people in place before moving forward," says Little and "we're very happy for Jason to be taking on the role of General Manager at our newest dealership."
The Murray Auto Group partners with Daniel Holtmann, former Sales Manager at Murray Chevrolet in Winnipeg, with the opening of Murray Chevrolet Buick GMC in Fort St. Johns, BC.
Murray Chevrolet was nominated and awarded the Consumers Choice Award for top Automotive Dealership in North America.
Paul Murray becomes Dealer Principal of Murray Chrysler Strathmore, which opened its doors in Spring of 2016.
We are the leading dealer recipient of the GM Triple Crown (15 time recipient) and the GM Jack Smith Award (5 time recipient) which the awards for were cancelled soon after the market crash in 2008. This is the first year the President's Club was introduced and Murray Chevrolet is very proud to be one of it's first recipients.