Saturday, 27 December 2014

Honda Canada Launches Airbag Safety Campaign

Honda Canada Inc. announced this week it is launching a Safety Improvement Campaign in Canada to replace the driver's front airbag inflator in certain 2001 through 2010 Honda and Acura vehicles.
The airbags in question were designed by Takata, and contain inflators that may rupture under intense pressure and have been the subject of 8 million recalls in the U.S. and an estimated 400,000 in Canada.
The new Honda campaign will cover approximately 700,000 vehicles in Canada, and owners will be notified by mail and requested to bring their cars to an authorized Honda/Acura dealer for replacement of the affected part.
Though initial concern for the airbags erupting was tied to regions of high temperature and high absolute humidity, Honda explained this latest action is to address the concerns of customers living outside these areas, "thereby supporting the ongoing investigation into this issue currently underway in the United States."
To data, Honda Canada is not aware of any reported claims of injuries or deaths in Canada relating to a ruptured airbag inflator of any Takata produced airbag in a Honda or Acura vehicle, though the Takata airbags in question have proved dangerous in other vehicles and have been linked to five deaths.
And automakers aren't the only ones reacting to the Takata airbag proceedings - the Merchant Law Group announced it is launching Canada wide class action litigation in Ontario and Saskatchewan regarding the defective airbags just this week.
The affected Canadian models are as follows (certain specific vehicles only):
  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord with 4-cylinder engines
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord with V6 engines
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2010 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2007 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline
  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Acura CL

Honda Canada Launches Airbag Safety Campaign.......................

Friday, 19 December 2014

Top 12 Websites Women Turn To For Auto Research

In an effort to decipher which auto research sites are favorites among the female population, utilized a survey technique to rank the top sites.
And it seems dealers are doing something right when it comes to their online presence, because dealership websites remain the No. 1 online research option for women, with 41.27 percent of survey respondents choosing this option on the survey. conducts ongoing research through its Women Satisfaction Index, and the site also asks women to complete an optional 25-question survey about their dealership experience after completing a dealer review, which includes questions about online research.
After dealer and manufacturer websites, third-party sites began showing up in the results with Kelley Blue Book leading the way, followed by Consumer Reports.
Listed below are the top sites women visited from's most recent 3,220 surveys.
1. Dealership (41.27 percent)
2. Manufacturer (39.75 percent)
3. KBB (39.62 percent)?
4. Consumer Reports (22.23 percent)?
5. (21.34 percent)?
6. (20.38 percent)?
7. (18.85 percent)?
8. Carfax (15.29 percent)?
9. Craigslist (7.64 percent)?
10. JD Power (6.05 percent)?
11. (4.71 percent)?
12. Autobytel (2.29 percent)
* Note: Total adds up to greater than 100 percent as reviewer can leave multiple responses.

Top 12 Websites Women Turn to for Auto Research....................

Friday, 12 December 2014

Buffett's Dealer Group Buy Still Creating Ripples

Two blockbuster dealer group acquisitions this year - Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of the Van Tuyl Group, along with Lithia Motors buying DCH Auto Group - are proving to be game-changers on the mergers and acquisitions side of the retail auto business.
As Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, said in her firm's latest look at dealership buy/sell activity: "These two mega deals have motivated a new wave of sellers to consider entering the market, while also pushing pricing expectations to peak - and likely unsustainable - levels."
A synopsis of the Q3 Kerrigan Quarterly Blue Sky Report indicates that price expectations in dealership acquisition are at "record peaks," with the Berkshire Hathaway-Van Tuyl deal - the largest in auto history - playing a major role in that run-up.
Not long after that Berkshire deal was announced, an analysis from Sageworks, a financial information company, examined the financial conditions of privately held auto dealers, in particular, and why some of their traits would entice an investor like Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. The analysis shares an interview quote from Buffett in which he describes well-run dealerships as "a very good business."
In late October, Auto Remarketing talked with Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman about that notion and what attributes may lead someone like Buffett to have such an outlook on privately held dealers.
"Certainly, I'm sure Warren (Buffett) and other investors are looking at things outside of financial performance, whether that's who the management is, business projections, plans for that business, etc. But when you're looking at, particularly our financial information - so, the net profit margin and sales growth for these industries - they look like pretty sound industries.
"What you don't see is negative sales growth since the recession. You continue to see above-average sales growth, so they're bringing in more, as well as that stable net profit margin," she said. "It's not super high; they're not the most profitable of industries. But the fact that it's consistent, it's more of a steady-Eddie type of investment than maybe some of the higher-risk investments these guys might be considering."
Going back to the Kerrigan report, the firm - citing its own data and that of The Banks Report - said there were 148 completed dealership transactions year-to-date through Oct. 1. That's nearly double the 78 transactions done through the same period of 2014.
Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of Van Tuyl was announced on Oct. 2, and since then, "the number of dealers considering a sale has increased considerably," the Kerrigan report says.
In fact, the firm is projecting buy/sell activity to remain elevated for the rest of the year and most of next year. The report also mentions that private buyers are leading the pack by a wide margin.
 "It is not surprising that private capital is seeking financial exposure to auto retail. These investors see a profitable, fragmented industry with tremendous consolidation opportunities (the top 125 dealership groups represent only 25 percent of industry's sales)," said Ryan Kerrigan, who will be leading the new private equity and family office advisory at Kerrigan Advisors.
"They also see attractive exit opportunities in the public markets through a future IPO (auto retail's stock market capitalization relative to market size is one of the smallest in our economy)," he continued. "Private investors also see opportunity in a changing industry in which online sales, no haggle pricing, and new forms of car ownership create attractive new business models that are less reliant on expensive human capital," he concluded.

