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December 6, 2016

FINALISTS NAMED FOR NORTH AMERICAN CAR/TRUCK/UTILITY VEHICLE OF THE YEAR

The finalists for the North American Car of the Year, North America Truck of the Year, and North American Utility Vehicle of the Year awards were announced at Automobility LA in Los Angeles, California.

The finalists for North American Car of the Year are:
-Chevrolet Bolt
-Genesis G90
-Volvo S90.

Finalists for Truck of the Year are:
-Ford F-Series Super Duty
-Honda Ridgeline
-Nissan Titan

Finalists for Utility Vehicle of the Year are:
-Chrysler Pacifica
-Jaguar F-Pace
-Mazda CX-9

New for 2017 is the North America Utility Vehicle of the year award, which was added as the popularity of SUV vehicles grows. Winners of each award will be announced on January 9, 2017 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.


November 28, 2016

NEW BEGINNING FOR GENESIS


Genesis G90.
Genesis Motors Canada has been launched with the G80 and G90 models. Genesis promises to be a human-focused brand with innovation and a modern comprehensive online platform.

“We recognize that most every vehicle competing in the luxury segment is a well-designed product. It has to be; an excellent car is what all luxury customerS expect from the outset. Genesis is different and goes beyond exceptional cars by providing a human-centred purchase and ownership experience,” says Michael Ricciuto, Director, Genesis. “Genesis will bring the brand into customers’ lives in a harmonious way, saving them time with simplified, set pricing, fully-equipped models, and the Genesis at Home concierge service for sales and service.”

With Genesis at Home potential owners can select a convenient location and have a demonstration and vehicle test drive with a Genesis representative. As well paper work for lease or finance, an order for a new vehicle or making a deposit can all be done through the Genesis digital platform. Additionally, pricing is all-inclusive so all delivery and destination charges are part of the initial quote.

Scheduled maintenance and navigation software updates are complimentary for five years or 100,000 kilometres. Genesis at Home concierge service also allows owners to have their vehicle picked up for scheduled maintenance, enjoy the use of a courtesy vehicle and have their vehicle returned when the service is completed.

By 2021, Genesis will expand to 30 stand-alone facilities offering six models. The first is set to open in mid 2017.


November 28, 2016

BMW CANADA BREAKS GROUND ON NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTRE


BMW Group Canada broke ground on a new Regional Parts Distribution Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The centre is set to open in summer 2018 and will be 280,000 square feet, with accommodation for future expansion.

“This purpose-built 280,000 square foot distribution facility will allow us to deliver parts faster than our previous service offer. The faster delivery of parts means less time away from your car and a more satisfied ownership experience – all top priorities for us,” said Hans Blesse, President and CEO of BMW Group Canada. “2016 marks our 30th anniversary in Canada and our 100th anniversary globally. After a remarkable 25 consecutive years of growth in Canada, it is the right time to expand and invest in our customers and our future.”

The centre is purposely being built in Mississauga which gives it proximity to the airport, railyard and major highways.

“Mississauga is delighted to welcome BMW’s new distribution facility to our city,” said Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga. “As a world-renowned auto maker and innovator, we know BMW will bring good jobs to our community and strengthen our city’s profile as a destination for business. I’m pleased that we are able to offer what companies like BMW are looking for – access to transit routes, unparalleled logistics infrastructure, as well as an unrivaled quality of life and a highly educated workforce. We look forward to working with BMW in the years to come to expand their footprint and to support the success of their business.”


November 28, 2016

COPART ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH ROYAL AND SUN ALLIANCE INSURANCE COMPANY OF CANADA

Copart, Inc., in Canada announced an agreement with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (RSA) and their group of companies. Through the agreement, Copart Canada will provide Rooyal and Sun Alliance with service for their total loss salvage division.

“We are thrilled to welcome RSA! This agreement covers all of Canada and will help further diversify our offerings at each of our locations across Canada,” said Steve Macaluso, Managing Director, Copart Canada. “We provide several benefits to our insurance clients, and I’m excited for RSA to experience Copart Canada’s national footprint and global buyer base.”

Copart Canada operates in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Toronto and London, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, and Moncton, New Brunswick.


November 28, 2016

PMTC ANNOUNCES DATE AND LOCATION FOR 2017 CONFERENCE

The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) announced that its 2017 Conference and AGM will be taking place at the Crowne Plaza Fallsview, in Niagara Falls, Ontario on June 15 and 16.

“Every year this conference proves itself to be the single best opportunity for everyone involved with transportation to learn and network,” said Mike Millian, President, PMTC.

The Conference agenda will include seven educational seminars, exhibitor showcase, and an awards program. Speakers and other details will be available on the PMTC website soon.

“We are excited to be moving to a new venue this year as well”, said Millian. “The Crowne Plaza-Fallsview, will prove to be an excellent facility for our conference. Our sponsors will be excited about the expanded space that is available for our exhibitor’s showcase, which will increase display space and allow for improved networking between our sponsors and conference attendees. Niagara Falls will also offer a great backdrop for those who wish to explore the sights and sounds at the end of the days educational and networking events.”


November 18, 2016

SHELL CANADA ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH PUROLATOR

Shell Canada will provide Purolator with its Shell Fleet Navigator card services in a multi-year agreement. The agreement will see Purolator transition its fleet of 3,000 drivers in Canada to the Fleet Navigator card.

