Tuesday, May. 13, 2014 2:33PM EDT
I suppose it’s possible to believe that the research on climate change is a vast left-wing conspiracy aimed at bringing down capitalism. Maybe 97 per cent of the research literature on our warming planet could be the product of a sinister Marxist/Stalinist plot.
But have the conspiracy theorists taken time to skim the three latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? They are stuffed with convincing science suggesting that humans burning fossil fuels, combined with deforestation, are primarily to blame for global warming.More »
Thursday, May. 08, 2014 6:00AM EDT
Hyundai Motor’s leadership no longer looks to Toyota Motor for inspiration and enlightenment.
“No, we don’t; we look at others,” says outgoing Hyundai Canada CEO Steve Kelleher, who would not say exactly who those others are, but the general consensus is that Hyundai is measuring itself against the dominant German car companies, other than Volkswagen. So Hyundai is taking the measure of itself against the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Toyota? The old “Beat Toyota” sign at headquarters was scrapped long ago.More »
Tuesday, May. 06, 2014 6:40PM EDT
I’ve been covering the auto industry long enough to remember the launch of the first Chrysler “Magic Wagons” 30 years ago. Thirty years. How many millions of Canadian kids have grown up in and around the Dodge Caravan, Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town & Country, as well as the now-defunct Plymouth Voyager and Grand Voyager? Too many to count.More »
Monday, May. 05, 2014 3:01PM EDT
Picture yourself as marketing director at Kia Canada and your job is to put a few “soft” BMW and Cadillac buyers into the new K900 luxury sedan. Tough job, but not impossible.
First, by “soft” I mean these premium buyers are open to new ideas, new models, emerging brands and creative solutions. They are not married to the idea of driving a Bimmer or a Caddy. They are less status conscious. They might even like the idea of driving something from an upstart brand like Kia.More »
Thursday, May. 01, 2014 12:59PM EDT
Mark Fields had the look of a future CEO all the way back in the late 1990s, when he was a young 30-something marketing executive – thought to be brashly overconfident by many, and careful not to offend in public or with the press.
I have had hour-long interviews with Fields and come away with absolutely nothing newsworthy on the tape. Nothing. He is a careful leader. And now he’s the next CEO of Ford Motor Co. as of July 1.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2014 5:00AM EDT
The last time Volkswagen brought the Phaeton to North America, Audi’s top boss in the United States was fired for speaking the truth about a luxury sedan with a VW badge. Current and future Audi bosses you’ve been forewarned: call a flop a flop and you might get canned for your troubles.
The Phaeton-related events of a decade ago come to mind now that the garrulous and quite candid VW Group of America president and CEO Michael Horn has told Bloomberg that while “we definitely don't want to position the brand upwards,” VW does plan to bring the Phaeton back to North America “somewhere in 2018, 2019."More »
Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 5:00AM EDT
Last week Mercedes-Benz Canada held the grand opening of its newest factory store, a 65,000 square-foot colossus on re-claimed industrial land just outside Vancouver’s downtown core.
My first thought: this multi-story, steel and glass dealership – a see-through airplane hangar filled with sedans, sports cars and SUVs – is a monument to optimism or corporate self-delusion. Likely the latter.More »
Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014 5:00AM EDT
The minivan is not dead: Not at Kia. The next-generation Sedona will have its global debut in the city where minivans are used only as taxicabs. The next Sedona will seat up to eight.
Land Rover’s LR2 and LR4 names to be axed? In most of the world, the LR4 is known as the Discovery. The next-generation version will be called the Discovery around the world. What the next Discovery will look like will be highlighted in the Discovery Vision concept. As for the LR2, will it be globally badged as the Freelander? Without a shred of a doubt.More »
Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014 3:35PM EDT
Ah, springtime in New York. Next week the word’s auto makers will use the New York International Auto Show as their last big chance to promote their newest and shiniest models – at least until the fall at the Paris auto show.
The New York show bills itself as “America’s first and biggest auto show.” That’s true – and here in 2014, also a little ironic. New York was indeed the site of the first auto show in the United States, and as far as irony goes, it’s held in Manhattan, one of places in the United States where you can live and work without owning a car at all.More »
Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014 2:27PM EDT
Let’s talk about double standards – car companies and their bosses versus financial companies and theirs.
Lawmakers in the United States grilled General Motors CEO Mary Barra last week, wondering aloud and often why The General took years to recall 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches. Good question and we all await the full and final answer, including, it appears, Barra herself.More »