Buffet's Dealer Group Buy Still Creating Ripples.......................

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Vehicle Loan Amounts Reach Record Highs

Perhaps Experian Automotive found another part of what is the "new normal" in auto financing as analysts determined that the average dollar amount for both new- and used-vehicle loans reached all-time highs in the third quarter.
According to the latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, the average loan amount for a new vehicle was $27,799 in Q3, up $1,080 from the previous year. Used-vehicle loans increased $676, reaching $18,576 over the same time period.
The report indicated leasing accounted for 29.1 percent of all new-vehicle financing in Q3, up 7.1 percent from a year ago. New-vehicle loans in the 73- to 84-month range grew by 23.7 percent in Q3 compared with the previous year, while used loans in the same range grew by 18 percent from a year ago.
"Car buyers tend to shop with a monthly payment in mind. As a result, we are continuing to see them turn to leasing and longer loan lengths as strategies to keep payments down and make vehicles more affordable," said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive finance for Experian.
"As car values continue to reach new heights, these insights will help dealers, lenders and consumers become more aware of the options available to them to keep people buying cars, all while staying within their budgets," Zabritski continued.
Furthermore, the report found that the average monthly payment for new and used-vehicle loans increased from the previous year. The monthly payment for a new-model loan reached $470, up $12 from a year ago, while the monthly payment for a used-vehicle loan reached an all-time high of $358, an increase of $8 over the same time period.
Additional findings from the report showed that interest rates for new-vehicle loans increased slightly in the third quarter, climbing 4.7 percent from a year ago. However, despite the growth, these rates have decreased each quarter in 2014. Interest rates for used-vehicle loans decreased to 8.5 percent in the quarter.
"As consumers explore the different options available to them to keep their monthly payments low, they have to remember interest rates often can play a factor. Making timely payments and becoming a low credit risk are the easiest ways to ensure a low interest rate," Zabritski said.
"For example, the average interest rate for super-prime consumers on a new loan was 2.6 percent, compared with 12.7 percent for deep subprime consumers. Understanding how on-time payments influence credit scores, can help consumers improve their financing experience," she went on to say.
Experian also highlighted five other notable trends, including:
-The average credit score for a new-vehicle loan was 713 in Q3, down 3 points from a year ago.
-The average credit score for a used-vehicle loan rose 2 points in Q3, reaching 650.
-Captives were the only lender type to see an increase in market share year over year, up 28.9 percent.
-A record-high 54.1 percent of all used vehicle transactions were financed, up from 52.6 percent in Q3.
-For new vehicles, 84.8 of all transactions were financed in Q3 2014, which was unchanged from the previous year.

Vehicle Loan Amounts Reach Record Highs...................................

Saturday, 29 November 2014

New Leader At GM Canada As Williams Retires

As of the end of the year, General Motors Canada will have a new leader. Stephen Carlisle has been named president and managing director of GM Canada. Carlisle will be succeeding Kevin Williams, who has led the company since 2010.
The automaker reported Williams, who has elected to retire, effective Dec. 31, will stay on to assist in the transition through the end of the year.
Williams is a GM veteran, having joined the company in 1983. During his tenure, he held progressively more senior roles in manufacturing, supplier quality and development, purchasing and service and parts operations in multiple locations around the globe including Canada, Mexico, Germany and the United States.
Prior to his most recent position, Williams served as vice president and general manager of service and parts operations, where he led all GM's global aftersales businesses.
He also served as president and managing director of GM de Mexico; GM North America vice president of quality and global quality process Leader; and global executive director, supplier quality, development and supplier diversity.
"I'd like to thank Kevin for his leadership and significant contributions throughout a long and distinguished career with GM," said Mary Barra, chief executive officer of GM. "In his most recent assignment, Kevin helped rebuild GM Canada after one of our most challenging periods and has established a solid foundation for growth into the future."
The new president, Carlisle, will report to Alan Batey, president of GM North America.
Carlie previously served as VP of global product planning and program management based in the U.S.
He has also worked as VP, U.S. sales operations, responsible for dealer network, retail sales support and fleet & commercial; as well as president and managing director of GM South East Asia Operations, in addition to leadership positions in Singapore and China. ,
"I'm honoured to have the opportunity to return to Canada and build on the winning foundation established by Kevin and the team over the past four years," said Carlisle.  "Having worked intensely on GM's world-leading new products and technology strategies, I am excited to bring my enthusiasm and product focus to Canada. I look forward to working with our employees, dealers and other key stakeholders to continue to build an organization that puts the customer at the centre of everything we do."

New Leader at GM Canada as Williams Retires.........................

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Mazda Canada Offers Unlimited Mileage Warranty

Mazda Canada Inc. announced a move today that may help its franchised dealers in their quest for customer retention, loyalty - and, of course, more trade-ins.
The company has launched a new unlimited mileage warranty, which puts an end to distance limitations on its factory warranty coverage - a move which has the potential to keep shoppers coming in to dealerships' service departments' for longer, perhaps leading to a higher number of trade-ins, as well.
This will take effect for all new standard factory warranties on all Mazda vehicles starting with the 2015 model year.
"Mazda's focus is on long-term customer satisfaction," said Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada Inc. "By offering our customers an unlimited mileage warranty, we believe it will enhance their ownership experience by alleviating concerns such as kilometer limitations, repair costs and resale value."
The basic package warranty for Mazda vehicles covers all parts found to be factory defective for three years - now regardless of the number of kilometers driven.
Additional warranties for consumers to choose from cover powertrain components for a period of five years with unlimited mileage; body sheet metal perforation for seven years with unlimited mileage; and roadside assistance for three years with unlimited mileage.
And the company mentioned the new unlimited mileage warranty is retroactive to all owners who have already bought a 2015 model-year Mazda and is transferable to subsequent owners.
"An unlimited mileage warranty fits perfectly with our brand," said David Klan, senior director of sales, marketing and regional operations. "Mazda is a company that always challenges traditional conventions to make improvements. Driving enjoyment is essential to Mazda; it's in our DNA, and every car we make. So offering a different kind of warranty that doesn't restrict customers from enjoying their vehicle and driving as much, or as far, as they want is an ideal fit."
Mazda Canada Offers Unlimited Mileage Warranty......................... 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Canadians Vote Honda & Toyota Tops For Quality

