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August 17, 2015

NAFA TO HOST QUEBEC RIDE AND DRIVE

NAFA will host a ride and drive at the ICAR circuit in Mirabel, Quebec on September 10. The ride and drive is Hosted by the Quebec Chapter of NAFA, and will take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Over 70 vehicles from 12 OEM manufacturers will be available to test drive on a road circuit and on an offroad circuit. Networking opportunities will also be available.

TO view more information and to register, visit: www.eventbrite.ca/e/billets-ride-drive-2015-nafa-quebec-18096731812


August 11, 2015

GENERAL MOTORS INVESTS IN ST. CATHARINES FACILITY

General Motors Canada is investing $13 million in the St. Catharines Powertrain facility in St. Catharines, Ontario. The investment will produce more variants of the company’s 3.6 litre V-6 engine built there.

“This new investment in our St. Catharines Powertrain facility will provide us with more options and capability for the future,” said Stephen Carlisle, President and Managing Director of General Motors of Canada. “It’s another example of how GM is living up to its commitments and building solid capability for the future in Canada.”

The GM St. Catharines plant produces a range of V-6 and V-8 engines as well as transmissions for a range of GM products.




August 11, 2015

RANGER DESIGN LAUNCHES STEEL SAFETY PARTITIONS FOR SPRINTER

Ranger Design Inc., has announced the launch of a line-up of steel safety partitions for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The bulkhead partitions are built from heavy gauge steel and aluminum, and are available in several models.

The partitions are rattle free and can reduce noise, improve climate control and allow for the front seat to travel to its maximum distance.

According to Ranger, “the new Swing Door Van Partition features: full seat travel, 19-inch door opening, easy installation thanks to new installation brackets, excellent visibility due to perforated window in door center panel, and is ready to ship from the Ranger factory in five business days.”


August 4, 2015

CHEVROLET VOLT OFFERS MORE RANGE FOR 2016

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt will show an almost 40 per cent increase in range over the first generation and have a range of 53 miles (approximately 82 kilometres) on EV power alone.

“We listened to our customers,” said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer, “They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both.”

Volt is powered by an 18.4 kWh lithium-ion battery rated at 106 MPGe. When power runs low the gas-powered generator kicks in with a 1.5 litre range extender.


August 4, 2015

OTTAWA AND ONTARIO GOVERNMENTS INVEST IN TOYOTA’S ONTARIO PLANT

The Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario are investing a total of $100 million in the Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMMC) plant in Cambridge, Ontario. The investment is in addition to Toyota’s funding $421 million at the plant to launch the next generation Lexus RX350 and 450h vehicles.

"Over the past three years, we have invested more than $1 Billion in capital expenditures at our Canadian manufacturing facilities,” said Brian Krinock, President, TMMC. “The spending we are announcing today, along with recent investments in other aspects of our Canadian operations, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this country, to our Team Members, and to the community in which we do business. The new technology we're bringing here will ensure Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada continues to lead the way."

The two government investments are facilitated by the Federal Automotive Innovation Fund and the Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Fund, which support the introduction of advanced technology at TMMC and strengthen Toyota's Canadian automotive manufacturing operations generally.

Minister of State, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, said "Canada's automotive sector is a global leader in vehicle production and our Government is proud to support projects that promote Canada as a destination for future automotive investment. Our Government will continue to support policies that help create well-paying, high-quality jobs and grow the Canadian economy."

The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure added, "Our government is proud of Toyota's success in building vehicles in Ontario, with its industry-leading track record for quality and innovation. Our partnership allows Toyota to build on that success by securing their future in Ontario and leveraging new, innovative technologies to strengthen their exports and increase their competitiveness. These types of investments in Ontario's auto sector are crucial in generating significant economic activity and ensuring we continue to compete for the next generation of vehicle production."


July 28, 2015

Duramax 2.8L diesel engine
Duramax 2.8L diesel engine.
GENERAL MOTORS ADDS THE DIESEL OPTION TO 2016 CANYON AND COLORADO

General Motors announced that the 2016 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado will be equipped with a new 2.8 litre Duramax diesel engine. The engine provides a SAE-certified 181 horsepower and 369 foot/pounds of torque. It can tow up to 3,492 kilograms for 2WD (3,447 kg for 4WD).

“A diesel engine was part of the Canyon’s portfolio plan from the beginning, meaning the chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture were engineered to support it,” said Scott Yackley, Assistant Chief Engineer. “That means there are no compromises with the Canyon diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.”