“As one of the most prominent freight, parcel and logistics solutions providers in the country, Purolator has a massive footprint and a complex fleet operation to match,” said Josh Ferguson, National Sales Manager, Commercial Fleet, Shell Canada. “Through this relationship, we’re excited to help further optimize their fleet operations by providing insights and unprecedented flexibility for their fleet drivers – and ultimately, the customers who’ve grown to depend on Purolator for over 50 years.”

Purolator fleet managers will now have access to eTRAC, Shell’s online card management tool. The tool allows for insights into driver spending, and allows for card restrictions and access to reporting functions.

“Shell brings great experience in the fuel management space as well as a strong reputation for customer satisfaction,” said Serge Viola, Director, Assets Management, Purolator. “We selected the Shell Fleet Navigator Card based on Shell’s package of value, reporting and customer service. We look forward to a collaborative partnership in the years ahead.”


November 18, 2016

MAZDA CX-5 TO GET DIESEL OPTION IN 2017

Mazda Motor Corporation announced that the Mazda CX-5 will come with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 clean diesel engine for North America in the second half of 2017. Making it the first diesel engine in a Mazda product in North America.

"We're confident this engine offers a smart new option for North American drivers who want both performance and fuel economy," said Akira Marumoto, Executive Vice-President and Representative Director, Mazda.

The SKYACTIV-D 2.2 used on the North American CX-5 will meet the region's strict emission standards and adopts Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control, proprietary technologies which reduce diesel knock sound.


November 14, 2016

BRIDGESTONE REMINDS CANADIANS ABOUT WINTER TIRES

Bridgestone Americas is reminding Canadians to select winter tires and make arrangements to install them.

“The storms we saw in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and northern British Columbia earlier this month served as a harsh reminder that now is the time to prepare our vehicles for incoming winter weather,” said Justin Hayes, Product Manager, U.S. ans Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Winter driving safety starts with installing the right set of winter tires for your vehicle and the driving conditions you will experience this season.”

Bridgestone suggests that when drivers take their tires out of storage should check the following: inspect tires for any cracks, bulges, cuts or snags, make sure tread wear is even across tire, check tread depth to make sure tire is not too worn.

After tires are installed Bridgestone reminds drivers to make sure they are properly inflated as for every five degree Celsius the temperature drops, one psi of pressure is lost in the tire.

“We tell drivers to remember the four Bs of winter driving, battery, brakes, blades and Blizzak winter tires,” said Hayes. “Make sure you’ve replaced your wiper blades recently, or even switch them to winter blades, and have your brakes and battery checked by a professional.”


November 14, 2016

ARI LAUNCHES DRIVER INSIGHTS APP

ARI has launched the ARI Driver Insights app available for iPhones and iPads. The app allows drivers to monitor vehicle information and send updates to the driver through push notifications.

“Real-time notifications inform drivers of important events like overdue preventive maintenance, which we expect will spark drivers to take action sooner, extending the life of a vehicle and reducing its total cost of ownership,” said Tony Candeloro, Vice-President of Product Development and Client Information Services.

The app allows drivers to manage vehicle maintenance and usage, check for upcoming service, and input their monthly business and personal mileage. The app also has digital maintenance coupons that can be emailed to a vendor.

The app is available to current ARI customers, and once downloaded from the Apple App Store, can log in using their ARI Driver Insights account.

“We designed the ARI Driver insights app to be a convenient and simple way for drivers to stay on top of their vehicle maintenance on the mobile device they carry around with them everywhere they go,” said Candeloro. “When tasks are easier, they’re more likely to be completed. And when it comes to preventive maintenance, that’s of utmost importance to the health of a fleet.”

A version for Android will be introduced by the end of the year.


November 9, 2016

ONTARIO PLANS TO IMPROVE SAFETY

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced intended legislation that would offer municipalities tools to improve safety in school zones and community safety zones.

“We have seen too many injuries and deaths caused by drivers who speed and endanger people’s lives,” said Wynne. “Our intent is to give municipalities more tools to help keep people safe on our roads.”

Tools that are included in the legislation would be: automated speed enforcement technology (also known as photo radar) for use on municipal roads, school zones and community safety zones. The technology takes pictures of licence plates of those who are speeding. Also, municipalities would be able to create zones with reduced speed limits, and the process for municipalities to be part of Ontario’s Red Light Camera program will be streamlined to remove the need for long regulatory approval.

“Municipalities and our road safety partners have strongly advocated for tougher measures to stop dangerous drivers and better protect pedestrians,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. “These measures would strengthen road safety in school zones and help municipalities keep their communities safe.”


November 9, 2016

OVER A THIRD OF CANADIANS DO NOT USE WINTER TIRES: SURVEY

A recently survey conducted by Michelin reveals that 34 per cent of Canadian drivers do not own winter tires. The number is highest in western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) where 48 per cent of respondents do not own winter tires.

"Winter can be a challenging season, so to safely and fully enjoy it, it is imperative that drivers properly prepare their vehicles to handle the snow, ice, slush – and cold," said Carl Nadeau, Driving Expert, Michelin. "Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road in winter. Making sure your vehicle is equipped with the right set of winter tires is integral to your road safety."

Many respondents say that costs (77 per cent) and safety (88 per cent) weight on their decision if they should get winter tires.

The main reason given for not using winter tires is that all-season tires are enough for winter driving (43 per cent). Breaking that reason down by region: Western Canada (56 per cent), Ontario (50 per cent), Quebec (26 per cent), and Atlantic Canada (20 per cent).