It seems the vehicle preferences of Canadians haven't changed much in the last year, as the 2014 iteration of ALG's Canada Brand Perception of Quality (BPQ) rankings look very similar to the 2013 edition.
Once again, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen are tops for the mainstream sector, with scores of 61.9 percent, 60.6 percent and 60.5 percent, respectively, on a 100-point scale.
And Mercedes-Benz came out ahead in the premium market with a score of 65.8, followed by BMW (65.4) and Porsche (64.3).
"It's clear that the established German luxury marques, along with Lexus, have a solid advantage in the battle for public perception," ALG analysts said.
The company also pointed out overall perception of brand quality in Canada has risen nearly a full point, showing increased confidence in automakers - even amid the extensive recall campaigns launched this year.
Though 2014 BPQ results - which were calculated from an on-line survey of 2,000 recent new-vehicle buyers across Canada -  show similar rankings from last year, ALG pointed out a few notable shifts.
For example, Dodge and GMC moved in "opposite directions", ALG analysts reported.
Dodge saw a BPQ bump of 2.8 points this time around to 53.8, which was nearly two points more than the overall average of 55. According to survey results, the appreciation for Dodge was split between genders. While women's opinion of Dodge went up nearly 2.5 points, men's fell by approximately half a point.
On the other hand, General Motors' truck brand saw perception fall by one point to 53.3, which was enough to drop the brand down five spots in the overall rankings.
Opinions of GMC dropped among both genders,  and ALG pointed out that various demographic groups, such as "leading-edge boomers" and buyers without a college education, also lowered their opinions of the brand.
Another mainstream brand to see a drop in perception of quality was Hyundai, which has moved forward recently in other avenues.
The brand, though, ranks just above average for BPQ, falling below brands such as Subaru, Jeep and Ford.
"Hyundai's biggest shift was among trailing-edge boomers and, more worryingly, millennials," ALG's report said.
And new for this year, ALG broke down the BPQ results by geographic region, highlighting the Quebec results as particularly interesting.
In Quebec, VW ranked significantly above Toyota.
"The German brand also had an advantage when it comes to younger buyers, with Millennials and Gen-Xers ranking marginally below Honda in terms of perception of quality," ALG analysts explained. "Many of these buyers did not experience the quality issues Volkswagen struggled through in the early- to mid-2000s, and just associate the Volkswagen name with German engineering."
And this dedication to German engineering was particularly obvious in the luxury rankings. Results for the premium brands panned out in similar "clusters," ALG pointed out, with the Germans at the top, the second-tier Japanese luxury brands near the average, and the U.S. brands towards the bottom.
"Each of the latter groups have struggled to compete with the Teutonic luxury juggernaut, and have continually sought to reinvent themselves in order to jump-start their market share, though Acura and Infiniti get the benefit of the positive association with Japanese quality," the report stated.
Interestingly, the biggest alteration in the premium sector was seen toward the bottom of the list, with Tesla (15) and Alfa Romeo (14) switching places.
ALG asserts this change is due to increasing familiarity with the Tesla brand, while Alfa Romeo "still relies on public memory of its brand to inform buyers of its quality levels, which is not conducive to high levels of perception."
While Alfa lost more than a full index point, Tesla gained 4.5 points.

Canadians Vote Honda and Toyota Tops for Quality...............................

Friday, 7 November 2014

What Length of Ownership Leads to Brand Loyalty?

A recent analysis released by Experian Automotive this week shines some light on the relationship between a consumer's length of ownership of a vehicle and their likelihood of repurchasing their next vehicle from the same brand, otherwise known as brand loyalty.
The relationship may surprise you.
According to Experian's data, the longer consumers hold onto their vehicles, the less likely they are to remain loyal to the brand. In fact, it appears as though the most significant drop in brand loyalty occurs after 36 months, according to the study, making leases ideal for brands to hold onto their drivers.
"Leases with their fixed length ownership cycle are typically strong contributors to brand loyalty," said Brad Smith, Experian Automotive's director of automotive market statistics.
Over the course of seven years of ownership, a lot of things change, including vehicle product offerings, vehicle budget and credit score," Smith continued. "Additionally, the increase in time between dealer interactions, whether they are for sales or service, increases the probability of a customer defecting to the competition."
As of the first quarter of 2014, the average length of ownership was 93 months - 7.75 years - with an average brand-loyalty rate of 49.5 percent. Consumers who owned a vehicle for 12 months ended up purchasing from the same brand family 57.3 percent of the time, while that rate dropped to 33.8 percent for people who owned their vehicle for 144 months, or 12 years.
The most significant drop - after 36 months, decreased brand loyalty by nearly 10 percentage points.
"Understanding how long consumers hang onto vehicles, or how often they return to market and purchase the same brand, are critical pieces of information for automotive dealers, retailers and manufacturers," Smith said.
"On the one hand, increased ownership lengths create greater opportunity for dealer and aftermarket service organizations," he continued. "On the other hand, it underscores the importance for service centers to focus on customer service and retention.
"Dealers and manufacturers should continue to emphasize on keeping customers loyal to the service drive and using these customer interactions to highlight their new and soon to be released product offerings, as these efforts will aid in increasing service revenue and repurchase loyalty," Smith went on to say.
So which manufacturers lead the way in length of ownership and brand loyalty?
Dodge, Buick, Chevrolet, Ford and Mitsubishi, respectively, were the top five brands for length of ownership, ranging from 113 months of ownership for Dodge and Buick to 109 months for Mitsubishi.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Kia and Lexus showed the highest rates of brand loyalty, respectively, ranging from 61 percent with Ford to 55.8 percent with Lexus. Ford, with 110 months for their average length of ownership, was the only brand to break into the top five in both categories.
Other important findings, provided by Experian Automotive:
  • In Q1 2014, the average length of ownership increased by three months from Q1 2012
  • Brand loyalty in the first quarter of 2014 improved by 3.9 percent from two years ago
  • Acura and Volvo led the luxury-vehicle segment with the longest length of ownership in Q1 2014 at 99 months and 92 months, respectively
  • Lexus and Mercedes-Benz led the luxury-vehicle segment with the highest brand loyalty in Q1 2012 at 55.8 percent and 52.7 percent, respectively

