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September 18, 2017

FORD AND MAHINDRA FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

Ford Motor Company and Mahindra Group have agreed to explore a strategic alliance to allow each to leverage mutual strengths.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” said Jim Farley, Ford Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets. “Our two companies have a long history of cooperation and mutual respect. The memorandum of understanding we have signed today with Mahindra will allow us to work together to take advantage of the changes coming in the auto industry. The enormous growth potential in the utility market and the growing importance of mobility and affordable battery electric vehicles are all aligned with our strategic priorities.”

The areas that are of potential cooperation are:
-Mobility programs
-Connected vehicle projects
-Electrification
-Product development
-Sourcing and commercial efficiencies
-Distribution within India; improving Ford’s reach within India
-Global emerging markets; improving Mahindra’s reach outside of India

Both companies will have teams working together for up to three years, at which point further collaboration will be decided upon.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities. Today’s announcement builds on the foundation laid through our past partnership with Ford and will open opportunities for both of us.”



September 7, 2017


FOSS NATIONAL LEASING INTRODUCES NEW CLIENT PORTAL

Foss National Leasing has implemented a new and improved customer portal based on the FossFleet platform.

“We are making every effort to leverage a robust, industry-leading fleet management software platform to support our push for continuous improvement in providing our customers the best overall experience,” said David Thornton, VP of Client Services and Sales, Foss.

The portal has been optimized to work on multiple platforms allowing customers to experience a seamless fleet management interface, with improved search features and faster loading speeds.

“Our primary focus was to enhance our customers’ experience while still providing them with market leading technology. We feel very strongly that we have achieved this with the use of easy search features, larger icons and our new ‘Favourites’ tool,” said Ken Payne, VP of Client Services and Sales, Foss.

Foss National Leasing been providing fleet management services since 1967 and launched their first online client portal in 2011.



September 7, 2017

MAGNA UNVEILS MAX4 PLATFORM

Magna is introducing an autonomous driving sense and computer platform for up to level 4 autonomous driving in urban and highway conditions. The platform named MAX4 is fully integrated, customizable and scalable. It combines cameras, radar, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors with a compute platform.

"At the heart of this development is a desire to show the market Magna's breadth of capabilities and an autonomous driving enabling platform with subsystems that do not compromise the interior and exterior of a vehicle," said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna's Chief Technology Officer. "Our focus is on developing production-ready solutions that offer flexibility to integrate and the framework to enable Level 4 technology for when the market is ready."

MAX4 is designed to easily integrate with automakers current or future products. It allows for automakers to integrate the platform without having to change design or styling of their vehicles, and it does not take up cargo space or space in the main area of the vehicle.

The platform offers an option to have a cruise-control like feature to activate autonomous driving through a button. The display shows when the vehicle is in autonomous mode and can be disengage with press of the brakes or an emergency button.



September 5, 2017

TOYOTA MOTORS COLLABORATING WITH GRAB

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Financial Services Corporation (TFS), Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co.,Ltd. (Aioi) and Grab, Inc. (Grab), a ride-hailing service company in Southeast Asia, have announced a collaboration on ride-hailing in Southeast Asia.

"Through this collaboration with Grab, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to our fleet customers in Southeast Asia." said Shigeki Tomoyama, Senior Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Grab will now offer TransLog driving recorder, which was developed by The Connected Company, a Toyota Motors company, on 100 of its rental vehicles. TransLog captures driving patterns and dveliers telematics services like vehicle position to fleet customers.

"Toyota is a global leader in the automotive sector and one of the most popular brands with drivers on our platform right across Southeast Asia, and we're excited to work together to explore how we can extend more and better connected car services to our driver partners," said Anthony Tan, Grab Inc., Co-founder and CEO "We are confident this will benefit our driver partners, and we look forward to exploring other ways to collaborate with Toyota in the future."



August 31, 2017


NO TIPPING REQUIRED

Domino's Pizza, and Ford Motor Co. are testing the use of self-driving vehicles to deliver pizza, to understand how it can play a role in delivery. Researchers from both companies will be in the vehicles to gauge how customers react to having a self-driving vehicle deliver their pizza. The project will take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan to randomly-selected customers.