"While all-season tires are meant to keep you safe in occasional, transitional weather conditions, you need winter tires to safely ride through our Canadian winters,” said Nadeau. “The unique tread compounds of winter tires allow them to remain more flexible in colder temperatures, providing better traction than all-season tires. All-season tires are less flexible and less effective when the temperature drops consistently below freezing, and especially when precipitation is added to the mix."


November 8, 2016

DEALERTRACK CANADA LAUNCHES KIA BRANDED PORTAL

Dealertrack Canada, part of Cox Automotive Canada, launched a Kia-branded Centric Finance Portal (CFP) to 189 Kia dealers across Canada. It will integrate with Kia’s systems and provide real-time data updates, new vehicle inventory, incentives, aftermarket products and accessories, and Certified Pre-Owned program data.

"This launch of the Kia portal, powered by Dealertrack, reaffirms our commitment to the Canadian OEM market" said Richard Evans, Vice-President and General Manager, Dealertrack Canada. "We continue to be committed to improving Canadian OEM workflow and building efficiencies that drive bottom-line results."

"As Kia Canada continues to expand its sales in Canada, it is essential we align ourselves with industry leaders in order to best serve our customers" said Ted Lancaster, Vice-President and COO, Kia Canada. "The new Dealertrack portal is one of many initiatives aimed at providing consumers with a smooth, seamless and enjoyable purchase experience. We are very pleased with our Cox Automotive partnership and happy to make the announcement today."


November 4, 2016

PROPOSED REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE REAR-VISIBILITY SYSTEMS

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced proposed new regulations requiring rear-visibility systems on all new vehicles sold in Canada, while at Le Trillium Public Elementary School in Ottawa recently.

"I’m not one for tricks, but I do like giving treats, and one of the best ones I can give this Halloween is to make rear-view cameras and displays standard equipment on all new vehicles, including base models,” said Garneau. “This helps children be seen and provides Canadians with one of the best safety technology systems to reduce back-over collisions."

The proposed regulation would be put in place on May 1, 2018. It would apply to all new Canadian passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 4,536 kg, manufactured after May 1, 2018.


November 4, 2016

SUBARU BUILDS FIRST IMPREZA IN NORTH AMERICA

Subaru Canada Inc., announced that the 2017 Subaru Impreza has started production at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. (SIA) on November 1. This is the first time the Impreza is being build in the United States, as it has been produced in Japan. President Toshiaki Tamegai and Associates were in attendance for the line-off ceremony.

SIA will now build the Subaru Legacy, Outback and Impreza for the U.S. and Canadian markets. A new three-row crossover is expected to be added to the production line-up in 2018.

SIA will increase its annual capacity from 218,000 to 394,000 units by year’s end, and to 436,000 units by March 2019.


October 31, 2016

RAM 1500 CROWNED CANADIAN TRUCK KING


The Canadian Truck King Challenge celebrated its 10th year by naming the Ram 1500 as its overall winner. It is the third time in a row that the Ram 1500 has won the honour, this year the variant entered was the Ram 1500 Crew Cab Sport 4x4 with a 5.7-litre HEMI V-8, while the previous two were won by the Ram 1500 3.0L V-6 EcoDiesel variant. Ram 1500 also won the 1/2-ton category.

“Seeing Ram 1500 take the overall crown at the Canadian Truck King Challenge for a record third time is an incredible endorsement of its breath of capability and class-exclusive features,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, FCA Canada. “The pickup truck segments are incredibly competitive. Truck King’s real-world, seven-person evaluation shows Canadians the best of the breed and we’re honoured that Ram 1500 is again on top, with Ram 2500 winning its category strongly as well.”

Ram also won the 3/4-ton category with its 2500 with 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine.

“The Canadian pickup truck market is very competitive, and getting more so, it's this level of fierce competition that results in good trucks and great choices for Canadian buyers. Ram, our 2017 winner, has been one of these constantly improving trucks,” said Howard Elmer, founder and director of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. “Its overall high score, awarded by the panel of automotive journalist judges, speaks to the hard work the engineers at Ram have invested in its pickups. Congratulations again to the 2017 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi powered pickup.”


October 31, 2016

CHRYSLER PACIFICA NAMED BEST MINIVAN OF 2016

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was named Best Minivan of 2016 by Cars.com, as part of its Ultimate Minivan Challenge.

“The Chrysler Pacifica out-styles, out-drives and just plain out-wows the rest of the pack,” said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com Editor-in-Chief. “It is a true joy to drive; something not often used to describe a minivan. Behind the engine, the van is versatile and packed with impressive family-friendly features.”

The format this year was champions versus challenger, pitting the top two finishers from the 2015 challenge against the challenger, Pacifica. The challenge has each expert test each car on the same course back to back, as well as a mileage drive that calculates real-world fuel economy.


October 31, 2016

ALL NEW FORD SUPER DUTY NAMED TRUCK OF TEXAS

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) held the 26th annual Texas Truck Rodeo, where the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned Truck of Texas. Ford was also awarded the Truck Line of Texas award.

“We are honored to win the ‘Truck of Texas’ award as it underscores how the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty lineup are the toughest, smartest and most capable trucks we’ve ever built,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager. “This prestigious award from the Texas Auto Writer’s Association further solidifies Ford’s truck leadership in Texas, where F-series continues to be the best-selling truck and builds on our momentum as the top-selling truck in the United States for 39 consecutive years.”

The SUV of Texas award went to the 2017 Nissan Armada.