What Length of Ownership Leads to Brand Loyalty..................   

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Toyota Celebrates 50 Years in Canada

It has been 50 years since Toyota entered the Canadian marketplace. A half a century ago, Toyota granted a distributorship agreement to Canadian Motor Industries, Ltd., which would later become Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI).
The following year, TCI would sell only 755 vehicles.
To put the automaker's growth in perspective, Canadians have purchased over 4.6 million vehicle as of this year, and the lineup includes 40 vehicles.
"On this special occasion of our 50th anniversary, we thank Canadians for making Toyota a part of their lives, and allowing us to be woven into the social and economic fabric of this great country," said Seiji Ichii, president and chief executive officer of TCI. "Our customers are the inspiration that motivate us - and they are behind the passion that drives our innovation in the automotive industry."
And TCI has put an emphasis on creating jobs in the country, as well.
Today, almost half of the Toyota vehicles sold in Canada are made at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC).
The Toyota Corolla and RAV4, and the Lexus RX350 and RX450 hybrid are built at TMMC.
And this year, TMMC also hit a milestone, celebrating the production of its 6 millionth vehicle.
TCI employs 700 associates, and the total of Canadians employed by Toyota in Canada reaches about 11,000 when adding team members, as well as at Toyota Financial Services,  the company said.
And when taking the network of 285 dealerships into account, total employment reaches approximately 24,000 Canadians.
The company said that innovation is at the heart of the automaker's long-term vision, both for Canada and on a global scale.
In fact, the milestone of 100,000 TCI hybrids sold in Canada was recently reached.
Since 2000 when the Toyota Prius hybrid was first introduced to Canada, based on the total Toyota/Lexus hybrid units sold, using approved government of Canada test methodology, Toyota and Lexus hybrids have saved Canadians almost 260 million liters of fuel and helped avoid over 600,000 tons of C02 emissions, according to TCI.
The company also works to support Canadian communities, with help from its dealerships. Toyota Canada Inc. and the Toyota Canada Foundation work within the community with a primary focus on the environment, safety education and quality.
Toyota and its dealerships support the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program and the Toyota sponsored KartSTART, a driver-safety training program.
In addition, there is support for research in telematics at Canadian universities such as the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) project at the University of Toronto, and research done by specialists at a dedicated Cold Weather Testing facility in Timmins, Ontario.

Toyota Celebrates 50 Years in Canada......................................

Friday, 24 October 2014

Are Franchised Dealerships in Tesla"s Future

Michigan Republican governor Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday officially banning Tesla Motors and any other carmaker from selling directly to car-buyers in the state, but this past weekend,Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk hinted his position on direct sales is not set in stone.
Last Saturday, Musk sat down with John McElroy the host of program AutoLine Daily.
When McElroy asked Musk if he could really scale up his retail model of company stores in all 50 states and how they would handle maintenance and repairs, Musk made a surprising admittance.
He said, relying exclusively on company stores probably was not enough.
"We may need a hybrid system, with a combination of our own stores and dealer franchises," Musk told McElroy.
By the time of publication, Tesla representatives had not responded to Auto Remarketing's request for further comment.
According to the report, Musk made no mention of how this hybrid system may work and when franchises would become an option.
This discussion may come as a big surprise to those who have been watching the long battle between Tesla and franchised dealers across the country regarding its direct-to-consumer sales model, but it may just be part of the natural evolution of the company.
Now that it has launched a leasing and CPO program, and with new models in the wings, more Tesla's mean more maintenance, repair work and customers - an influx of work that could potentially be solved by launching a string of franchised dealerships.
Auto Remarketing discussed Tesla's new CPO program after the news broke earlier this month.
In an effort to source their new program, the company is giving Tesla Model S owners the option to return the car after three years and recover 45 to 50 percent of its sticker price.
It is still unknown whether Tesla's move into the used market will greatly expand its audience and analysts say there could be a chance the program will potentially cut into new-model customers.
The industry will also have to wait and see how the automaker prices its CPO units as the way the Tesla retail model is currently set up puts them in a place where they can potentially "control" the CPO market for the Model S, including price.
"They could control the roll out of used vehicles, and some could sit in reconditioning. They might cherry-pick others. So when you combine the idea that it is a used market but they are going to take the best of the best, and if they have the majority of them, it would be very easy for them to set a price with no negotiation, in that sense," said Ivan Drury, senior analyst.
The question is this: Is Tesla going to come up with a condition and mileage matrix to price their CPO models or rather go with pricing every vehicle individually based on market and technician review?

