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Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled its new multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The system uses artificial intelligence to learn, adapt to the user and can be individualized. Over the air updates are also part of the system. Natural speech recognition (activated by saying “Hey Mercedes”) uses MBUX's LINGUATRONIC, which can obey virtually every command, recognizing almost all sentences from fields of infotainment and vehicle operation.

“New technologies must focus on the people using them and make their life simpler. That’s why we combine intuitive and natural operation with intelligent and learning software in MBUX”, says Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

MBUX will offer a high-resolution widescreen cockpit (a combination of touchscreen, touchpad, and touch-control buttons on steering wheel) and navigation with augmented reality technology with voice control. Three cockpit versions will be available: two seven-inch displays, two 10.25-inch displays (with resolution of 1920 by 720 pixels) and one seven-inch and one 10.25-inch display.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class
“With MBUX we have come another step closer to turning the vehicle into a mobile assistant”, emphasises Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler. “The system's ability to learn is spectacular and unique to date in the car industry. We are using artificial intelligence to give the user individual suggestions based on their habits. The algorithm we use for this is optimised for on-board use in the vehicle and exploits the opportunities afforded by the latest chip generation.”

The system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Baidu CarLife (China); as well as smartwatches using watchOS and Android Wear 2.0.

MBUX is set to enter production on the new A‑Class this spring.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi have launched Alliance Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund, that plans to invest up to $1 Billion in the next five years toward supporting open innovation.

"Our open innovation approach will allow us to invest and collaborate with start-up companies and technology entrepreneurs, who will benefit from the global scale of the Alliance,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. “This new fund reflects the collaborative spirit and entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of the Alliance."

An investment of $200 Million is expected in the first year going towards start-ups and open innovation partnerships with technology entrepreneurs, which are focused vehicle electrification, autonomous systems, connectivity, and AI.

Alliance Ventures first deal is with US-based Ionic Materials, a company developing solid-state cobalt-free battery materials.

"This investment initiative is designed to attract the world's most promising automotive-technology start-ups to the Alliance," said Ghosn.

François Dossa will lead Alliance Ventures, he was most recently CEO of Nissan Brazil. He has over 20 years of investment banking experience, and has been with the Alliance for six years.

Alliance Ventures will be funded jointly by Nissan (40 per cent), Renault (40 per cent) and Mitsubishi Motors (20 per cent). It will be co-located in Silicon Valley, USA, Paris, France, Yokohama, Japan and Beijing, China.


The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) named their category finalists for the 2018 Canadian Car Utility Vehicle of the Year awards.


The 2018 North America Car Utility and Truck of the Year award winners were announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, recently.

January 12, 2018


Ford has announced the addition of a 3.0-litre Power Stroke diesel engine to the F-150 line-up. The engine, now available for order, cranks out 250 horsepower and 440 foot/pounds of torque. It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with standard auto start-stop. It has capacities of with 2,020lbs payload and 11,400lbs of towing.

“For every truck owner who wants strong fuel economy while they tow and haul, we offer a new 3.0-litre Power Stroke® V6 engine that dreams are made of,” said Dave Filipe, Vice-President Global Powertrain Engineering. “The more you tow and the longer you haul, the more you’ll appreciate its class-leading towing and payload capacity and how efficient it is at the pump.”

The Power Stroke engine in the F-150 shares technology with the 6.7L used in the Super Duty. It also uses compacted-graphite iron block material construction and forged-steel crank used in the 2.7L EcoBoost engine. A high-efficiency variable-geometry turbocharger is used to reduce turbo lag and offer better response.

Ford used a mechanical engine-driven fan and dual radiator shutters to improve performance in high temperature and high altitude. In moderate conditions the fan load is reduced byway of a viscous coupler, closing two radiator shutters.

“We know that competing diesels with electric cooling fans have to dial back on power under extreme heat and altitude, so we decided on a viscous-controlled mechanical fan that has the capacity to move much more air across the radiator and intercooler in extreme conditions,” said David Ives, Ford diesel engine technical specialist. “This gives F-150 Power Stroke owners more power and more passing capability in harsh conditions.”

Fleet customers can get the Power Stroke diesel engine on all F-150 trim levels with SuperCrew 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5 foot bed. Deliveries are expected to begin in spring.