“As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process,” said Sherif Marakby, Vice-President, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles, Ford. “As a company focused on the customer experience, Domino’s shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people’s lives.”

The Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, will be manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer. Customers will need to agree to participate and once they do can track delivery vehicle through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker. A text message will be sent when the vehicle is close by and give a code to unlock the pizza from Domino’s Heatwave Compartment.


“As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change,” said Patrick Doyle, President and CEO, Domino. “We pride ourselves on being technology leaders and are excited to help lead research into how self-driving vehicles may play a role in the future of pizza delivery. This is the first step in an ongoing process of testing that we plan to undertake with Ford.”

Ford plans to begin production of self-driving vehicles in 2021. It is partnering with companies to conduct research to help in ensuring that the technology is used to make the customer experience as good as possible.

“I’m delighted that Ann Arbor continues to be at the forefront of autonomous-vehicle research,” said Christopher Taylor, Mayor, Ann Arbor. “While it’s pizza delivery today, my hope is that collaborations such as this will enable even more innovations tomorrow.”



August 21, 2017

FCA PARTNERS WITH BMW GROUP ON AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will be joining BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye in helping to develop an autonomous driving platform for the global market. The memorandum of understanding will make FCA the first automaker to join the cooperation, which was announced in 2016.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”

Since the announcement in July 2016, which was meant to bring Level three and Level 4/5 self-driving vehicles to market by 2021, the cooperation have been developing scalable architecture that can be used by multiple automakers. By the end of the year, 40 autonomous test vehicles are expected to be on the road.

“The two factors that remain key to the success of the cooperation are uncompromising excellence in development, and the scalability of our autonomous driving platform,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG. “With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM Level 3-5 solution on a global scale.”

Each company's strengths, capabilities and resources are meant to help to bring the technology to market sooner and with more efficiency. FCA brings its North American expertise, engineering and technical resources, and significant sales volume to the cooperation. Engineers will be located in Germany and other locations.



August 14, 2017

2018 RAM 3500 THE TORQUE OF THE TOWN

FCA Canada has announced that the 2018 Ram 3500 will be offered with 930 foot/pounds of torque and towing of 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms) using a fifth-wheel hitch.

"Ram maintains capability leadership by delivering the highest-ever torque rating for a pickup truck and heaviest fifth-wheel trailer towing capacity," said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep & Ram Brand. "We understand the attributes most important to our customers within the heavy-duty segment; they demand hard-working, long-lasting capability.”

The 6.7 litre inline-six engine offers higher boost limits and flow rates through fuel delivery system to offer 30 more ft/lbs of torque, for a total of 930.

New fifth-wheel tow rating is possible because of a new in-house hitch design from Ram Engineering. Tow ratings for gooseneck and conventional hitch are 31,210lbs (14,157kg), and 20,000lbs (9,072kg), respectively.



August 7, 2017

TOYOTA AND MAZDA ENTER INTO ALLIANCE

Toyota Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation have entered into a business and capital alliance agreement to help strengthen their ongoing partnership.

The agreement will have the companies establish a new joint venture plant to be built in the United States by 2021, with an approximate investment of $1.6 billion US, create 4,000 jobs, have a capacity of 300,000 units. Mazda expects to build crossover models at the plant, while Toyota plans to build the Corolla, both for the North American market.

“The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars. It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda,” said Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota. “This is a partnership in which those who are passionate about cars will work together to make ever-better cars. It is also the realization of our desire to never let cars become commodities.”

Further, the companies plan to:
-jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles;
-jointly develop connected-car technology;
-collaborate on advanced safety technologies;
-and expand complementary products.

“Nothing would please me more than if, through this alliance, we can help to energize the auto industry and create more car fans by bringing together two competitive spirits to spur each other on, leading to innovations and fostering talent and leaders, said Masamichi Kogai, President and CEO, Mazda.” Also as part of the alliance, both companies have a capital arrangement that will allow both companies to be independent and equal. They will each take on shares of the other company.



August 1, 2017

JD POWER STUDIES WHATS APPEALING

Porsche was ranked number one for the 13th consecutive year in the JD Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study for 2017. Genesis was ranked second, with BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz rounding out the top five.