Are Franchised Dealerships in Tesla's Future............................

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Mercedes Benz Canada Appoints New Brampton Dealer

TORONTO - Mercedes-Benz Canada is expanding its presence in the Greater Toronto area by appointing a new dealer.
Company executives and the dealership's new management recently turned over the first shovelful of soil of the future Brampton-based facility.
Mercedes-Benz Brampton will be run by Sam Eltes and Jonathan Eltes, dealer principles, as well as Gary Williams, the store's general manager.
"Sam Eltes is a long-time trusted partner of Mercedes-Benz Canada and it is our pleasure to welcome him and his team to the Greater Toronto Area. They bring a great deal of experience and knowledge which will make the start up process smoother and more fluid for the benefit of their new customers," said Tim Reuss, president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz Canada. "This new facility will also provide another convenient point of sales and service in the GTA to effectively serve the needs of existing and future customers in this important growing market."
During the groundbreaking ceremony, the group was also joined by Rob Girouard, general manager of Silver Star Mercedes-Benz, located in Montreal.
Mercedes-Benz Brampton will be the second Mercedes-Benz banner for the Silver Star organization.
Construction of the new facility began in August on a six-acre site located on the southeast corner of Mayfield Road at Highway 410.
And this will be a quick turnaround, as the facility is scheduled to be fully operational by May 2015.
The store is set to be 60,000 square-feet and will house the Mercedes-Benz, AMG and Smart brands.
A service area that will feature 29 work bays will take up 30,000 square-feet.

Mercedes Benz Canada Appoints New Brampton Dealer............

Saturday, 11 October 2014

New No. 1 Reason Women Buy from Dealerships

New No.1 Reason Women Buy From Dealerships...............

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Most-Appraised Vehicles: What Shoppers Are Looking For

Year-to-date, the Honda Civic Sedan is the third most appraised vehicle in Canada.

Fall appraisal trends are so far mirroring summer results, with the ever-popular Ford F-150 out in front last month, according to DealerTrack's TradeTracker report.
The Ford F-150 is also No. 1 for year-to-date trends, similar to what was seen in 2013.
The Toyota Corolla was the No. 2 most appraised vehicle in Canada in September.
The top three were rounded out by the Dodge Caravan, taking the place of the Honda Civic sedan, which moved down to fourth place. Year-to-date, though, the Honda Civic easily takes the third spot.
Another Ford model, the Escape, rounded out the top five. Year-to-date, this position has been held by the Dodge Grand Caravan.
These reports are provided monthly to Auto Remarketing Canada and are a result of Dealertrack Technologies' TradeTracker solution, which is an online, trade-in evaluation tool that allows dealerships to create instant, accurate appraisals and gain insight into their used-car business.
The report also breaks down the vehicles by market, as follows:
  • The top domestic vehicle appraised by domestic dealers was the F-150.
  • The top import vehicle appraised by import dealers was the Corolla.
  • The top domestic vehicle appraised by import dealers was the Ford Escape.
  • The top import vehicle appraised by domestic dealers was the Mazda3.
The report also narrows down the top vehicles being looked at by trade-in owners.
Within this group, the top domestic vehicle looked at by domestic owners was once again the F-150.
For import owners, the top import vehicle looked at was the Corolla.
And when it comes to domestics, import owners looked at the Escape the most in September.
Lastly, the top import vehicle looked at by domestic owners was the Toyota Rav4. This spot has been consistently held by the Toyota Corolla, who holds the year-to-date trend.
The TradeTracker reports also include a Brand of the Month section, which highlights appraisal trends by an individual brand each month.
The brand highlighted in September was Kia.
The top three vehicles looked at by trade-in customers at Kia dealerships were the Sorento, Soul and Rio, respectively.
The top three off-make vehicles appraised by Ford dealers were the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Dodge Grand Caravan, respectively.

Most Appraised Vehicles: What Shoppers Are Looking For..........  

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Industry Supports Vehicle Emission Regulation Amendments

