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March 20, 2017

ARI 2017 FLEET FORUM SERIES DATES ANNOUNCED

ARI’s 2017 Cross-Canada Fleet Forum Series, themed Fleet Means Business dates and locations have been announced.

They are;
May 31 – Toronto, Ontario
August 15 – Calgary, Alberta
August 17 – Vancouver, British Columbia
October 3 – Montreal, Quebec

“Increasingly, fleet professionals come from a variety of areas across organizations,” said Peter Nogalo, Marketing Manager, ARI. “Whether it’s sales, service, finance, HR, operations, or procurement; fleet is an integral part of a business. Our 2017 theme of Fleet Means Business recognizes fleet as a key driver of profitability and not simply a cost centre.”

ARI’s 2016 Fleet Forums attracted over 450 Canadian fleet professionals. Registration for the first fleet forum in Toronto will open on April 1.



March 20, 2017

NAFA I&E MAKES TOP TRADE SHOW LIST

NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) 2016 Institute & Expo (I&E) was named to the 2016 Trade Show News Network (TSNN) Top 250 Trade Show List.

“We are thrilled to be recognized once again by TSNN,” says NAFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “With so many events taking place throughout the year, it is phenomenal to be among the select few considered. It is a testament to our teams’ hard work and dedication to continuously innovate and provide the fleet industry with a single source for all their fleet needs.”

Result were taken from show management information and date that was supplied to TSNN. The results show the top 250 trade shows held in 2016, and are ranked by net square footage.

The 2017 I&E is about to take place on April 25-28, in Tampa, Florida.



March 17, 2017

SLEEMAN NAMED TO TOP FLEET EMPLOYERS

Trucking HR Canada named 39 companies to its Third annual Top Fleet Employers program, which included Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

“These 39 fleets demonstrate a commitment to effective human resources approaches, and all have best practices to share” says Angela Splinter, chief executive officer of Trucking HR Canada. “These fleets are leading by example, and we commend them for their leadership in demonstrating that the trucking industry offers great places to work”.

According to TruckingHR Canada “fleets of every size were rated on topics including employee recognition, compensation, lifestyle, employee engagement, wellness, professional development, recruitment and retention.” —

Applications for 2017 program opened last in 2016.



March 13, 2017

GM FLEET ADDS SPIREON TO TELEMATICS ROSTER

General Motors Fleet has added Spireon to its roster of telematics service providers.

“Connectivity is the future for fleets of all sizes because the opportunities to help improve safety and reduce operating costs are so great,” said Ed Peper, U.S. Vice-President, GM Fleet. “With OnStar 4G LTE technology and sophisticated software — whether it’s developed by us or by leading third-party providers — we can deliver innovative business solutions that work for any customer.”

Spireon will offer a customized version of FleetLocate tool by using the OnStar 4G LTE hardware in vehicles starting in May 2017.

“FleetLocate connected by OnStar helps make it fast and easy for fleet managers to gain valuable vehicle and driver insights from their fleets wherever they are, with no installation downtime,” said Kevin Weiss, CEO, Spireon. “We’re excited to offer our GM customers a ‘push-button’ onboarding experience for FleetLocate, enhanced by exclusive diagnostics and data that only comes from OnStar.”

Spireon joins Telogis Fleet for GM and Commercial Link by GM on the roster of GM Fleet business solutions.

“Our customers want choices and no other automaker has the combination of services, experience and connectivity GM and OnStar offer,” said Greg Ross, Director, OnStar Business Development and Alliances. “The Spireon collaboration is the latest example of how we’re well-positioned to adapt to our customers’ ever-changing needs with both products and services.”



March 13, 2017

EMKAY UPDATES DRIVER APP

EMKAY has updated its mobile Driver 360 app.

The changes include updates to the registration status section under Licensing, which now allow drivers to submit registration renewal requirements through the app. For any provinces that allow copies for emissions certificate, safety inspection or drivers license, the app can now allow the driver to take and upload a photo.

Also updated is the Mileage Log feature, which has been rebuilt and become Mileage tracking. Drivers can track their trips on a daily basis and allows for manual trip entry. The feature also allows for tracking starting/ending locations, miles driven, and for notes of reference to be added to trips. A driver can also start or stop a trip, and the app will use GPS to automatically determine locations and kilometres driven. As well, the app now has a link that can log users into the EMKAY Driver Dashboard automatically.



March 13, 2017

GM EXPANDS LOW CAB FORWARD TRUCK RANGE


Chevrolet announced it is adding the 2018 Chevrolet Low Cab Forward 6500XD model, which offers a new dock-height Class 6 model.

“Our goal is to offer the best work solutions and customer care in the business,” said Ed Peper, U.S. Vice-President, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “Our Low Cab Forward dealers and Upfitter Integration Group will work hand-in-hand with customers and their upfitters to spec the right truck for the job. After the sale, our dealers will be there to support customers with extended service hours and work-ready loaners.”

The 6500XD offers a standard 5.2 litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine which offers 520 foot/pounds of torque and is mated to an Allison 2500 series six-speed automatic transmission (with PTO). Also included is Dana axles, robust straight-rail frame, front and rear axle ratings are 12,000lbs and 19,000lbs respectively, max GVWR is 25,950lbs. 6500XD is available in right wheelbases and accommodates bodies up to 30 feet long.