January 12, 2018


Hyundai Motor Company and Cisco announced that they will produce a next-generation hyperconnected car, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hyundai plans to offer the new in-vehicle network in their 2019 premium vehicles.

“Hyundai Motor Group’s ongoing collaboration with top global technology companies is a testament to our ‘open innovation’ spirit; one that will prepare us for continued leadership as transportation and mobility undergo an unprecedented evolution,” said Seung-ho Hwang, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group's Auto Intelligence Business Department. “Our partnership with Cisco is an outstanding example of such efforts, and in 2019 we will unveil the first vehicle equipped with groundbreaking connected-car technologies jointly developed by the two companies.”

The platform will be configurable, secure, and offer flexibility for design and building of new services. Over the air updates will be provided which allow for faster time to bring capabilities to the market. Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) architecture is set to be used and offers integrated, multi-layer security, and full end-to-end networking. In vehicle bandwidth is set to increase with development of a 1Gbps Ethernet.

“Cisco is pleased to bring a standards-based approach in partnership with the automotive industry; one that will help accelerate innovation and increase the value to the consumer,” said Ruba Borno, Vice President, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO, Cisco. “By creating a flexible, scalable, and secure platform, we are allowing automotive companies to deliver better cars – faster.”

January 12, 2018


Mazda and Toyota announced that they will be building a joint-venture manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Mazda makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the earth,” said Masamichi Kogai, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation. “By making such cars here in Alabama, we hope that over time our plant will come to occupy a special place in the hearts of our employees and the local community. By making this plant a vibrant part of that community, we hope to work, learn and grow together with the people of Alabama and Huntsville.”

The plant is expected to have a build capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year, with each company splitting production evenly. Toyota will build the Corolla, and Mazda will be building a to-be introduced crossover.

“Our investment to establish a new vehicle assembly plant with Mazda builds on the strong success we have enjoyed in Alabama where we produce engines for the North American market,” said Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corporation. “Starting from 2021, I’m confident that we will run a highly competitive plant, by bringing together the expertise of Toyota and Mazda as well as the excellent Alabama workforce. We are committed to being another ‘best-in town’ company in the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama, a new hometown for Toyota and Mazda.”

The facility is expected to begin production in 2021, and create up to 4,000 jobs. Mazda and Toyota will equally fund the $1.6 billion investment.

“The partnership between Mazda and Toyota will expand innovative automotive manufacturing in Alabama,” said Kay Ivey, Alabama Governor. “Their decision to locate this new facility in Huntsville is a testament to the talented workforce in our state. We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle were also on hand at the announcement.

“With this announcement, our world changes overnight,” said Battle. “Mazda and Toyota, two of the world’s most innovative automakers, have created a legacy project that will provide jobs for decades to come for Huntsville and Alabama. It vaults Alabama to the top as an industry leader in producing the next generation of cars that will power our nation.”

January 8, 2018


BlackBerry Limited will collaborate with Baidu, Inc. on the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive OEMs and suppliers globally.

“BlackBerry QNX has established itself as the OS platform for safety-certified production-based systems,” said Li Zhenyu, GM of Intelligent Driving Group, Baidu. “We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to fully autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities. By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems. Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems.”

An agreement of intent between the companies will have BlackBerry QNX operating system form the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform. They will also integrate Baidu CarLife (a smartphone integration software for connected cars in China), DuerOS (a conversational AI system), and HD maps into QNX Car infotainment platform.

“Joining forces with Baidu will enable us to - explore integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems including ADAS, infotainment, gateways, and cloud services,” said John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM, BlackBerry QNX. “Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning. These advancements paired with their high-definition maps and BlackBerry’s safety-critical embedded software and expertise in security will be crucial ingredients for autonomous vehicles.”

December 21, 2017


A Health Canada survey conducted earlier this year found that 50 per cent of respondents who used cannabis in the last 12 months are unclear about the effects of cannabis on driving. The majority of respondents did not specify how much time it takes to drive safely after cannabis use.