by: Auto Remarketing Canada
The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association (CVMA) as well as the Global Automakers of Canada praised the Canadian government's latest move to reduce vehicle greenhouse gases and smog causing emissions.
The Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Monday expected amendments to Canada's greenhouse gas (GHG) and "Tier 3" emissions regulations for new light duty vehicles, as well as new regulations to further reduce vehicle related smog causing emissions to improve air quality.
Here's a breakdown of the amendments and expanded regulations:
  • The new greenhouse gas emissions regulations for light duty trucks for the 2017-2025 model-year vehicles will align with those in the United States over the same period. The proposed new regulations mean vehicles in the 2025 model year will use 50 percent less fuel than those of the 2008 model year vehicles.
"The proposed regulations set a very challenging objective for Canada's vehicle manufacturers," said Mark Nantais, president of the CVMA. "By being part of a robust, aligned standard, new more advanced technologies come to market more quickly with greater choice of products that are more affordable for consumers as manufacturers are to able take advantage of the economies of scale derived from the larger integrated market inherent in the North American automobile industry."
  • The new Tier 3 criteria air containment (smog causing) emission standards for new vehicles will work to further reduce those emissions by 80 percent from the existing Tier 2 emissions standards.
"These new regulations will further help reduce the impact of vehicles on regional air quality. In this regard, the on-road light duty vehicle fleet is the only sector to demonstrate continuous year over year reduction in smog-causing emissions since 1985," Naintais said. 
  • The government also announced it will be aligning to the more extreme U.S. greenhouse gas emissions regulations for heavy duty vehicles and engines for the 2018 model year and beyond. This move will work to reduce truck emissions by up to 23 percent.  
"Today's announcement offers much-needed regulatory certainty as automakers develop their medium- and long-term product plans," said David Adams, president of Global Automakers, when the news was announced Monday.
"The forthcoming greenhouse gas emissions regulations for light duty vehicles covering the 2017-2025 period, along with the anticipated introduction of draft "Tier 3" amendments to Canada's vehicle emissions and sulfur in gasoline regulations underscores the reality that vehicles and fuels operate as a tightly integrated system," he continued.
Adams pointed out that for several years, Global Automakers has encouraged the Canadian government to put into place regulations that push toward cleaner fuels, such as ultra-low sulfur gasoline.
Lower sulfur fuels are "critical" to the successful introductions of several advanced engine and emissions technologies required to meet the government's 2017-25 GHG emissions regulations, the organization stated.
"The consistent availability of ultra-low sulfur gasoline across Canada is essential to support our members' introduction of cutting-edge emissions reduction and fuel-saving technologies. Working together, cleaner fuels and more efficient engines will deliver improved fuel efficiency and markedly improved air quality for all Canadians," added Adams.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement of the Joint Forward Plan, released by the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) earlier this month.
The plan, the next step in cooperation between the two countries set in motion by the 2011 Joint Action Plan, continues the implementation of groundwork to collaborate and streamline joint efforts involving departments and agencies with responsibilities for agriculture and food, transportation, health and personal care products, workplace chemicals, and the environment.

Industry Supports Vehicle Emission Regulation Amendments......

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Staying Compliant with Ontario's All-In Pricing Regulation

Ontario dealers should, by now, be quite aware of the all-in pricing regulations enforced by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council. If not, you'll want to be, because OMVIC is cracking down on violators of its consumer protection regulations.
Just this week, OMVIC announced a fine for Platinum Cars Inc. for not abiding to the all-in pricing legislation. The business was fined $21,500 for over 20 ads that did not include administration fees in the pricing of the vehicle but listed it elsewhere in the ad. The dealership's officer/director was also personally fined $3,000 for not upholding the responsibility of managing the ads' compliance requirements and will also be required to retake the OMVIC certification course.
Fortunately for dealers, the regulation is pretty self-explanatory. All-in pricing means exactly what it sounds like - everything that you intend to charge for should be included in the price for all forms of advertised pricing. OMVIC's director of communications, Terry O'Keefe, took the time to speak with Auto Remarketing Canada to help explain the regulation as clearly as possible.
"I think that it's important that dealers remember that an advertised price has to include all fees and charges that they intend to collect," O'Keefe said. "And that includes things like administration fee, it includes charges for products or services that they may have already preinstalled on the vehicle and then therefor intend to charge for, such as a security product or something like nitrogen in the tires."
The easiest way to think about it, according to O'Keefe, is like a drive-away price. With the exception of the harmonized sales tax (HST) and licensing cost, the price advertised should be the price a customer can expect to pay without any surprises.
"It's also important to note that licensing means the actual cost to license or register that vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation Ontario," O'Keefe said. "There can't be a hidden fee in that licensing cost. If the cost to put plates on the car is $90 then that is the cost that can be charged."
It is important to keep in mind, if not included in the advertised price, that the HST and licensing costs should be clear and prominently visible within the ad, which includes anything posted in print, on the Internet, on social media, radio, television, signs, etc. Anywhere a consumer may be exposed to a vehicle listing in any form or fashion is an advertisement.
The all-in pricing regulation was created to provide transparency and trust for consumers. And this becomes especially important in today's digital age, where consumers have access to virtually endless information and are more likely to recognizing sales ploys.
The support for the regulation is two-sided, however, as it works as a competition leveler for dealers, as well. It prevents dealers from advertising what appears to be a lower price than its competitors when it actually intends to charge additional fees that other dealers are already including in their advertised prices.
"That's one of the reasons why the all-in pricing regulations have received support from all the trade industries, as well from the dealer groups," O'Keefe said. "Because they recognized this isn't just good for consumers. If we get full compliance from dealers, it's good for dealers, too. It creates a level playing field."

Staying Compliant with Ontario's All-In Pricing Regulation........... 


Friday, 12 September 2014

Will Interest Rate Shopping Hurt My Credit Score

If you've ever bought a house or car, your research probably included some interest rate shopping. Even if you have a great credit score, you don't know if the interest rates offered at a dealership or your own bank are really the best you can get until you check out what other lenders are offering. While this is a smart financial move, a lot of people worry about what this will do to their credit score-especially if they are gearing up to make a big purchase. Certain kinds of credit inquiries do impact your score, but there is a built-in allowance for interest rate shopping.
Most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries from auto or mortgage lenders within a short period of time-usually 30 days. In these cases, multiple inquiries will be treated as a single inquiry, and this will have little or no impact on your credit score.
However, shopping around for interest rates usually means you're preparing for a big purchase. To best protect your credit, there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Apply for the same type of loan for the same amount. It's fairly evident on a credit report that when five lenders pull your credit for a $300,000 mortgage loan, you're not buying five $300,000 homes.
  • Conduct your business as quickly as possible. While the 30-day grace period is no myth, you might want to treat it as a weeklong grace period. Figure out which lenders you want to check out and do all your applications within a few days.
  • Do not apply for other forms of credit during this time period. Applying for too many loans or lines of credit at once could make you look like a higher risk to creditors.
Different types of inquiries
Remember, not all inquiries are created equal; only a hard inquiry will impact your credit score. A hard inquiry is when a mortgage lender, landlord, bank, or other creditor accesses your credit report because of a transaction you initiated. The key here is that you initiated this inquiry by asking for a line of credit from a lender.
The other two types of inquiries generally do not have any effect on your score. A soft inquiry is initiated by someone other than you, such as a lender or creditor. Think of the promotional offers you get in the mail. You didn't ask for that pre-approved credit offer, but someone at the company pulled your information.
A personal credit inquiry also does not impact your score-you can pull your credit any time you want. And if you are about to apply for a loan or do some interest rate shopping, you should pull your credit report and score so you have a better idea of what kind of interest rates you'll be offered.

