Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2013 4:32PM EDT
The takeaway from today’s release of the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Initial Quality Study is this: car companies must make technology simple enough for a five-year-old or a 55-year-old to operate. Or face the wrath of consumers.
Auto makers, said J.D. Power vice-president David Sargent, have largely won the dependability battles, and what does go wrong is usually fixed quickly at any dealership. But they are “struggling to bring it (technology) to the marketplace in a way consumers find easy to operate.” The author of the IQS added that, “this technology issue is one that really is a problem for the industry.” Problems with technology, difficulties designed into gizmos, gadgets and electronic systems in general, are “the thing consumers are complaining about the most.”More »
Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 11:49AM EDT
That Corolla you see in Toyota showrooms has long overstayed its welcome. Don’t believe me. Believe the marketplace.
Reliable and well built as it is and always has been, the Corolla desperately needs an update. Corolla sales were down 5.3 per cent through the first third of this year, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. To keep Canadians interesting in buying a made-in-Canada Corolla, Toyota Canada has ladled on the incentives. As unhaggle.com notes, a 2013 Corolla LE with automatic transmission can be had with a $2,500 sales sweetener and nearly $1,000 more in so-called “Unhaggle” savings.More »
Thursday, Jun. 06, 2013 9:00AM EDT
Bob Lutz – the former General Motors vice-chairman, Chrysler president, Ford senior vice-president, CEO of battery company Exide … the list is long and detailed – has never been short of opinions. Those of us armed with notebooks and tape recorders and video cameras love him.
His candor and outspokenness are why his latest book Icons and Idiots: Straight Talk on Leadership is worthy of attention. In particular, I was interested in his thoughts on former GM CEO Rick Wagoner. Why? Timing. GM has just rejoined the S & P 500 and the U.S. Government has said it will sell another 30 million of its 240 million-plus GM shares.More »
Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013 7:42PM EDT
Detroit’s car companies own the pickup truck world and it’s pretty impressive. The car business? A work in progress.
First, pickups. Chrysler Canada’s Ram sales surged 22 per cent in May, to an all-time monthly record of 8,045 units. The Ram remains the second-best selling vehicle in Canada.
Ah, but the best-selling vehicle is the Ford F-Series pickup. Ford of Canada moved 12,740 in May, a year-on-year jump of 20 per cent.More »
Friday, May. 24, 2013 2:27PM EDT
And now for a tale of two cars going in opposite directions.
Hyundai’s Elantra compact continues to eke out small sales gains month after month in 2013, while sales of the Honda Civic have spent the last four months sliding in a downward direction. As a result, the Elantra leads the race for the title of Canada’s best-selling car.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 6:00PM EDT
Joe Hinrichs, the former Ford of Canada president who now oversees all of Ford’s operations in both North and South America, says he and everyone at Ford have a laser-like focus on quality. Good thing on a bunch of fronts, especially when it comes to brand-building.
Ford Motor has suffered a recent series of embarrassing recalls, and the delayed arrival of the new Lincoln MKZ – to fix quality issues before customers experience them – has been costly. Hinrichs, a manufacturing expert and a contender for the CEO job at Ford at some point, is on a quality mission to change all that.More »
Friday, May. 10, 2013 9:00AM EDT
Electric vehicles surely have some sort of future, but not one in a landscape littered by innovative EV start-up companies feasting on government assistance and pent-up consumer demand.
Last week Coda Holdings filed for bankruptcy, a move that comes on the heels of the well-documented woes of EV maker Fisker, and the demise of Think. Tesla, another small EV company, remains viable, but is a relative pipsqueak competing against colossal car companies who have made massive investments in EVs and expect to someday get a return.More »
Wednesday, May. 08, 2013 11:00AM EDT
Young people are not particularly interested in cars, and that presents problems for the auto industry.
“(Young) people will not so much want to spend their money on cars but on the experience; car ownership will no longer be the rite of passage that it once was. We can see this trend on its way in Europe and the United States and car makers are going to have to look at how they manage this,” Dale Harrow, head of the automotive design school at the Royal College of Art in London, told www.just-auto.com.More »
Tuesday, May. 07, 2013 3:00PM EDT
Toyota Motors is a back to being a reliable money-making machine, even if sales have stalled somewhat, particularly in Canada and the United States.
Reuters is reporting that Toyota is expected to post operating profit of around 1.3 trillion yen ($13.19-billion) for the year ended March, making this the company’s best year since 2008, when they posted an operating profit of 2.27 trillion yen.More »
Monday, May. 06, 2013 6:12PM EDT
Ford Motor has delivered something of a mea culpa regarding the company’s recurring glitches with recent vehicle launches – and there is a plan to fix the problems.
Certainly what’s been going on at Ford with recalls and such is no secret. Consumer Reports has been quite critical lately and a long list of embarrassing recalls has cast a shadow over Canada’s No. 1 auto company by sales: five recalls on the 2013 Escape, two on the 2013 Fusion and the delayed launch of the Lincoln MKZ among them.More »