"Driving while impaired by cannabis or other drugs is dangerous and illegal. The message is simple – don't drive high," said The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

39% of respondents who have used cannabis in the last twelve months, drove within 2 hours of consumption. 15 per cent also consumed alcohol, while eight per cent also consumed another drug.

The Health Canada survey was conducted between March and May 2017 and asked 9,215 Canadians about their knowledge, behaviours and attitudes towards cannabis use.

December 21, 2017


Malley Industries is the first company in Canada to earn Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) new Q-PRO Engineering Program qualification. Only five companies in North America have the qualification, which offers high qualify RAM commercial vehicle upfitting.

“Because this comprehensive engineering quality program examined all aspects of our company’s operations, this achievement is something that every one of our employees has contributed to in some way,” said Terry Malley, President and CEO, Malley. “I am extremely proud of our staff.”

Malley becomes part of a group of industry experts who are dedicated to exceeding FCA’s customer expectations for quality, reliability, dependability, regulatory compliance, standardized process controls, warranty and continuous improvement.

December 21, 2017


Ford has upgraded its 6.7 litre Power Stroke diesel engine to increase the capability of its Super Duty.

“Super Duty customers expect the best, and for 2018 we’re giving our customers even more power and torque from our 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel – delivering the most horsepower and torque available among all heavy-duty pickups,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Plus, our new F-450 pickup now includes a 4X2 model, enabling our customers to get more done with the segment’s best payload and towing.”

The updated engine has redesigned cylinder heads and optimized fuel and turbo boost calibrations for increased cylinder head capacity, which offers more horsepower and torque, as well as added strength under load .

The Super Duty now offers 450hp (up 10hp), 935 foot/pounds of torque (up 10 ft/lbs), and 34,000 lbs of gooseneck towing when properly equipped on the new F-450 4x2.

December 14, 2017


Enterprise Holdings, has been named as one of the best employers in the GTA by Mediacorp Canada Inc., as part of its annual Greater Toronto’s Top Employers competition. Enterprise holdings is the only rental car company named to the list of 100 winners.

“The GTA has always attracted the best and brightest from across the country,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which manages the GTA competition. “Other parts of Canada have long watched with dismay at the numbers of educated and talented young people moving to Toronto. But today the GTA is a beacon for talented people from around the world – and employers in this region now lead the nation when it comes to offering progressive HR policies and initiatives that reflect such a varied and diverse population.”

The evaluation process focused on eight aspects: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time-off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

“It is an honour to be recognized among such reputable employers in Toronto,” said Margi Dolan, Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources, Enterprise Holdings in Canada. “Our drive for employer excellence comes from the nature of our corporate culture, which is to take care of our employees and the communities in which they live and work.”

December 13, 2017


Geotab Roadside will be available to clients in Canada and the US. Geotab Roadside is available through Geotab Marketplace and can help to reduce vehicle downtown as a result of roadside assistance management from request to completion.

“Helping companies maximize their vehicle uptime, increase productivity and achieve first-class customer service has always been a top priority for Geotab,” said Neil Cawse, CEO, Geotab. “Geotab Roadside will add a new level of convenience for our customers, reducing time spent on the phone and waiting on the side of the road to get you back to what you do best - running your business. Leveraging telematics to make the service even better adds a new wrinkle to roadside assistance.”

Using Rapitow, Geotab Roadside allows users to request assistance through MyGeotab or the Geotab Drive app, it than provides estimated arrival time and location of service vehicle. Light-duty vehicles that are on Geotab’s ProPlus plan get complimentary battery boost, fuel delivery, or 25 miles of tow. Those who need additional services or who do not have the plan can pay using MyGeotab or Geotab Drive app.

December 6, 2017


ALD Automotive Wheels Global Alliance has launched a global data visualization and reporting solution,

“Global clients often work with multiple partners around the world and are frequently challenged to compile a complete and aggregated picture of their fleet,” said Dan Frank, President and CEO, Wheels. “We’re excited to help clients gain control of their own data with our new tool that generates meaningful insights and facilitates optimal decision making.”

The Global Fleet Reporting solution is available to clients of the ALD Wheels Global Alliance, and offers consolidated fleet manager that allows clients to manage fleets globally. It also allows for assembling and analyzing fleet inventory at vehicle level, and cost data at aggregated level. Managers can also look at fuel economy, CO², and average emission rating; and country specific market statistics, trends and regulations.