Technologies included on the diesel models include a six-speed automatic transmission with a centrifugal pendulum vibration absorber in the torque converter to help reduce powertrain noise and vibration. A diesel exhaust brake, an integrated trailer brake controller, and an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case on 4WD models are standard.

Diesel engines will be available on SLE and SLT crew cab models in 2WD or 4WD. A trailering package is standard and includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector, automatic locking rear differential, 3.42 rear axle radio and four-wheel disc brakes.


July 24, 2015

INVESTOR CONSORTIUM BUYS LEASEPLAN

LeasePlan Corporation NV, parent company of LeasePlan Canada, has been sold by its 100 per cent shareholder Global Mobility Holding BV (a joint venture of Volkswagen AG and Fleet Investments BV) to a consortium of long-term investors. The sale is valued at nearly 3.7 billion EUR; the deal is expected to close at the end of 2015 pending approval by regulatory and anti-trust authorities.

"The Consortium supports LeasePlan’s existing long-term strategy and growth ambitions, and has full confidence in LeasePlan’s management," said Jeff Hartley, President, LeasePlan Canada. "Most importantly, they support our ongoing commitment to our clients worldwide to continue providing high quality and innovative fleet management products and services. This agreement will have no impact on our current working relationship with our clients so they can continue to rely on our ongoing commitment to make fleet management and driver mobility easier."

The Consortium is composed of a group of long-term investors and includes Dutch pension fund service provider PGGM, Denmark pension fund ATP, GIC, Luxinva S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP.

“Established in 1963, we have grown to become the world’s leading global fleet management and driver mobility company,” said Vahid Daemi, CEO and Chairman of the Leaseplan Managing Board. “ Today, our global franchise manages some 1.5 million multi-brand vehicles and provides global fleet management and driver mobility services in 32 countries. The change of ownership announced today marks a new era for our company and will enable LeasePlan to continue our successful journey and focus on executing our long-term strategy and growth ambitions. We remain fully committed to providing high quality and innovative fleet management and driver mobility services to our clients worldwide.”

Vahid Daemi will continue as CEO, and Chairman of the Managing Board at Leaseplan.

Eric-Jan Vink of PGGM, said on behalf of the Consortium: “As market leader in the global fleet management business, LeasePlan offers an attractive long-term investment opportunity. We are investing in the future of a company with an unmatched portfolio of market-leading assets, a highly knowledgeable and dedicated employee base and a sound strategy for the future, under highly experienced management. The Consortium looks forward to supporting the management team as they focus on growing the business.”


June 30, 2015

ELEMENT TO ACQUIRE GE CAPITAL FLEET OPERATIONS

Element Financial Corporation will acquire GE Capital fleet management operations in the United States and Mexico as well as Australia and New Zealand for $8.6 billion CDN.

“Adding these very high quality businesses to our existing fleet operations firmly establishes Element as a leader in the North American fleet management industry,” said Steven Hudson, CEO, Element Financial Corporation. “But more importantly, by combining these businesses we’re being given an unprecedented opportunity to bring together the systems, technologies, products and people that have helped to define excellence in the fleet management industry in North America for more than five decades.”

The transaction covers assets, employees, systems, offices, agreements, intellectual property and other assets.

Also, Arval, an owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas, as well as an Element founding partner in the Element-Arval Global Alliance, has entered into a memorandum of understanding to acquire GE Capital’s fleet operations in Europe.

“We see the opportunity to expand our fleet management operations into Australia and New Zealand as an excellent fit with our established North American operations,” said Bradley Nullmeyer, President, Element Financial Corporation. “In addition to strengthening our ability to support international fleet customers through these transactions, we believe the economic scale of Element’s expanded fleet management enterprise will enable us to accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation of advanced fleet analytics and data benchmarking tools. These expanded and enhanced service offerings will further differentiate Element Fleet Management in the market and deliver incremental cost savings for our fleet customers.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals. The North American portion of the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015; in the 4th quarter of 2015 Australia and New Zealand will close.


June 24, 2015

Mercedes-Benz Thornhill
Mercedes-Benz Thornhill.
MERCEDES- BENZ CANADA NEW FLAGSHIP DEALERSHIP

Mercedes-Benz Canada celebrates the opening of a new flagship retail facility in Thornhill, Ontario.

The dealership embodies the Auto Haus design concept with over 40 showroom vehicles, 32 service bays, six detailing bays, six vehicle drives-through as well as dedicated AMG Performance and Smart centres. It also includes a 36,000 sq-ft pre-owned vehicle showroom.