“Many automakers are getting better and better at giving consumers what they want in a vehicle,” said Dave Sargent, Vice-President, Global Automotive, J.D. Power. “The industry is doing a very good job of creating vehicles customers like across every segment, and the APEAL study identifies why this is. One clear reason is that non-premium vehicles are increasingly offering technology and safety features found in premium vehicles.”

Many OEMs improved their scored year to year, with Chrysler improving by 41 points, MINI by 30 points, Nissan by 27, and Honda by 25.

JD Power also gave segment awards for each automotive segment. Several OEMs won multiple awards: VW AG (three for Audi, three for Porsche), BMW (two for BMW, two for MINI), Ford (two for Ford, one for Lincoln), GM (two for Chevrolet, one for Cadillac), Kia (three awards), FCA (one for Chrysler, one for Dodge), Honda (two), and Nissan (two).

Segment winners (runners-up in brackets) were:

Small Car: Chevrolet Bolt (Chevrolet Sonic, Toyota Yaris)
Small Premium Car: Audi A3, BMW 2 Series (BMW i3)
Compact Car: MINI Clubman (Honda Civic, VW Jetta)
Compact Sporty Car: MINI Cooper
Compact Premium Car: Audi A4 (Infiniti Q60, BMW 4 Series)
Midsize Car: Nissan Altima (Honda Accord, Kia Optima)
Midsize Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger (Chevrolet Camaro)
Midsize Premium Car: Audi A7, Lincoln Continental (Volvo S90)
Midsize Premium Sporty Car: Porsche 911
Large Car: Kia Cadenza (Nissan Maxima, Dodge Charger)
Small SUV: Kia Niro (Buick Encore, Kia Sportage)
Small Premium SUV: BMW X1 (Land Rover Range Rover Evoque)
Compact SUV: Honda CR-V (Nissan Rogue, Buick Envision)
Compact Premium SUV: Porsche Macan (Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3)
Compact MPV: Kia Soul
Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano (Dodge Durango, Subaru Outback)
Midsize Premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne (Audi Q7, BMW X5)
Midsize Pick-up: Honda Ridgeline (GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado)
Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe (GMC Yukon)
Large Premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade (Infiniti QX80, Mercedes-Benz GLS)
Large Light Duty Pick-up: Ford F-150 (Nissan Titan, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra)
Large Heavy Duty Pick-up: Ford Super Duty (GMC Sierra HD)



July 24, 2017

ARI NAMED TO ACHIEVERS 50 MOST ENGAGED WORKPLACES

ARI has been named as one of Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for 2017, making it the second time in a row the company has been on the list. ARI was also named to Achievers Elite 8 in the Culture category.

“We are incredibly honoured to have been recognized two years in a row and we are thrilled that ARI has been chosen as an Elite 8 winner in the category of Culture,” said Denise Wildish, Senior Vice-President for Global Service Excellence, ARI. “Our people are at the core of our success, and providing them with an environment where they are engaged and know the strategic role they play in our success is paramount to us.”

Winners for the awards are selected based on scores from Achievers eight elements of employee engagement: communication, leadership, culture, rewards and recognition, professional and personal growth, accountability and performance, vision and values, and corporate social responsibility. A panel of HR and business leaders reviews applications anonymously.

“Employee experience remains a top priority for employees in 2017,” said David Brennan, General Manager, Achievers. “The impressive Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Award winners are using rewards and recognition to foster positive, productive workplaces. We’re excited to learn from them and honour their accomplishments.”

ARI culture is based on the Partners in Excellence program it introduced in 1989.

“At the end of the day, we rely on our employees to ensure our customers are happy and Raving Fans of ARI, and so we are committed to providing them with a workplace that supports their growth, provides opportunities for collaboration, and fosters open and transparent communication,” said Wildish.



July 10, 2017


MITSUBISHI CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY WITH EXTENDED COVERAGE

Mitsubishi Motors is expanding its warranty coverage for vehicles sold in Canada for a limited time. In addition to Mitsubishi’s 10-year/160,000 kilometres powertrain warranty, now those who buy a Mitsubishi will also get 10-years/160,000km comprehensive coverage and road side assistance.