“Our digital Global Fleet Reporting solution was designed to simplify the data assessment and analysis process for fleet managers with a truly global approach,” said John Saffrett, Chief Operating Officer, ALD. “It is imperative that our global clients have a clear and concise overview of how their fleet is performing across the globe and GFR will play an integral role in ensuring that our clients benefit from the very best in operational excellence.”

December 6, 2017


EMKAY was named as one of the Top 5 Most Awarded for the 2017 Best in Biz Awards. It was named a winner in multiple categories:

-Most Customer Friendly Company of the Year – Silver
-Support Department of the Year – Silver
-Blog of the Year – Gold

The awards were introduced in 2011, and are considered to be the only independent business awards program judged by reporters and editors from top-tier publications from North America and around the world. The awards are split into North America and International, with 65 total categories.

For a complete list of winners, visit:

December 4, 2017


Motor Trend magazine has named the Ford F-150 as its 2018 Truck of the Year. This is the second year in a row for Ford, who won the 2017 award with the Ford Super Duty.

“Back-to-back wins for F-150 and Super Duty reflect what we’re also seeing and hearing from customers as we celebrate 40 straight years as America’s favorite and best-selling trucks,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and president, North America. “The Ford Truck team stretched further than ever to deliver our toughest, most capable and smartest trucks.”

F-150 along with other competitors were put through their paces in empirical and rear-world testing that focused on the key criteria of: advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, value, efficiency and performance of intended function.

“This year’s competition was fierce, but the vote was unanimous,” said Ed Loh, Motor Trend editor in chief. ”The newly redesigned 2018 F-150 exceeded our expectations in every category – powertrain, performance, technology and overall execution.”

Four variations of the F-150 were tested: F-150 XL with 3.3-liter V6 engine, F-150 Lariat with 2.7L EcoBoost, F-150 Platinum with 5.0L V8, and F-150 Raptor. Features that were favourites for the judges included: overall towing capability, advanced technology functionality and powertrain performance, as well as naming the top strengths as: fuel economy, innovative cab design, and on- and off-road driving performance.

Judges cited overall towing capability, advanced among their favorite F-150 attributes. They also noted exemplary on- and off-road driving performance, best-in-class fuel economy and innovative cab design as F-150 strengths.

December 4, 2017


The Alfa Romeo Giulia has been named as the 2018 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine.

“The Motor Trend Car of the Year award acknowledges all of the hard work, dedication and passion that went into developing the entire Giulia lineup – including our record-breaking Giulia Quadrifoglio – which revolutionizes the segment and pays tribute to our storied heritage and racing pedigree,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “We are honoured to be the first Italian brand to ever receive this prestigious award and we’re excited for the future of Alfa Romeo here in North America and abroad.”

The Car of the year program is open to any all-new or substantially upgraded models. Vehicles are put through performance tests to measure acceleration, braking, and limit handling. They are evaluated on three courses at a professional automotive test centre, and then finalists are chosen.

“Motor Trend’s judges agreed that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is the new ultimate driving machine,” said Ed Loh, Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief. “Alfa Romeo developed a car that is perhaps the finest handling sedan on the market.”

Judges evaluated all contenders against six criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, efficiency, value, and performance of intended function.

December 4, 2017


Motor Trend magazine has named the Honda CR-V as its 2018 SUV of the year.

“The 2018 Motor Trend award is a testament to the highly-skilled and dedicated Honda associates at our manufacturing plants across North America, including our team at Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario,” said Jean Marc Leclerc, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Honda Canada. “Every new Honda CR-V sold in Canada is built right here in Canada, for Canadians, by Canadians.”

The CR-V beat out 25 other contenders through evaluations by 11 Motor Trend editors, writers and testers. CR-V previously won the award as the 2015 SUV of the Year.

One of the three plants that build the Honda CR-V is in Alliston, Ontario.

December 4, 2017


Maven, General Motors personal mobility initiative, will use Element Fleet Management to provide maintenance and accident services for its car-sharing fleet in the United States.

