Volkswagen and Audi Canada held its annual fleet ride and drive in historic Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario. The two day event brought fleet owners, operators and managers together to learn more about VW and Audi’s fleet programs and experience the vehicles capabilities in a number of settings. “Our Ride and Drive event is a great opportunity to spend time with our customers and show them all the exciting products Volkswagen has to offer in a variety of real life settings’. Said Thomas Roth, Manager Fleet and Corporate Sales Volkswagen Canada.
At the business meeting, Roth shared some updates with guests including that sales were up 16% in 2017, the highest in the industry. Combined with an over 900 million dollar investment in the new Atlas production at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant along with growing its Canadian dealer network, currently at 141 stores, Roth made Volkswagen’s ongoing commitment to the North American market clear.
Ricardo Chan, Marketing Consultant at VW took guests through the OEM’s 2019 line up. Among the highlights was news about the completely redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta The Jetta features technologies including its APP Connect system, customizable digital cockpit, ambient lighting and 3 drive modes- ECO, Sport and Comfort. The vehicle’s highline and execline come equipped with Drive Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot detection, Light and Lane Assist. The Jetta is powered by a new 1.4 TSI Turbocharged engine which posts 7L per 100km fuel economy numbers. (for more on Jetta check out CAFs First Drives at Return Of The Jettai.
Jamie Pawluk, Manager, Corporate Sales Audi led the Audi presentation which highlighted 2019’s Audi connect navigation and infotainment services in all its vehicles. Audi connect features google maps, hot spot data with free roaming in the US as well as news, weather and real time traffic updates. The team also previewed the Audi E-tron, Audi’s first electric vehicle.
Audi’s ride and drive included a road drive as well as an autocross course where guests could test the vehicles drive assist features as well as take a “hot” lap through the course with a professional driver.
During the drive route, Matthew Baptista, Account Manager at Element Fleet Management tested the Jetta’s semi-autonomous features first hand. “At first, it’s uncomfortable to trust the technology, but it really works. The car did the braking and kept us the right distance from the vehicle in front”.
For the Volkswagen country side ride through the Niagara region, attendees had the opportunity to drive the 2019 VW Jetta, Tiguan, Golf, Beetle Convertible in addition to VW’s brand new Atlas SUV.
Participants drove the Atlas and Tiguan over obstacles to get a first hand understanding of the vehicles off road modes. Driving over bumps, a ramp, a teeter totter and up the side of a wall, attendees experienced the vehicles impressive capabilities and innovative technology.
“The VW/Audi ride and drive was a great opportunity to experience the capabilities and performance of their new line up. The event was informative, engaging and interactive. All around a fantastic day.”- Andrew Ogilvie, Director, Fleet Strategies at EMKAY.