The Murray Automotive Group has been in the automotive business since 1926 and has since grown
to operate over 20 Canadian dealerships from coast to coast.
Employing over 1000 professionals, the company is owned and operated both by 3rd generation Murray's along side those who have worked their way to become partners.
The dealers within the Murray Automotive Group are very active within their communities where "Our Reputation is Your Guarantee" .
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 Canada's four western Provinces. The Murray Automotive Group now consists of over 20 dealerships employing over 1000 people and selling nearly 15, 000 new and used vehicles each year.
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 to 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 you more than $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 were without 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 Colley 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 Automotive Group as a satellite of the Medicine Hat dealership. Dwight Kurtz is manager of the new outlet.
Brand City Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac Ltd. in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is purchased. Charles VandenBroek, a former sales manager for Murray's in Medicine Hat, is the new dealer at Murray Chevrolet Oldsmobile in Moose Jaw.
is 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 Group. Guy Bordian, a sales manager at Dean Cooley Motors in Dauphin, becomes manager of Dean Cooley Motors in The Pas. The four GM lines are sold from the new dealership.
In Fort St. John, B.C., sixteen acres of land known as the Chiulli Triangle is purchased by the Murray 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.
We purchased the GM dealership in Estevan and its satellite location in Oxbow Saskatchewan together with our operating partner Herb Padwick.
We purchased the Pontiac, Buick, GMC dealership located in downtown Abbotsford, Brisith Columbia together with our operating partner Rob Taylor.
We completed a major addition to the shop portion of our facility in Fort St. John to accommodate the growth in its business.
The interests of Dean Cooley and Guy Bordian were purchased by Craig Dunn and Ian Gray respectively and the dealership began operating as Murray Dunn Motors The Pas with Ian Gray as the operating partner.
We completed a major renovation of our facility in Medicine Hat to accommodate the continued expansion of that dealershipâ??s volume.
We completed construction of a new 4 line General Motors store in Dauphin and relocated our existing operations to that facility.
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 Automotive 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 GM dealership purchased Murray Chevrolet in Neepawa, Manitoba in the summer of 2008. This was a familiar name, but in fact was owned by a different Murray family. The Auto Group purchased controlling interest in the dealership and brought in Ryan McLaughlin as the new General Manager for McLaughlin Motors.
We purchased the Chevrolet store in Leduc Alberta together with our operating partner Dwight Kurtz.
In 2008, we constructed a new dealership to house the expanded operation in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
2009 was a very tough year in the automotive industry with GM closing more than 1000 of their loyal dealerships across North America. This resulted with 40% of Canadian dealerships to close their doors. GM also discontinued major lines such as Hummer and Pontiac, which were prominent brands carried within the Murray Automotive Group.
Murray Maple Creek built a new dealership which was completed in the fall of 2009.
During the dealership closures seen across the Nation with the GM Bankruptcy, Only 1 of the 21 dealers within the Murray Automotive Group was closed during this time. The Murray group merely had ownership of the Leduc AB dealership for the latter half of the determining year before it was scheduled for closure. Staffs from this dealership were provided the opportunity to gain employment within other Murray dealerships, with jobs accepted as far east as Yarmouth Nova Scotia.
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 Automotive Group was pleased to announce that they have "Gone Platinum". February 16th 2010, the National Post announced the Murray Automotive 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 Automotive 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 out in BC.
General Motors has given responsibility for the full line of GM vehicles, now Murray Chevrolet GMC Buick Cadillac in Brandon has built a brand new 50,000 sq.ft. dealership and moved into their new location in the Spring of 2011.
Previously Radics Chrysler, this is the first Chrysler Dodge Ram Jeep dealership in the Murray Group. The dealership has since moved into the existing Murray Chevrolet Building at 1500 Richmond Road in Brandon MB.
The Murray Auto Group partners with Darren Bosch to purchase Murray Honda in Chilliwack, British Columbia.
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.
Doug Murray, CEO of The Murray Auto Group, is awarded Business Person of the Year at The Brandon Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, Brandon, Manitoba. "The President's Award for the Business Person of the Year is presented to an individual for recognition of outstanding service to business and community endeavors. The recipient must have demonstrated sound, progressive, and successful business techniques, and have contributed through personal efforts to the well-being of the community as a whole. This award recognizes individuals who are at the peak of their career."
The Murray Auto Group becomes the principal donor to the "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 our customer base. We felt that our customers deserve to know that we're supporting something as important as this." Murray House, located at 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've 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."
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."
Mildred Murray will receive an honorary diploma in Social and Community Service on June 11 at the college's Brandon graduation ceremony.
"It is a great honour to me to be considered for a diploma from Assiniboine Community College. This school is such an important part of the services available to the people of Brandon and surrounding communities," said Mrs. Murray. "I look forward to seeing hundreds of young people receive their diplomas as they prepare to take their new skills to the workplace. What a great resource for us!"
Mrs. Murray has lived in or near Brandon for nearly her entire life. Growing up on a grain farm, she completed the first eight years of her schooling in a one-room country school. She went on to graduate from the University of Manitoba at the age of 20 and secured a job with the Province of Manitoba in 1952.
At the age of 33, she obtained her private pilots license and became a charter member of the "Ninety-Nines" of Brandon, an association of women pilots. She served one year as their president.
Mrs. Murray spent many years alongside her husband, Clair, while mentoring her four sons who now operate more than 30 automotive dealerships across Canada.
Her contributions to the community over the years are significant, having volunteered her time to serve on many local and provincial boards including the Brandon School Division and the Brandon Area Community Foundation.
"Mrs. Murray has demonstrated a deep compassion for others while working to make our community better over the decades," said ACC President Mark Frison. "She's a remarkable individual and our hope is that graduating students are inspired by her efforts and encouraged to spark positive change in their own communities as they move forward in their lives and careers."
ACC awards honorary diplomas to those who demonstrate excellence in their personal and professional accomplishments. Past honorary diploma recipients in Brandon include Gord Peters (2009), Bob Mazer (2010), Dennis Hunt (2011), Carmel Olson (2012), David Baxter (2013) and Jim Treliving (2014).
The graduation ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 11 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.