"Maven's growth as a dynamic mobility platform has been remarkable over the two years since we launched. Element is helping Maven ensure our members can be there for the moments that matter by ensuring our vehicles are well maintained," said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. "Element is one of the world's leading fleet managing companies, and this experience makes them an ideal partner to support our customers as we continue to grow."

Element will manage Maven vehicles through its managed maintenance service, where if a vehicle needs repairs or preventive maintenance, drivers or Maven employees can visit an authorized national and independent vehicle maintenance service provider that is in Element’s fleet maintenance and repair network.

"Our analytics-driven services and hands-on fleet management strategies are designed to keep all fleets on the road, but are especially critical for the Maven brand as they work to bring cost-effective car-sharing to more cities," said Kristi Webb, president and CEO of Element Fleet Management, North America. "Personal mobility and car sharing are changing the way people and businesses engage with their communities and serve customers - and this demands that we adapt core fleet managing practices to a changing world. We are extremely pleased to work with Maven to make this happen."

Element will analyze work estimates and recommend the best repair facilities to use, while also negotiating prices on repairs. Element will also provide accident services, from first notice of loss to having the vehicle back in service.

December 4, 2017


CARPROOF Corporation will launch a Product Lab in Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ontario.

"Setting up the Product Lab gives us access to the world-class tech eco-system within Communitech," says Greg Beckman, vice-president of product management at CARPROOF. "Being a part of this family brings invaluable opportunities to connect with new partners, networks and talent."

The Hub is home to over 1,400 tech companies.

"We're uniquely positioned to provide data, insights and intelligence to the Canadian auto sector through the extensive relationships we've built with our customers and industry partners," says Beckman. "CARPROOF's new space at Communitech further establishes our role as a leader and innovator in the Canadian automotive space, and a driver of positive change through data and technology."

November 23, 2017


Volvo Cars and Uber have signed a framework agreement that will see the company sell autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”

The XC90 vehicles that will be supplied to Uber were worked on by Volvo Cars engineers and engineers from Uber. The vehicles offer al safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies, with Uber adding its own self-driving technology.

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo,” said Jeff Miller, Head of Auto Alliances, Uber. “This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”

November 23, 2017


Foss National Leasing and PBL Insurance Limited have launched a referral program which provides an insurance product for its clients.

“We have worked extremely hard with PBL to design an exclusive insurance product to meet the needs of Foss customers.” said Basil Marcus, Director, Business Development and Marketing, Foss National Leasing. “PBL is offering Foss National Leasing clients an extremely comprehensive and competitive product that eases the complications of buying Fleet Insurance. It is very important for us to be constantly looking for ways to provide additional value to our customers.”

The product named Fleet First Insurance, is underwritten by AVIVA Canada and offers Foss clients coverage that includes:
* $5,000,000 Third Party Liability
* Fully Enhanced Accident Benefits for Designated Drivers
* Endorsements 27, 43 & 20 Included
* Unlimited deletions or additions on a pro-rata basis
* Nationwide coverage (Where Applicable)
* Extremely Competitive Fleet Auto Insurance Pricing

“Like Foss National Leasing, PBL provides their clients with specific and unique solutions to increasingly challenging needs without sacrificing overall. While we are leaders in the development of solutions for fleets of various sizes, we are confident that PBL matches our dedication in doing similarly with respect to insurance solutions,” said Marcus.

November 23, 2017

(From left) Lauren Bugay, Alexandra Miller and Scott Hawrelak, ARI; Philip Fogarty, KPMG Enterprise; Ben Clozza and Peter Nogalo, ARI.

ARI was named Employer of the Year at the Business Awards of Excellence hosted by Mississauga Board of Trade.

“We are delighted to receive this award,” said Rick Tousaw, Senior VP and General Manager, ARI Canada. “Being named Employer of the Year in Mississauga highlights to our neighbours and to the local community something we have long known, that ARI is a great place to work and build a career. We strive to foster a workplace that is supportive, collaborative and based around a culture of family. At ARI, we invest in our people’s development and well-being, because at the end of the day, our success as a business is the direct result of their hard work and dedication.”

The awards are given to Mississauga business and individuals who have made contributions to the economic and social well business of the city.