"We're honored to have the all-new 2017 Nissan Armada recognized by the SUV experts of the Texas Auto Writers Association," said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. "Armada provides a unique combination of luxury, power and utility, including best-in-class standard towing and a suite of advanced Nissan Safety Shield technologies such as Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Backup Collision Intervention."

CUV of Texas award was given to the Volvo XC90.

In all over 71 vehicles were evaluated in 17 categories by 70 journalists at the Longhorn River Ranch.

2017 category winners:
Heavy duty pickup truck: 2017 Ford Super Duty
Best commercial vehicle: 2017 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab
Luxury pickup truck: 2017 RAM 1500
Off-road pickup: 2017 RAM 2500 Power Wagon
Full-size pickup: 2017 Nissan Titan
Midsize pickup: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Best technology: Honda In-bed audio system
Best connectivity: FCA Uconnect Access
Best powertrain: 2017 Ford F-150 with 3.5 EcoBoost V-6 engine
Off-road utility vehicle: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Full-size luxury SUV: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS
Mid-size luxury SUV: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace
Full-size SUV: 2017 Nissan Armada
Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Compact SUV: 2017 Jeep Cherokee
Full-size CUV: 2016 Mazda CX-9
Mid-size CUV: 2016 Nissan Murano
Compact CUV: 2016 Jeep Renegade
Luxury CUV: 2017 Volvo XC90


October 31, 2016

ENTERPRISE RENT-A-CAR FILL YOUR TANK PROGRAM

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation announced the Fill Your Tank program, which will donate $60 million to food banks to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary.

“Enterprise Rent-A-Car is woven into the fabric of the thousands of towns and neighbourhoods where we do business, and food insecurity is an issue in all of those communities. Many times, hunger is invisible to us. We often don’t see the signs that someone might be food-insecure or think about the ripple effects of hunger,” said Carolyn Kindle Betz, Vice-President and Executive Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation.

As part of the donation, over six years $10 million will be distributed. Food Banks Canada will receive $1.5 million to support operations and infrastructure for food banks in Canada. Feeding America will receive $2.5 million will help fight hunger among seniors and children. The Global FoodBanking Network will receive $1 million to expand the work of food banks around the world. Finally, $5 million will go to local food banks and pantries in communities served by Enterprise.

“We appreciate this generous and significant contribution from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation,” said Pam Jolliffe, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. “These funds enable Food Banks Canada and its food bank network to make profound changes in our ability to share more food and relieve hunger for men, women and children in communities across Canada.”

The donations will begin getting to over 365 local food banks across North America in the coming week.

“Our employees have long supported food banks and pantries in the cities and neighbourhoods we serve. The Fill Your Tank program is a natural extension of the good work our employees are already doing. It’s also particularly poignant as addressing hunger was one of the last wishes of my grandfather and our founder, Jack Taylor, who passed away earlier this year,” said Kindle Betz.

“It’s in that same spirit that we’re launching the Fill Your Tank initiative,” said Kindle Betz. “It’s a way to honor our company’s past while looking forward to the future, and a way to thank Enterprise’s customers and neighbours for their support by making a long-term impact on a critical issue.”


October 21, 2016

ELEMENT FINANCIAL SPLITS INTO TWO COMPANIES

Element Financial Corporation has split into two publicly traded companies, Element Fleet Management Corp., and ECN Capital Corp.

“Today, two standalone, market-leading companies are emerging from the strong and deep roots that built Element Financial Corporation over the last five years into North America’s largest independent commercial finance company,” said Steven Hudson, ECN Capital, CEO and former CEO, Element.

Element Fleet is led by Bradley Nullmeyer, CEO, and has approximately $18 billion in assets. ECN Capital is led by Steven Hudson, CEO, and has approximately $8.2 billion in owned and management assets.

“As separate stand-alone companies we now have an even greater opportunity to focus all of our resources on what will best serve our respective customers, shareholders, partners and employees,” said Bradley Nullmeyer, CEO, Element Fleet and former President, Element.

The transaction was approved by 99.5 per cent of the Element Fleet shareholders and by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in September.

“The timely completion of this transaction could not have been achieved without the leadership and determination of Element’s management team, the tireless effort of our employees, guidance from the Board and the support of the Company’s advisors,” said William Lovatt, Chairman, ECN Capital and former Chairman, Element.


October 17, 2016

ARI NAMED FINALISTS FOR ONTARIO BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

ARI has been selected as a finalist for the Ontario Business Achievement Award (OBAA) for Skills and Training Award.

“We are tremendously honoured to be recognized as a finalist for the OBAA Skills & Training Award,” said Rick Tousaw, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, ARI Canada. “One of the core values of our company is to provide our employees with the tools and the opportunity to continuously improve themselves, because we believe the most important investment we can make is in our people. They are our most strategic asset. To be a finalist for an OBAA Business Achievement Award in the category of skills and training reinforces our belief that by creating an environment that encourages learning, our company will be better as a result.”

The OBAA awards recognize achievements in innovation, entrepreneurship, integrity and hard work for greater Ontario region businesses. The Skills and Training Award is presented to business which have skills and training initiatives that harness the talent of its people, embrace diversity, and support employee success.

Over 100 businesses submitted applications for one of 18 finalist spots this year.


October 17, 2016

SUZUKI AND TOYOTA DISCUSS BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) have agreed to explore ideas that are meant to conclude with a business partnership.