article provided by: Equifax Blog

Will Interest Rate Shopping Hurt My Credit Score...... 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Toyota Says Fuel Saved From Hybrids Would Fill 103 Swimming Pools

By Auto Remarketing Staff
Toyota introduced the Prius to Canada 15 years ago - and this week, the automaker reported it has reached the milestone of 100,000 hybrids sold in Canada.
Providing an interesting illustration, Toyota Canada said the fuel saved by Canadian drivers using Toyota and Lexus hybrids over the past 15 years would fill more than 103 Olympic-size swimming pools.
The two brands have seen the largest surge in hybrid interest in Canada since the turn of the millennium.
According to Toyota Canada, Lexus and its mainstream vehicles account for more than three quarters of all hybrids sold in Canada since 2000.
"The fuel needed by Toyota hybrids is over 30 percent less than vehicles with conventional gas engines," said Seiji Ichii, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Canada Inc. "That means since 2000, Toyota and Lexus hybrids have avoided more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions while saving over 259 million liters of fuel."
Currently, there are six Toyota and soon-to-be six Lexus hybrid models available in Canada. Coming soon, the Lexus NX 200h will be introduced to Canada.

Toyota: Fuel Saved From Hybrids Would Fill 103 Swimming Pools........

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ontario Appeal Court Sends Repeat Curbsider to Jail

Industry regulators are turning their focus to unlicensed dealers - and it may mean jail time for some prosecuted for the crime.
The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council announced this morning the Ontario Court of Justice has upheld the decision of a lower court. 
Consequently, Andre Nicholas Campbell of Missisauga, Ontario, is headed to jail for acting as a motor vehicle dealer without registration.
Campbell was charged with acting contrary to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 1990, which states one cannot act as a motor vehicle dealer unless he or she is registered under the act.
Campbell was originally sentenced to 32 days in jail (to be served intermittently on weekends) in January 2013, OMVIC reported.
He then appealed the conviction and sentence to the Ontario Court of Justice.
Justice S.R. Shamai, of the Ontario Court of Justice, upheld the conviction given by Justice of the Peace Delano Europa, and stated that Campbell "had shown a lengthy pattern of misrepresentation."
In fact, Campbell may be regretting the appeal, as the sentence was hardened a bit the second time around.
Shamai said she thought the sentence was "lenient" and ordered Campbell into custory immediately with no provision for serving his sentence on weekends.
OMVIC officials commented on the news, showing approval for the sentence.
"This sentence sends an important message to curbsiders" stated OMVIC director of investigations, Carey Smith. "The retail automotive industry is regulated in Ontario; these regulations exist to create a fair and informed marketplace and to ensure that persons acting as dealers meet the requirements set out by law."
In fact, the charges actually date back to 2006 when OMVIC Investigators found Cambell "routinely sold vehicles as a matter of business while posing as a private individual selling a personal vehicle," OMVIC officials said.
According to evidence presented at the sentencing, Campbell had actually been convicted twice previously for curbsiding: in 2001 and 2004, and the fines imposed were not paid.
OMVIC also reported many of the vehicles Campbell had sold illegally were previously accident damaged or written-off.
"This was not disclosed to the vehicle buyers, one of whom was a driver's education instructor who told Campbell the vehicle would be used by his students," OMVIC officials stated.

Ontario Appeal Court Sends Repeat Curbsider to Jail........... 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

ADESA Index Shows Substantial Used-Price Decline

Auction prices in Canada have remained mostly consistent in 2014 with slight fluctuation, but July told a bit of a different story, according to the ADESA Canada Used Vehicle Price Index.
The index, powered by ALG, fell substantially after being adjusted for seasonality, the company reported, dropping by an average of 0.8 percent month-over-month.
And most all segments saw a drop in price this past month.
In fact, midsize SUVs were the only segment to see prices rise, but the jump was significant. The segment saw prices spike by 2.5 percent, or $305, from June.
Interestingly, another van segment found itself at the other end of the spectrum.
According to the index, minivan prices fell at the fastest rate last month, falling by a whopping 10.4 percent, or $1,067, in July.
This segment was followed - though not closely - by the mid-compact cars, which saw prices drop by 4.7 percent, or $396.
Midsize cars were up next with a price decline of 4.3 percent, or $419.
Lastly, full-size pickups dropped by 1.8 percent ($333), and compact SUVs fell by 2.8 percent, or $343.
Used-car prices were on the way down in July, but new-vehicle sales were heading in the opposite direction, with a reported increase of 11.3 percent year-over-year. This performance marks the best July for new-car sales on record, ALG analysts pointed out.
Year-to-date, new-car sales are up 4.1 percent, a number that could bode well for trade-ins at dealerships, as used supply remains tight.
That said, relief could be on the horizon.
The latest RVI Risk Outlook report indicates that used-car supply will likely increase over the next five years. Consequently, within this time frame, used-car prices - on a nominal level - are predicted to drop by 4 percent from current levels by 2017.
And ALG predicts that between last month and July 2018, used supply will increase by 178,000 units. 