“For the summer of 2017, we’re making the best warranty in the business even better,” said Tony Laframboise, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. “The limited-time, expanded warranty promotion occurs during Mitsubishi Motors’ 100th anniversary in the auto industry.”



June 29, 2017

DEL PARTNERS WITH GIN-COR

DEL Equipment has entered into a strategic partnership with Gin-Cor Industries, which will allow for availability of more products and services, along with better operational expertise.

“The decision to partner with Gin-Cor Industries is a key step in my succession plan,” said Paul Martin, Secretary and Chairman of the Board, DEL Equipment. “We want to give the business and all of our employees the best opportunity to carry on the legacy my family has created. I am excited about partnering with Luc Stang, CEO, Gin-Cor Industries and his team, who bring strong operational expertise to DEL Equipment’s national capabilities.”

The agreement calls for Gin-Cor to become an equity partner and member of the board for DEL. Luc Stang will now be President and CEO of both companies, with current DEL president, Paul Martin becoming Secretary and Chairman of the Board of DEL.

“The strategic partnership increases both companies’ service reach and capabilities to better serve our customers and partners, and positions us well to meet the needs of customers across all jurisdictions at a time when legislation is increasingly complex,” said Luc Stang, CEO, Gin-Cor Industries. “Knowing that both companies are driven by customer satisfaction, dedicated to innovation and high-quality products, and share a similar strategic vision and business values gives me confidence that this strategic partnership will enable us to significantly increase our footprint in the industry.”



June 23, 2017

NAFA UNVEILS NEW WEB SITE

NAFA Fleet Management Association has introduced a redesigned web site (nafa.org) that is more mobile friendly while featuring improved navigation, functionality and content.

“The clean, modern look of the redesigned www.nafa.org brings first-time visitors and frequent users alike a superior showcase for all that NAFA has to offer,” said Phillip E. Russo, CAE , CEO, NAFA. “The site’s new functionality is targeted and precise, offering a user a streamlined, immersive experience.”

The redesigned web site offers: -Improved navigation and search functionality -Responsive design for mobile visitors -Sortable calendar of events -Fleet community forums -Easy access to NAFA webinars -and an enhanced purchasing experience for NAFA products and services.

“The new www.nafa.org offers fleet professionals a consistent web experience across all platforms, and brings users what they need with ease and speed. It is a phenomenal new era for NAFA’s digital presence,” said Russo.



June 23, 2017

FCA ADDS DIGITAL RETAILING SOLUTION

FCA Canada has introduced a new digital retailing solution in collaboration with Dealertrack Canada. The solution offers dealer web site enhancements that feature a more efficient, secure and transparent process for online vehicle purchase.

“Today’s consumers have high expectations from their online experience,” said Bill Levasseur, Vice-President Sales and Marketing, FCA Canada. “They are extremely well-informed and want control to purchase quickly, with security, accuracy and transparency. Our goal with the dealer website enhancements is to make the car buying experience easier by providing useful, integrated tools which simplify the process and provide consumers peace of mind.”

At the start users will have the ability to pre-qualify and apply for financing on new and used vehicles, use an enhanced payment estimator for actual vehicle inventory. Going forward, FCA plans to add a trade-in estimator, ability to reserve a vehicle with a deposit, and purchase service packages.

“Dealertrack Canada is very excited by this partnership and together, with the goal to facilitate a more efficient and satisfactory buying experience for both consumers and FCA dealers in Canada,” said Richard Evans, Vice-President and GM, Dealertrack Canada. “There is a rapid shift in consumer demand for a digital assisted buying process and additionally our Digital Retailing technology will support buyers while helping drive added volume sales for FCA retailers nationally.”



June 23, 2017

FORD FOCUS PRODUCTION MAKES WAY FOR RANGER

Ford Motor Company has announced most next generation North American Focus models will initially come from China in second half of 2019 to make way for production of the 2018 Ranger mid size pick up. Additional Focus variants will come from Europe at a later date.

“Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles,” said said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Operations.

Currently, Focus is produced at the Michigan Assembly Plant and will be built there until mid-2018. The plant will than begin building the Ranger pickup truck in late 2018, and Bronco SUV in 2020.

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