General Motors award - Steve MacKeigan (Dealer Organization & Business Manager – Western Region), Mackenzie Roach (District Sales Manager – Southern Saskatchewan), Mark Olson – (Dealer – McMillan Motor Products Kipling), Derek McMillan (Account Executive - Saskatchewan).

Twenty-five years ago, Mark Olson was offered what seemed to him to be the perfect opportunity.
“I had the chance to come to McMillan Motor Products in Kipling and take on the position of General/Sales Manager. At that point, I’d worked for GMAC (General Motors Financial) in Winnipeg. And I’d sold vehicles for Dean Cooley Motors in Dauphin, Manitoba. This seemed like a perfect opportunity for us, with my wife Monica being Glenn and Kay McMillan’s daughter.”
Although Olson is originally from Winnipeg, he says that coming to Kipling meant coming ‘home’.
“It felt great coming to Kipling. I never want to live in a city again! The people in this community made me feel so welcome. I’ve felt at home here in Kipling from the start.”
McMillan Motor Products has a long history in Kipling. The business began as Ransom’s Garage (a General Motors Dealership that was established just after the end of the Second World War). Glen McMillan took the business over in 1978 and the name was changed to McMillan Motor Products.
When Olson came to McMillan Motor Products in 1998, he says that his intention was to continue growing the business that had been already established.
“We didn’t have any change of vision, as McMillan Motors was a long established and thriving business. Glen’s son Derek was here as Service Manager then. So, we worked as partners and continued the business.”
Olson notes that over the years, McMillan Motors has seen its customer base expand – something which he says happened because of customer loyalty and technology.
“Our customers were mostly from the area (within about 60 miles of Kipling) when I started. But our customer base has always been very loyal. Even when people move away from the community, they would come back to buy a vehicle from us. And over the years we’ve had family members and friends of people with a tie to Kipling that became our customers as well.”
“That broad customer base has grown with internet sales. Now, we have people from anywhere in Canada sending us leads on a vehicle that we have available. And those people have no tie to Kipling at all.
“So, these days, we go everywhere to deliver vehicles – from Nova Scotia – to Vancouver – to Fort McMurray – and anywhere in-between.”
He adds that McMillan’s strives to bring in vehicles that will meet the needs of its customers while providing the widest selection possible.
“We order in the vehicles that we need. Generally, we sell more trucks and sports utility vehicles than we do cars. But we sell a few Camaros too. And as for used cars – we will bring in anything – any make and model of vehicle.
“We also offer full service on anything that we sell and on any vehicle that a customer might choose to bring to us.”
Although he believes that gas-powered vehicles will be on the roads for some time yet, Olson says that McMillan Motor Products will also provide its customers with an opportunity to purchase electric vehicles as well.
“People are going to continue to buy gas-powered vehicles for a long time yet. But we’re now starting to sell electric vehicles too – which is exciting. And we now have a Fast – Charging Station here that can service two vehicles which is available for ourselves and our customers to use. And it’s a place where anyone who happens to travel to Kipling and finds they need to charge their vehicle can come to do that.”
On Friday, Mark Olson received an award from General Motors recognizing the twenty-five years that he has spent as a Dealer at McMillan Motor Products. Although he was pleased to receive the award, Olson says that the milestone was reached because of contributions from many people.
“The past twenty-five years have been a success because of the cumulative effort of a lot of people. Our tremendous, hard-working staff (both past and present) have been a key part of this. GM approved me as a Dealer and they have really been behind me throughout the years. I’ve had the support of a great family that gave me the chance to do this in the first place. And our loyal customers are the reason we do what we do – and the reason why we are able to do it. All these things have made the success we’ve seen in the past twenty-five years possible. It took a lot of people to get here.”
He adds that the years have not diminished the excitement that he feels when he comes to work in the morning.
“For me, the fact that I’ve been here for twenty-five years really doesn’t change anything. Every day here is an opportunity. Every day I’ve been in this job has been great and it has been like that from day one. It doesn’t get better than that!”

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