Adesa Index Shows Substantial Used Price Decline...........  

Saturday, 16 August 2014

TRADER Corp. is entering the online auction ring with its new product TRADER Exchange.
The new dealer-to-dealer auction tool gives TRADER's dealer customers a way to wholesale vehicles without leaving the portal they have used to retail units to customers in the past.
In an interview with Auto Remarketing Canada, Gayle Kosokowsky, director of B2B marketing at TRADER, said, "The new tool gives dealers another option to wholesale their vehicles, and it is fully integrated into the TRADER Control Center, which is the same software that they use to get their inventory out on the Web.
"It is the exact same software, so the move to using TRADER Exchange should be seamless and easy for the dealer," she added.
The tool will be available through the TRADER Dealer app, as well, for dealers to buy and sell on the go through their mobile devices.
Kosokowsky explained the reasoning behind the dealer-to-dealer auction launch is an effort to provide a "one-stop shop" for dealers.
"Right now, the dealers don't have the opportunity to purchase and sell directly to dealers through our tools, and this tool allows them to do so," she said.
TRADER Exchange is set to launch in mid- to late September, and will only be available to TRADER customers.
It will be initially available to Ontario dealers only, but Kosokowsky said the auction will be going nationwide in early 2015.
Here's how it works. Posting vehicles on TRADER Exchange requires dealers to go through four steps.
First, of course, dealers will select vehicles from their inventory list to offer in the dealer-to-dealer auction space.
Next up is filling in reconditioning details. TRADER is currently working on a partnership with CarProof to integrate its new RECON tool into the Exchange program. "The recon portion is just so that dealers are fully aware of what is happening with the vehicle, also the vehicle history report, and that's just because in a physical auction you can look at the vehicle and see what is happening, but here this is just building an element of trust for us on our online auction customers," Kosokowsky said.
Next, up dealers will fill out auction details, which includes changes in the inventory information within Control Center. For example, dealers can alter the price from retail to wholesale, and/or make the listing comments more specific for dealer-to-dealer sales, rather than dealer-to-consumer.
Lastly, the dealer must schedule his or her auction. The minimum timeframe for TRADER Exchange auctions is 20 minutes, and auctions can go up to eight hours.
During initial market research and focus groups with dealers, Kosokowsky said dealers said they wanted to keep the auction timelines short.
"The reasoning was a sense of urgency, so they aren't dragging things out over days and days and take up their time and attention when they may or may not get the vehicle," she said. "That was one problem cited with online auctions ... is you never know if you are going to get the vehicle, even if you have the highest bid, because in the live trade scenario, the dealer may only be considering taking a trade-in. So they don't actually have the vehicle yet, and it is still with the owner."
With live trades, dealers are bidding on a vehicle the other dealer may not have his hands on yet, so by making the auction times shorter, dealers are spending less time and investment on individual auctions.
TRADER is only offering the tool to licensed dealers, of course, and is also making it easier for participating dealers to post their registration numbers.
"We have been collecting their registration numbers and including them in the ads for them and their dealer profiles," said Kosokowsky.  "Rather than them having to post them every time, which in some provinces you have to do, we are collecting them so it just happened automatically for the dealers."
Two weeks before launch, participating dealers will be allowed to start posting inventory, as this will give TRADER an idea of the amount of inventory TRADER Exchange will tout when they open the virtual doors and allow for bidding to start.

Trader to Launch Dealer to Dealer Online Auction............ 

Friday, 8 August 2014

KAR Acquires 50% Stake in Toronto-Based TradeRev

Continuing a flurry of significant industry moves, KAR Auction Services announced Tuesday that its business unit ADESA has acquired a 50-percent stake in Toronto-based Nth Gen Software and its online vehicle remarketing system, TradeRev.
KAR officials indicated the total purchase price for the transaction is approximately $30 million in cash.
ADESA also announced that it has entered into a joint marketing agreement with TradeRev to assist in expanding its footprint in the dealer-to-dealer online space in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
The company highlighted ADESA will be the exclusive provider of certain products and services to TradeRev's customers. Officials added that ADESA will also leverage its 65 auction locations across North America and the company's strong online auction presence and dealer network to support TradeRev's diverse dealer offerings.
ADESA president and chief executive officer St├ęphane St-Hilaire explained TradeRev is an online automotive remarketing system where dealers can launch and participate in real-time vehicle auctions at any time from their mobile devices or desktop.
"TradeRev allows dealers to obtain instant bids while the retail customer is sitting in the showroom by providing a private, customized network for buyers and sellers that quickly and efficiently moves fresh trades," St-Hilaire said.
"We acknowledge that dealers are using technology more and more to buy and sell cars," he continued. "In that regard, TradeRev is a natural evolution in the dealer-to-dealer space which includes approximately 20-22 million transactions a year."
Mark Endras, the president, founder and creator of TradeRev, and the company's management team own the other 50 percent interest in TradeRev.
"We have long admired ADESA's ability to deliver simple, consistent solutions in the used-vehicle market and the company's capability to provide a broad network of users across Canada and the United States," Endras said.
"TradeRev has always believed in providing dealers and wholesalers cutting-edge technology to enable them to create new efficiencies within their operations," he continued. "Partnering with ADESA will allow us to share our innovative TradeRev technology with even more customers across North America."
Registered dealers list vehicles in a TradeRev auction, and participating buyers get an instant notification of new vehicles as they are posted.
"This system also has a variety of sales tools, as well as immediate analytics for accurate vehicle appraisals," officials said.
Founded in 2009, TradeRev currently operates throughout Canada and in some U.S. states.