“As the environment which surrounds the automobile industry has been changing drastically, we need to have the ability to respond to changes in order to survive,” said Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota. “In addition to the R&D which each company is working on individually, it is very important now to have partners who share the same goal and passion. We would like to always keep our doors open for new partnership opportunities, which will contribute to the making of ever-better cars as well as to the development of the automotive industry.”

Toyota and Suzuki began looking for collaboration opportunities to help both solve their respective challenges. One of the aims of the discussions is for standardization in the industry. Hence both companies will be open to other companies regarding the collaboration idea.

“Toyota is the industry-leading, and the most reliable company which is actively working on various advanced and future technologies,” said Osamu Suzuki, Chairman, Suzuki.. I am appreciative that Suzuki is able to start discussions with Toyota to explore ideas on a partnership. I first spoke about this possibility with Toyota’s Honorary Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda, and am very grateful that President Akio Toyoda has also showed an interest. We will proceed with discussions for the future of Suzuki.”


October 6, 2016

BUICK TO INTRODUCE AVENIR

General Motors has announced that it will soon launch Avenir, a sub-brand for Buick. Avenir vehicles will have a three-dimensional mesh grille, large-diameter wheels, and unique trim finishes. On the inside, unique seat details, modern trim materials and Avenir script identification are some of the highlights.

“Through the first half of 2016, Buick has been the industry’s fastest-growing major international brand, and Avenir is key to future growth and delivering on the high expectations of new customers coming to our showrooms,” said Duncan Aldred, Vice-President of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “Avenir will be Buick’s signature. The highest expression of the luxury experiences we’re delivering now and in the future.”

The Avenir name was used on a Buick concept in 2015, and the mesh grille is borrowed from the Avista coupe concept from this year.

“Stretching the Buick brand’s international appeal and potential has been a major focus of exploration in our design studios,” said Helen Emsley, executive director of Buick Global Design. “Concept cars stretch the boundaries of what is possible and every new Buick is benefitting from this vision work. As the Avenir concept expressed the prestige vision for the portfolio, the addition of an Avenir sub-brand illustrates an important piece of future direction.”


September 27, 2016

RENAULT-NISSAN ALLIANCE AND MICROSOFT PARTNER

Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft Corp., signed a global, multiyear agreement to partner together. They will focus on next-generation technologies that will help to develop next-generation connected services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure.

The new services are expected to improve customer experience by advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates.

"A car is becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal," said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice-president, Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services. "Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want and build all-new ones they haven't even imagined. We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform."


September 26, 2016

NAFA CONNECTED VEHICLE WEBINAR TO EXAMINE FLEET CYBERSECURITY

NAFA will be conducting a webinar on Wednesday, October 5 at 10:30a.m. entitled Fleet Management and the Connected Vehicle.

The webinar will features the following speakers:
-Patrick O'Connor - NAFA's Legislative Counsel in Washington D.C. and President of Kent & O'Connor
Jeff Jeter - NAFA's Vice-President and Fleet Manager, Chesterfield County
-Oleg Cytowicz - NAFA's Board of Delegates Vice-Chair and Global Fleet Lead Senior Analyst NA Fleet Ops, Unilever
-Robert Martinez - NAFA's U.S. Government Representative and Deputy Commissioner, NYPD

Topics that will be covered are:
-The contents of the NHTSA/FBI March 2016 bulletin
-The distinction between security concerns and privacy issues
-The need for fleet access to OBD-II Port access
-How NAFA is contributing to the cybersecurity debate

To find out more and to register: click here.


September 26, 2016

SUBARU CANADA PARTNERS WITH ST. JOHN AMBULANCE THERAPY DOG PROGRAM

Subaru Canada Inc., has partnered with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. As a Signature sponsor, Subaru will help support the service, raise awareness, and hope to grow and extend the reach of the Therapy Dog Program.

"The Therapy Dogs program strives to assist others in an inclusive and non-judgemental manner," said Joe Felstein, Director of Marketing, Subaru Canada, Inc. "It embodies the core values of caring and community that resonate with both Subaru as a brand and the entire family of Subaru owners."

The program began over 24 years ago as a pilot project in Peterborough, Ontario, and has since grown to over 3,000 Therapy Dog team reaching 1,000s in need annually. The Therapy dogs help to comfort and offer companionship to seniors, calm and reassure patients getting treatment, help relieve stress on college and university campuses during exams, help at-risk youth, and children with special needs.

"We are truly grateful for Subaru's support of our Therapy Dog Program," said Allan Smith, St. John Ambulance National Office CEO. "As a charity, we rely on corporate partnerships to enable us to continue the services provided by our volunteers in communities across Canada.

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September 13, 2016

NAVISTAR AND VOLKSWAGEN TRUCK AND BUS FORM STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

Volkswagen Truck & Bus has entered into a strategic alliance with Navistar International Corporation. As part of the alliance, VW will make an equity investment of $256 million in Navistar. A framework has been set up to have strategic technology and supply collaboration, as well as procurement joint venture.

"We are very pleased to partner with a global leader who shares our view of the world, in an alliance that will deliver multiple benefits and is consistent with our open-integration strategy," said Troy Clarke, President and CEO, Navistar. "Starting in the near term, this alliance will benefit our purchasing operations through global scope and scale. Over the longer term, it is intended to expand the technology options we are able to offer our customers by leveraging the best of both companies and enabling Navistar to deliver enhanced uptime. Volkswagen Truck & Bus's equity investment will strengthen our liquidity position and expand our financial flexibility, while aligning us with a valuable strategic partner."