“We have been privileged to be an integral part of this strong and vibrant community for almost 27 years,” said Philipp von Witzendorff, VP & Head of Toronto Retail Operations. “The mantra of our brand is ‘The Best or Nothing’, and it is our consummate objective to live by these words in every single aspect of the day-to-day operations of this dealership. We initiated this massive undertaking because our customers deserve the best products and service possible and this goes hand-in-hand with an excellent overall dealership experience. We are very proud of this new flagship location but we are even more excited about the opportunity to provide an entirely revamped level of service to our customers in Thornhill and its surrounding areas."


June 22, 2015

Mike Whelan
Mike Whelan.
MIKE WHELAN PASSES AWAY

Mike Whelan, Senior Manager of Integration Services at Wheels, Inc., passed away June 3, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was 46 years old.

Mike joined Wheels in 2000 as a Senior Account Executive, and spent most of his career at Wheels managing our Canadian / North American Operations. He made many wonderful contributions to our company and our clients – our teams in the U.S. Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico will miss him very much.

Mike is survived by his two daughters, Amanda and Kaitlyn. If you would to make a donation, please do so in Mike’s honor to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.



June 16, 2015
RANGER DESIGN PARTNERS WITH LEGEND FLEET SOLUTIONS

Ranger Design Inc., has partnered with Legend Fleet Solutions and will stock and ship Legend UltraGrip floors. The floor option is compatible with Ranger’s full scope of commercial van products.

“We are very excited to work with Legend” said Jay Cowie, Product Manager for Ranger Design. “Teaming up with them will now allow our customers more options and offer them one stop shopping saving them time and shipping costs.”

The Legend UltraGrip floor is precut, offers anti-slip protection, and is constructed with a rigid heavy duty, non-porous rubber coated surface.

June 2, 2015
FORD TO LAUNCH SYNC 3 IN SUMMER

Ford Sync 3.
Ford Sync 3.
Ford Motor Company has announced it will launch the next generation SYNC system this summer on 2016 Ford Escape and Ford Fiesta models.

“SYNC always has been about providing a safer way for our customers to connect their smartphones in order to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel,” said Mark LaNeve, Vice-President, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company. “Customers continue to tell us they want this technology, and they want it to be fast and easy to use – like a smartphone. SYNC 3 delivers on that request.”

The new system is designed to be easier to use and faster. With changes and improvements focussed on simplification of the command structure for voice activated controls, integration of Siri eyes-free capability, and improvement of the interface, which now uses capacitive touch screen technology. Also, software updates can now be had over a Wifi network.

June 2, 2015
LEASEPLAN CANADA LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE

LeasePlan Canada new web site
LeasePlan Canada new web site.
LeasePlan Canada created a new web site with PDF downloads of key services, user-friendly navigation, and search functionality.

LeasePlan’s goal for the new site is present; to build a clean, informative site. The company describes the site as more interactive and intuitive for visitors.

Several drop-down menus outlining each product and service are displayed. The site is optimized for desktop and mobile browsing, The new web site can be seen at www.leaseplan.ca.

June 2, 2015
NAFA QUEBEC CHAPTER RIDE AND DRIVE

NAFA’s Quebec Chapter will hold a ride and drive at the ICAR circuit in Mirabel, Quebec on September 10. Vehicles from a range of OEMs will be available.

Participants will have the choice of an on or off-road circuit. As usual, a full slate of NAFA and fleet industry representatives will attend.

May 19, 2015
NAFA ONTARIO 2015 GOLF TOURNAMENT

NAFA Ontario will host the 2015 Charity Golf Tournament at Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinburg, Ontario Thursday, May 28. For the third year funds raised will go to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. The 2014 fundraiser had sponsors and participants raise $25,800 for charity.

“We have over 30 corporate sponsors from across the fleet industry along with several unique prize packages that are available for an additional donation, including a keg of St-Ambroise beer from McAuslan Brewery, a television from North Toronto Auction and a duffle bag full of golf balls and a cash prize from FCA Canada,” said Mike Cole, Ministry Of Transport.

Over 140 golfers are expected to play. The planning committee included Jennifer Chapman, Foss National Leasing; Mike Cole, NAFA Vice-President for Canada; Chris Hill, Fleet Challenge; Jo-Anne Lamontagne, Mercedes-Benz Canada; Jeff Meggitt, York Region; and Stu Ralph, North Toronto Auction.

For more information, contact: Jennifer Chapman, at jennchapman70@gmail.com.

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