10/07/2017 Light trucks now dominate the Canadian car market One of the dominant trends in the auto industry over the past four decades has been the steady rise of pickups and SUVs as a market segment.
In the 1960s and ’70s, pickups occupied a niche market among farming communities and construction companies. They were the preferred mode of transportation because pickups were inexpensive, practical, dependable, and versatile.
09/30/2017 Fall auto maintenance will provide peace of mind If I could share one piece of advice with motorists as the cold weather approaches, it would be not to skimp on auto maintenance.
This message may sound familiar, but too many motorists treat car maintenance as an afterthought. They are frustrated when their vehicle breaks down because of neglect, and later, when their vehicle — as a trade-in — is worth less than what they imagined it would be.
09/23/2017 Dealerships take health and safety laws seriously Modern car dealerships make steep investments to ensure that their facilities are both visually appealing and brand compliant.
Behind the scenes, equal effort and investment is made to ensure a safe, healthy, and accessible environment for employees, customers, vendors, contractors, and visitors.
09/16/2017 Biometrics will radically alter driving experience The media has focused much attention on electric and autonomous vehicles as the automotive industry steers toward wider adoption of those technologies.
There is another exciting development happening with automobiles that is just starting to see the light of day: in-car biometrics.
09/02/2017 Distracted driving column resonated with readers No Wheels column that I’ve written has generated as much feedback as the one I wrote about distracted driving (published July 22, 2017).
The blunt message in that column was an appeal to drivers who continue to engage in activities that divert their attention from driving (talking and texting on their mobile phones, reading, shaving, applying makeup, etc.).
08/26/2017 Classic car auctions are a joy ride through the past On a recent weekend in June, I attended the Barrett-Jackson 2nd Annual Northeast Auction in Uncasville, Conn.
This four-day event featured a variety of American muscle cars, European classics, exotics, sports cars, and one-of-a-kind custom cars. More than just an auction for classic cars, the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction bills itself as a “world-class automotive lifestyle event.”
08/12/2017 Automotive dealerships aren’t going anywhere At the height of the dot-com boom in the early 2000s, there was speculation about the future of automotive salespeople. Many so-called experts predicted that salespeople would become redundant once consumers could buy vehicles online.
08/05/2017 Why on-board technology has changed the way we drive In the late 1960s when I first began driving, the most advanced electronic feature on my car was an AM-FM radio with an eight-track tape player.
Throughout my life, I’ve observed the evolution of electronics in cars, from those clunky AM-FM radios to the sophisticated computerized engines and telematics. (In automotive terms, telematics is the monitoring of a vehicle using on-board GPS and diagnostics systems, to determine a car’s movements and its mechanical operation.)
07/29/2017 The automotive retail business is still all about the customer If you have purchased a vehicle from a registered new car dealership in the past decade, you have probably used the internet to assist you in that process.
In fact, more than 90 per cent of all vehicle purchases now originate online, and, as a result, consumers are visiting fewer dealerships in their quest to find their next dream car.
07/22/2017 Distracted driving needs to stop — now What is it going to take to get motorists to put away their mobile devices while driving?
This is a question that police departments, government agencies, automotive associations (including the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association) and insurance companies have been grappling with for more than a decade.
07/08/2017 Compensation fund keeps dealers accountable Any consumer who has bought from an Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council-registered dealer may contact its free complaint handling service.
I recently wrote about OMVIC, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, and how it has impacted dealers and consumers since it began regulating vehicle sales in Ontario in 1997.
06/24/2017 Auto industry applauds asbestos ban Canadian consumers and automotive technicians might be surprised to learn that select aftermarket parts pose a serious health risk to the technicians who work with these materials.
05/20/2017 An automotive success story At new car dealerships across Ontario, thousands of men and women are enjoying tremendous success in their chosen careers and making a positive difference in their communities.
05/13/2017 Dealer review, rating sites are highly influential In the early 1980s, a new measurement tool called the Customer Satisfaction Index was introduced into the retail automobile industry.
A CSI survey is the evaluation form sent to new car buyers from manufacturers and third-party firms to gauge how satisfied customers are with their dealers, their products and services.
04/29/2017 An Automotive education can change your prospects For those who want to pursue a career in the auto industry, there’s plenty of post-secondary school options available. Most professional careers today require some form of post-secondary education, and the retail automobile industry is no exception.
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BOB REDINGER SIGNS OFF AS TADA PRESIDENTThis is my final Wheels column as president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA).
It has been my pleasure serving as president, and I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed being a Wheels columnist in Canada’s largest circulation newspaper for the past year.