The alliance is subject to regulatory approvals, finalization of the agreements governing the procurement joint venture and the first contract under the technology and supply framework agreement, and closing conditions.

"Closer collaboration among our existing brands was a top priority for our commercial vehicles business and we are well on track in this context," said Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG responsible for commercial vehicles. "We are now taking the next step on our way to becoming a Global Champion in the commercial vehicles industry. The strategic alliance with Navistar is an important milestone and will be very beneficial for both sides."


September 13, 2016

MITSUBISHI CANADA LOANS MIRAGE TO BREAKFAST CLUB OF CANADA

(From left) John Arnone, Mitsubishi Motors and Karri Trowell, Breakfast Club's Atlantic region with 2016 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan.
Mitsubishi Motors of Canada have loaned a 2016 Mirage G4 sedan to Breakfast Club of Canada Nova Scotia branch. This is the first of several vehicle loans that are planned to programs across Canada that feed and nurture children.

“Our commitment to provide Breakfast Club with vehicles to support its important work in our communities begins here in Nova Scotia,” said John Arnone, Manager, Public Relations, Mitsubishi.

The vehicle, which began life as a media loan vehicle, is set to help Breakfast Club of Canada visit schools in Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, Halifax, North Shore region, southern Nova Scotia and among First Nations.

“When we say that every dollar and every gesture counts, this is a great example. This generous offer by Mitsubishi Motors not only allows us to have access to reliable vehicles to support school and partner visits, but gives us peace of mind,” said Daniel Germain, Founder, Breakfast Club of Canada. “It is heart-warming knowing that Mitsubishi Motors cares enough about our mission to see to more than just a financial need. With Mitsubishi Motors as a committed, national partner, we can concentrate on providing the school children their daily breakfast. This is huge for the Club and we can’t wait to add more Mirage G4 sedans in key regions across Canada.”


September 6, 2016

KIA CANADA HITS 750,000 SALES MILESTONE


Kia Canada has recently reached the 750,000 units sold mark in its 17th year of selling vehicles in Canada.

“Kia Canada is delighted to have accomplished this terrific milestone of delivering our 750,000th vehicle in our 17th year of business in Canada,” said Ted Lancaster, Vice President and COO, Kia Canada Inc. “Noting the momentum of our brand and the rate of growth of our business in Canada, we look forward to selling our 1 millionth vehicle in the coming years.”

To commemorate the sales milestone, a 2017 Kia Sportage customer from Kia of Owen Sound was provided with five years of free scheduled maintenance service.

In its first full year of operations in 2000, Kia Canada sold 14,759 vehicles. That number grew to 67,914 vehicles sold in 2015, an increase of over 360 per cent.


September 1, 2016

SINGAPORE HOSTS ROBO-TAXI PILOT PROJECT

NuTonomy has launched the first public trial of robo-taxi service in Singapore. Nutonomy has been conducting daily autonomous vehicle testing in Singapore since April.

“NuTonomy’s first-in-the-world public trial is a direct reflection of the level of maturity that we have achieved with our AV software system,” said Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy. “The trial represents an extraordinary opportunity to collect feedback from riders in a real-world setting, and this feedback will give nuTonomy a unique advantage as we work toward deployment of a self-driving vehicle fleet in 2018.”

Residents of Singapore can now use nuTonomy ride-hailing smartphone app to book a nuTonomy self-driving car at no cost. The vehicles used are a Renault Zoe or Mitsubishi iMiEV, which have been configured for autonomous driving. The vehicles will use the company’s software that is integrated with sensing and computing components. An engineer from nuTonomy will be in the vehicle to observe system performance and take control of the vehicle if needed.

NuTonomy will collect and evaluate data from the trial that is related to software system performance, vehicle routing efficiency, vehicle booking process, and passenger experience, in order to refine the software for its launch of a commercial robo-taxi service in Singapore in 2018.

NuTonomy operates self-driving cars in Michigan and the United Kingdom, testing software with major automotive manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover. It is a developer of software for self-driving cars.


August 26, 2016

DIAMOND ESTATES CHOOSES ELEMENT FLEET MANAGEMENT

After a selection process, Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc., and its sales agency, Kirkwood Diamond Canada chose Element Fleet Management as its vehicle leasing and management services provider. Diamond Estates owns a fleet of delivery vehicles, and (like KDC) uses allowances to compensate sales and other personal for business related use of personal vehicles.

“We are enthusiastic about our new partnership with Element, Alan Stratton, Chief Financial Officer, Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc." They give us access to a low cost of capital and a fleet management program built on best practices. We will be able to project a consistent image by having all of our drivers in late model vehicles with current technology and safety features.”

Most drivers will be transitioned to the new program by the end of the fiscal year. Diamond Estates has taken delivery of its first delivery van under the new program. The total fleet program is expected to include approximately 35 vehicles, mainly in the sales fleet, with some delivery vans as well.

Other benefits listed by the company of using Element managed vehicles are: ensuring employees have safe, reliable transportation, leveraging Element's buying power and standardization to reduce operating costs and the use of industry leading data collection and analysis to optimize the program.


August 19, 2016

FLEETS CAN GET REGULAR CHECKUPS WITH ARI FLEET HEALTH CARD

ARI has introduced the Fleet Health Card, which captures data from the fleet in real-time to measure spend, utilization/reliability, preventive maintenance and fuel to track a vehicle’s relative and comparative performance.