Criteria for the award included:
-Integration of training, education and development for employees
-Fosters a positive workplace culture
-Provides fair compensation and benefits
-Embraces workplace diversity
-Promotes work-life balance
-Commitment to fostering innovation and growth.

November 20, 2017


Foss National Leasing has partnered with Canadian Tire becoming the sole provider of a Canadian Tire branded commercial fleet card. The Canadian Tire Fleet management card offers Canadian Tire commercial customers a way to securely, reliably and conveniently pay for their fuel and vehicle related purchases.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Canadian Tire Petroleum,” said Jeff Hartley, President, Foss National Leasing. “the combination of Canadian Tire Petroleum’s reputation and reach in the Canadian market and Foss National Leasing’s commercial fleet management tools is extremely powerful. We look forward to helping the Canadian Tire commercial customers with their fuel management and additional fleet management tools in the future.”

Canadian Tire has over 300 gas stations and over 500 retail location, while Foss offers fleet management technology and tools, helping Canadian Tire customers manage their company fuel and automotive expenses. Customers will also have access to fuel discounts, detailed reporting, on-demand roadside assistance and discounted car washes.

November 20, 2017


Canfield Equipment has been presented with the 2017 Upfit Supplier of the Year Award by Wheels Inc at its headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois.

“Canfield has continuously operated at a high level of excellence throughout 2017, and it is our privilege to commemorate their success with the Wheels Up-Fit Supplier of the Year Award,” said Joe Brightwell, Supply Chain, Quality and Operational Excellence Manager. “Not only did Canfield provide outstanding performance across every category, but they are also a great partner and highly engaged in strategic initiatives to help Wheels meet our client needs, including our Roadmap to Supplier Success and Operating Cost Reduction programs.”

Wheels began the Upfit supplier of the year award last year, it is meant to reward the upfitter who has the best annual overall performance.

November 14, 2017


Toyota Canada Inc., will build an Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre in Bowmanville, Ontario. Construction is set to begin in early 2018, with an opening date of fall 2019.

“The land we’ve chosen in Bowmanville will help meet the needs of our parts operations in Eastern Canada by providing us with direct access to major transportation routes, and offering the ability to accommodate future growth,” said Larry Hutchinson, President and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc. “The Municipality of Clarington has been very welcoming of our new home for our Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre, and we are excited to be part of this growing community’s future.”

The centre will be built on 30 acres of land near Baseline Road and Lambs Road in Bowmanville. It will replace the current parts distribution centre in Toronto, in order to keep up with growing demand and future growth.

“We’re delighted to welcome Toyota to the Municipality of Clarington. Our staff and the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development worked closely with Toyota to ensure that the new parts distribution centre in Bowmanville satisfies Toyota’s needs while benefitting our community,” said Adrian Foster, Clarington Mayor. “Clarington is a growing municipality that provides exceptional opportunity. We will continue to work to attract businesses to invest here and bring jobs for our residents; this investment by Toyota is a major step forward in achieving that goal.”

November 3, 2017


Nissan Canada has announced that the TITAN XD will now be available with a Snow Plow Prep Package. The package includes high-capacity heavy duty front spring that can be used with snow plows from Boss, Fisher, Meyer, SnowEx and Western.

“Experts are predicting a typically snowy Canadian winter again this year, meaning there should be plenty of opportunities for individual and fleet snow plow business operators,” said Steve Rhind, director of marketing at Nissan Canada Inc. “Get your new TITAN XD ready this fall… and let it snow!”

The package is available on TITAN XD Gas Crew Cab with V-8 gas engine in S and SV trim. The new springs allow for the GAWR capacity to be increased by 575 pounds (to 4,900 lbs), which in turn allows for fitment of snowplows up to 786 pounds (for S trim models).

“When the roads are covered with snow and ice and you’re out clearing a parking lot in the dead of night, you better have confidence in the truck behind the plow,” said Rhind. “We’re proud to say that the TITAN XD is built as tough as the hard-working people taking on the job of keeping Mother Nature at bay.”

November 3, 2017

2018 Ford F-150

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has named the 2018 Ford F-150 as its Truck of Texas.

