Keeping employees important to City Chrysler GM

Nova Scotia company buys Corner Brook dealership

Paul Hutchings
Published on March 20, 2014

An automobile dealership that has been in Corner Brook for more than 60 years has been sold to a Nova Scotia company. But City Chrysler general manager Jason O’Reilly says current employees will remain with the dealership.

“That was one of my biggest concerns, making sure our employees kept their jobs,” said O’Reilly. “So I was a lot more interested in what (the Steele Auto Group) had to say after we had that worked out.”

Halifax-based Steele will take over City Chrysler on O’Connell Drive March 31.

It’s a move that O’Reilly says is a good one for everyone involved and he emphasized the dealerships’ service will not change.

O’Reilly’s family owned City Chrysler for 23 years after it was purchased by his mother, Rosemary O’Reilly.

He said five companies had been interested in purchasing the dealership, but Steele made the most sense. He said Steele, which runs several automobile dealerships in Nova Scotia, has a good business philosophy towards employees and customers, which impressed him.

O’Reilly said he will stay on at the dealership in a position called dealer principal.

“That was part of the deal. I don’t know how long I’ll stay on for, but I’m too young to retire,” he said with a laugh.

“We had a lot of calls about selling. It was actually unsolicited, but the deal with Steele just made the most sense.”

Rob Steele, CEO of the Steele Auto Group, said in a statement that being owned by the Steele Auto Group will provide greater opportunity for growth of the Chrysler brand in Corner Brook.

Acquiring a dealership outside Nova Scotia, he said, is a major strategic move for his company.