“With this new tool, it’s easier to manage by exception because it allows fleet managers to focus only on the vehicles that require their immediate attention,” said Tony Candeloro, Vice-President of Customer Information Systems and Product Development, ARI. “When you have to spread your focus across your entire fleet, it’s more likely that you’ll miss something important. The ARI Fleet Health Card can turn Big Data into action, allowing you to work smarter and more efficiently.”

The Health Card distributes a fleet statistically on a curve, and allows fleets to use real-time data for their vehicles to benchmark against the rest of their fleet.

Users can view the spend category and manage it in five different categories:
• Cost per mile, vehicle cost per month and maintenance cost per gallon: Spotlights higher spend and fleet distribution from the median.
• Five year history over fleet performance: Analyzes inventory movement, cumulative fleet maintenance and mileage.
• Fleet asset summary: Shows the asset type, number of units and spend amounts.
• Vehicle spend per repair category: Details preventive maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, and rentals.
• Repair categories: Focuses on costs affiliated with 13 major repair areas and indicates spend that has not yet occurred.

In the coming months, users will also be able to look into data in utilization/reliability, preventive maintenance and fuel categories.


August 15, 2016

NISSAN TITAN/TITAN XD TO COME WITH FIVE YEAR/160K WARRANTY


Nissan announced a new truck warranty for its 2017 TITAN and TITAN XD pick-up models. The new warranty will feature bumper-to-bumper coverage (including both basic and powertrain coverage) of five-years and 160,000 kilometres (whichever happens first).

“We’re pleased to now offer the same confidence-inspiring protection as our commercial vehicles have for our entire range of 2017 TITAN and TITAN XD full-size pickups,” said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. “The new bumper-to-bumper coverage shows customers that Nissan stands behind the quality of its vehicles – including the ones that are subject to the hardest use.”

The vehicles that will be covered under the warranty include: TITAN V8 gasoline-powered models, and TITAN XD diesel-powered and V-8 gasoline-powered models, in crew cab and single cab models.


August 8, 2016

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNING AT NAFA ONTARIO RIDE AND DRIVE

NAFA Ontario chapter will be hosting its ride and drive event at the Garry W. Morden Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, on Thursday, September 29.

“Every second year, the NAFA Ontario Chapter is proud to host the Ride n’ Drive with the support of our vehicle manufacturer partners. This free event will offer over 80 vehicles for test drives, supplier displays and a BBQ lunch,” said Jeff Meggitt, Chair, Ontario Chapter, NAFA. “This rare opportunity brings together a wide range of vehicles from all major vehicle manufacturers and fleet professionals for a day of test driving and networking.”

In addition to the Ride and Drive portion of the day, displays from upfitters, aftermarket equipment and fleet suppliers will be featured. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“This year’s ride n’ drive promises to be bigger and better than ever and we are looking forward to hosting more than 300 people,” said Meggitt. “This unique NAFA event is only possible with the support of our members and suppliers”.

To register: Click here.


August 2, 2016

VERIZON EXPANDS TELEMATICS BUSINESS WITH PURCHASE OF FLEETMATICS

Verizon Communications Inc., has announced that they will acquire Fleetmatics Group PLC. Verizon has signed an agreement with Fleetmatics to acquire the company for $2.4 billion USD.

“Verizon and Fleetmatics share a vision that the SaaS-based fleet management solution market is extraordinarily large, lightly penetrated, global and fragmented which can best be attacked together with a world class product offering and the largest distribution channel in the industry,” said Jim Travers, Chairman and CEO of Fleetmatics.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions and is expected to close in fourth quarter 2016.

Recently, in a separate agreement, Verizon purchased another telematics provider, Telogis Inc.

"The powerful combination of products and services, software platforms, robust customer bases, domain expertise and experience, and talented and passionate teams among Fleetmatics, the recently-acquired Telogis, and Verizon Telematics will position the combined companies to become a leading provider of fleet and mobile workforce management solutions globally," said Andrés Irlando, CEO, Verizon Telematics.


August 2, 2016

SINGLE CAB AVAILABLE ON NISSAN TITAN


Nissan has added single cab models to its Titan line of pick-up trucks.

“Once we complete the roll-out of all Titan cab, bed, powertrain and grade level configurations, our all-new Titan family will cover about 85 per cent of the total light pickup marketplace,” said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for Titan and Titan XD. “More importantly, the Titan XD and Titan single cabs will have the power, torque, heavy duty chassis and durability required by today’s demanding worksites – including the highest towing capacities and payloads in the lineup.”

The single cab models will offer the same cab dimensions and eight-foot pick-up bed on Titan and Titan XD, however, each will have a separate fully boxed ladder frame chassis.

“The new single cab takes Titan into new territory, bringing the innovative design and bed utility that Titan has been known for to a wider base of commercial use buyers,” said Miller.

The Nissan Titan and Titan XD single cab model will be available late fall 2016. It joins the Crew Cab model (currently available) and a King Cab model, which is planned for the future.


July 18, 2016

ONTARIO APPROVES COMMERCIAL RIDESHARING INSURANCE

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has approved a commercial ridesharing insurance policy that will provide protection for drivers and passengers that use Uber in Ontario.

“This new ridesharing insurance approved by FSCO should serve as a practical solution designed for ridesharing. Both IFC and Uber remain engaged with regulators across Canada to bring new ridesharing insurance policies that offer a smart, seamless and simple solution for driver-partners,” said Ian Black, General Manager, Uber Canada.