"With the new 2018 F-150, we're honored to earn back-to-back Truck of Texas awards for F-Series, a recognition that speaks to the truck team's dedication to our hard-working customers," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and president of North America. "That's especially true here in Texas - truck capital of the world.”

The SUV of Texas was 2018 Volvo XC60, CUV of Texas was 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport, while best heavy duty pickup truck: was 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten, and the best commercial vehicle was 2018 Nissan Titan King Cab SV. A complete list of winner is available below.

TAWA held its annual two-day Truck Rodeo at Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, with 75 journalists evaluating 64 vehicles in 21 categories. Testing was done on local streets and off-road courses. OEM engineers were on hand to help with any questions journalists had. The evalution process focused on interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.

“The competition was incredibly fierce at this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo,” said Nic Phillips, President, TAWA. “More than 70 member journalists put in more 300 hours of driving time evaluating the vehicles presented. The results in several categories are separated by the narrowest of margins, just tenths, and hundredths of a point, confirming just how competitive the trucks and utility vehicles are today,” Phillips said. “Ford’s 2018 F-150 Pickup, boosted by its extreme performance 2018 Raptor model along with updated EcoBoost engines and 10-speed transmissions, convinced our journalists to bestow the trophy,” he said. “Nissan was the most overall awarded brand with five category wins, Mazda swept non-luxury CUVs, and Alfa Romeo’s all-new Stelvio Ti Sport took CUV of Texas.”

Complete list of winners:
Truck of Texas: 2018 Ford F150
SUV of Texas: 2018 Volvo XC60
CUV of Texas: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport
Heavy duty pickup truck: 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten
Best commercial vehicle: 2018 Nissan Titan King Cab SV
Luxury pickup truck: 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork
Off-road pickup: 2017 Ford F150 Raptor
Full-size pickup: 2018 Nissan Titan Midnight Edition
Midsize pickup: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Best technology: Nissan Pro Pilot
Best connectivity: Volvo XC60
Best powertrain: Volvo XC60
Off-road utility vehicle: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Recon
Sub-Compact SUV: 2017 Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk
Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
Mid-size Luxury SUV: 2018 Volvo XC60
Compact Luxury SUV: 2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD
Full-size SUV: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
Full-size CUV: 2018 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
Mid-size CUV: 2017 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring GT
Compact CUV: 2018 Mazda CX3 Grand Touring FWD
Luxury CUV: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

October 2, 2017


In 1918, Chevrolet introduced the One-Ton truck, a century later, the 2018 model year marks 100 years of truck sales for the company. Over 85 million trucks have been sold since the first One-Ton and to mark the anniversary, Chevrolet is holding a 100-day Centennial Celebration.

“The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us, and is equally important to our customers,” said Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks Advertising and Marketing director. “That’s why we will be celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks over the course of the next 100 days. It’s important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment.”

Chevrolet began the Centennial Celebration at the State Fair of Texas where they announced the many ways the company is commemorating the occasion.

First is the introduction of Centennial Editions of the Silverado and Colorado. Silverado models will be based on LTZ Z71 trim in crew cab form, and add: front and rear heritage bowtie emblems, 100 year door badge, spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem, accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems, centennial blue exterior paint, 22” painted wheels with chrome inserts with all-terrain tires, chrome tow hooks, and chrome bowtie on steering wheel.

Colorado models will also be based on Z71 trim, but be available in crew cab or extended cab versions, and add: front and rear heritage bowtie emblems, 100 year door badge, spray-in bedliner with heritage bowtie emblem, accessory floor liners with heritage bowtie emblems, centennial blue exterior paint, body-color rear bumper and front grille surround, LT Optional 18” wheels with monochromatic cap, chrome tow hooks, belt moulding, mirror caps and door handles.

Second, Chevrolet will roll our its Truck Legends program nationally. The program recognizes customers who own a Chevy Truck with over 100,000 miles or who have owned more than one Chevy Truck. The program gives customers access to a members-only online community, Truck Legends merchandise and experiences through Chevrolet partnerships (including concert tickets, MLB events and sneak peaks of new Chevrolet models).

Third, Chevrolet will be be selling special merchandise with the heritage bowtie emblem. Finally, a Chevy Trucks Centennial Celebration will be held on December 16, 2017.

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