Fifty-four years after West Park Motors opened it's doors in 1968, the Altona dealership has been sold to the Pinnacle Auto Group based in Winnipeg.  

Former owner, Ray Loewen, sensed Pinnacle was the ideal company to carry the dealership into the future.

"They've got a strong family orientation, run their dealerships very much the way we've tried to run West Park over the years. And so I felt comfortable knowing that if we sold to them, that Brian and his team would look after our people, would look after our customers and would look after the community."

And the dealership has a lot of staff that have worked there for a long period of time. 

"Our oldest serving staff member right now has been here since day one, 54 years. Bob Stoesz started pumping gas here when he was in high school in 1968, just before West Park opened," noted Loewen.

The new owners will retain the entire team of staff. 

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the many people who have been with us for all these years, like Bob, who has been here longer than I have been," added Loewen. "Obviously, we owe a huge thank you to our many customers. We couldn't have been here without them."

Brian Lowes, a partner of Pinnacle, says he enjoys a long history in the car business.

"I've always loved cars. I'm a licensed technician and an accountant as well with the business. The car business was probably always destined for me. I actually used to colour in Auto Traders. But you know, the great thing about it is that I can combine a number of my passions, which are growing people and businesses. Part of it is being great at your job. But part of it is actually being a better person in the community, a better person for your family and all the rest of it. As we grow businesses and focus on the right things, I think the same thing needs to happen with people."

Lowes says he's excited to build on the successful legacy of Ray, his wife Linda and their team.

Loewen, who will stay on as general manager, says he feels fortunate to make the sale and still come to work.

"Well, hey, I'm not getting any younger. And so I knew at some point in time we needed to do this and I wanted to be able to be involved in selecting the new company that was going to take over West Park. So, the time to do that was now. I didn't want my wife and my family to be involved in trying to sell the business if something should all of a sudden happen to me. And so, it just felt like now was the right time to make this move."

Loewen says in choosing a company for their succession plan, they were looking for a buyer who would look after their team, their customers and the communities they serve. He felt The Pinnacle Auto Group shared those values, making it the right fit.  

Lowes felt the same way.

"You know, there's check boxes. And as we went down the list, a lot of the boxes were getting checked. Anybody that I know from Altona really likes [West Park], is proud of it and that was exciting to be a part of. What they've done here and the ability that they have to be involved in the community is something that we run our businesses by. Seeing how they've taken care of their people, we have a lot of long term people as well. We have a great offering in the luxury marketplace. The one thing we don't have is a truck to offer. And I think that's what made GM really, really attractive to us."

Lowes feels his group can bring experience, exposure and scale to the Altona business while making minimal changes. 

The dealership will now be known as West Park Chevrolet Buick GMC.