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......................................