The commercial policy will be provided by Intact Insurance Company automatically to every ride sharing driver who is on the Uber platform in Ontario and is purchased by Uber. The coverage applies from when drivers make themselves available to accept a ride until the passenger is out of the vehicle.

“Our goal in working directly with Uber, Aon, and regulators has been to develop an insurance solution that provides protection for all Canadians that use ridesharing services. This unique product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers. It will also now be easier for other personal lines insurers to permit drivers to participate in ridesharing using their personal automobile given that the commercial portion of rides are covered by Intact,” said Karim Hirji, Senior Vice President, International & Ventures for Intact Financial Corporation.

Alberta has recently introduced a similar program and ridesharing insurance discussions are underway in Quebec.


July 18, 2016

COPART CANADA LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE

Copart Canada has launched its new web site, Copart.ca, which is aimed at its Canadian members. The new web site has Canadian inventory and content that is specific for the Canadian market.

“It’s really exciting to launch Copart.ca, a site specifically for our Canadian Members, on Canada Day! This new website is an investment to better serve our Canadian Members with direct and easy access to the inventory that is available at our six auction locations across Canada,” said Steve Macaluso, Managing Director, Copart Canada. “The new website is also available in French and will exclusively feature Canadian specific content.”

Copart Canada members now have access to weekly Canadian auction updates, specialty auction announcements, and updates on industry news and regulatory developments.

“We are committed to providing our Members with a great selection of vehicles using our industry leading auction technology in a safe and transparent online marketplace,” said Macaluso.


July 18, 2016

ENTERPRISE EXPANDS IN GTA

Enterprise Holdings has expanded with new locations near Union Station in Toronto, Ontario, and near Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga.

“We are excited about expanding our market and opening new locations in the heart of the financial sector across from Union Station, as well as in the community of Mississauga,” said Steve Tudela, Corporate Vice-President of Canadian operations, Enterprise Holdings.

The new Toronto location is at 181 Bay Street, Toronto and is connected to the PATH underground pedestrian walkway. The new Mississauga location at 285 Enfield Place, is open seven days a week

“Whether they are in the heart of the city or in more suburban locations, our neighbourhood offices are the key to making local transportation options as accessible and affordable as possible for consumers,” said Tudela.


July 11, 2016

MTO UPDATES MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION STANDARD PROGRAM

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has updated its Passenger/Light Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard used as part of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program. The program was established in 1974 and with the advent of new technologies, has now been modernized.

Many aspects change, such as powertrain, suspension, brakes, steering, instruments and auxiliary equipment, lamps, electrical, body, tire and wheel, coupling devices, and road test. A rundown of the changes to each category can be found at: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/motor-vehicle-inspection-stations.shtml#passenger.

“These systems save lives, reduce injury and assist in preventing collisions, but only if they function properly. Individuals purchase vehicles with this technology to protect themselves and their families and they need to know that it works.”” said Bob Nichols, MTO spokesperson. “The standard is considerably more comprehensive, technically up-to-date and more user friendly than the existing standard and was developed in collaboration with industry stakeholders.”

A copy of the Passenger/Light-Duty Vehicle Inspection Standard in PDF format can be found here: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/pdfs/passenger-light-duty-vehicle-inspection-standard.pdf.


July 5, 2016

TRUCK SEGMENTS POWER CANADIAN LIGHT VEHICLE SALES

Canadian light vehicle sales increased in the first half of 2016 as compared to this time last year, with the popularity of light trucks leading the charge.

According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc., light vehicle sales are up six per cent in 2016 over 2015, at 989,177 units. That includes 642,593 light truck units (up 14.5 per cent year-over-year), and 346,584 passenger car units (down 6.8 per cent Year over Year). The majority of OEMs have seen their sales increase YoY.

For the month of June, overall light vehicles sales were up 7.4 per cent, with light truck being up 13.9 per cent, and passenger cars being down 2.9 per cent.

“At the mid-year point, FCA Canada is on pace for another record-setting sales year,” said Dave Buckingham, Chief Operating Officer, FCA Canada. “Ram Truck and Dodge Grand Caravan are among the top five best-selling vehicles in Canada, providing Canadians the functionality and value that they're looking for.”

"Ford leads a strong automotive industry in Canada through the first half of the year, with consumers purchasing F-Series pickups at a rate we’ve never seen before," said Dianne Craig, President and CEO, Ford of Canada. "Canadians see the value of the toughest, smartest and most capable trucks, and this fall the all-new F-Series Super Duty joins the F-150 with an innovative, high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body.”

“Our retail-focused strategy is driving our growth and our product lineup has never been stronger,” said Jerry Daniel, General Director, Sales, Service and Marketing, GM Canada. We are excited to bring even more new vehicles for Canadians during our year of nine launches across our Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars, trucks and crossovers.”

“What a great June for Kia with sales up 14 per cent and a wonderful first half of the year. Sorento and Sportage have had record starts to the year, we have expanded our Soul EV network, and in June Kia became the first non-luxury brand in 27 years to reach top spot in the JD Power IQS survey, ” said Ted Lancaster, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kia Canada Inc. “We are looking forward to a strong second half and kicking it off with our “Summer of Savings” sales event.”

"Subaru Canada is focused on keeping its momentum strong," said Shiro Ohta, chairman, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. "Updated and refreshed product is rolling into our Subaru dealerships nationwide and we will see exciting new product well into the fall, which will result in a continued upswing in Subaru's sales during the second half of the year."

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