March 13, 2017

FORTUNE SMILES ON ARI ONCE AGAIN

Fortune named ARI to it’s 2017 100 Best Companies to Work For list, taking the 38th spot. It is the fifth year in a row that ARI has made the list and is the only fleet management company to do so.

“Being named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for a fifth consecutive year is an incredible honor,” said Chris Conroy, President and CEO of Holman Business Services, and President of ARI. “But make no mistake – the credit for this tremendous achievement belongs solely with our people. They are the ones who make ARI such an incredible place to work year after year. It is our people who devote themselves to ensuring our clients are not just happy customers, but rather become raving fans of our organization. It is our people who care for each other, helping when help is needed, celebrating the big achievements and the small victories, investing in themselves through Holman University and other learning opportunities, and remaining focused on creating an atmosphere of teamwork, cooperation and understanding.”

ARI was recognized for having a collaborative atmosphere, family like culture, internal employee engagement and empowerment program (Partners in Excellence), employee recognition program, approach to wellness and work/life balance, and its focus on employee development and 100 per cent tuition reimbursement program/

“Senior leadership also sees this as a chance to learn – about our organization, our employees, and what we can do to evolve and improve,” said Conroy. “Whether it is the continued development of our in-house employee learning and development program Holman University, or our effort to allow employees to become directly involved in the challenges facing our business via the Executive Challenges we started in 2016, we never want to assume that we are ‘done’ or that we can’t continue to do better when it comes to our employees. They devote themselves to our organization, and we are just as devoted to helping them build a satisfying and fulfilling career and life with ARI.”



March 13, 2017

OPEL/VAUXHALL JOIN PSA GROUP


General Motors Company has agreed to sell its Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial European operations to PSA Group, a french multinational manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. The transaction makes PSA Group the second largest automotive company in Europe. PSA produces the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands.

“We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. “We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”

PSA Group will partner with BNP Paribas for a 50/50 per cent joint venture to operate GM Financial European operations.

“We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, Chairman and CEO, GM. “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.



February 23, 2017

ELEMENT DONATES TO RED CROSS

Element Fleet Management recently donated $31,000 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts. The donation was a combination of a company gift as well as an employee match.

“The American Red Cross is an extraordinary organization that provides people with passionate care when they need it the most,” said Kristi Webb, President and CEO, North America. “It’s an honor supporting disaster relief and we’re proud to call the Red Cross a partner.”



February 14, 2017

ARI GRAND OPENING AT EXPANDED CANADIAN HQ


ARI is inviting members of the fleet community to their newly renovated and expanded Canadian headquarters for an open house on March 1.

“ARI is pleased to welcome the fleet community as we celebrate our grand opening and open house at our Mississauga headquarters,” said Peter Nogalo, Marketing Manager, ARI.

The redesigned space is now 50 per cent larger with a number of new client facing features, including ARI’s Fleet Technology and Innovation Lab.

The open house will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 1.



February 13, 2017

IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S A CAR?

Source: PAL-V.
PAL-V, a flying car manufacturer, has begun selling its commercial models, Liberty Pioneer and Liberty Sport.

"After years of hard work, beating the technical and qualification challenges, our team succeeded in creating an innovative flying car that complies with existing safety standards, determined by regulatory bodies around the world," says Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V.

PAL-V conduced successful test programs of concept vehicles in 2009 and 2012. The next phase is to fulfill first client orders. The new models are designed to use proven technologies and to be fully compliant with existing regulations.

"Later in 2017 we will start building a preproduction series followed by the manufacturing of the first PAL-V Liberty's for our early 'pioneer' clients. Deliveries of road and air certificated models are scheduled by the end of 2018. This truly is a pivotal time in aviation and mobility history," adds Dingemanse.

The Liberty has a duel engine propulsion system, and while driving has a lowered suspension and tilting cockpit.

"We are very pleased with the response so far. Now that the new design is public I expect to see an even greater interest stemming from North America which has a propensity for early adoption in innovative products," said Mark Jennings-Bates, VP of Sales of North America.



February 13, 2017

CANADIAN AUTO SALES SET TO DECLINE

Auto sales in Canada are expected to decline to 1.94 million units in 2017, down from 1.95 million units in 2016, according to Scotiabank Global Auto Report.

“Recent price increases for new cars and light trucks have started to dampen affordability, and will likely outweigh the positive impact of stronger economic growth in Canada this year,” said Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist and Auto Industry Specialist at Scotiabank. “Although vehicle sales in the commodity-producing provinces are finally starting to recover from the sharp double-digit declines of recent years, activity in the rest of the country is likely to trend lower.”

The Alberta auto market is expected to grow around two per cent this year. Sales in Saskatchewan are expected to rise to 52,000 units in 2017 from 51,000 units in 2016. The Ontario market is expected to go down to 796,000 units this year, from 802,000 in 2016. Quebec is expected to go down slightly but remain above 460,000 units. Sales in British Columbia and Manitoba are expected to remain steady. Atlantic Canada is expected to drop to 135,000 units this year, from 149,000 units in 2016, with Newfoundland expect to fall to 32,000 units.

To read the Scotiabank Global Auto Report, click here.



February 13, 2017

CAR2GO ADDS MERCEDES-BENZ CLA AND GLA VEHICLES


Car-sharing service car2go has announced that it is adding 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA models to its fleet.

“Our 2017 CLA and GLA vehicles have proven to be two of our best sellers with Canadian drivers,” said Brian D. Fulton, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. “We are pleased to deliver these outstanding new vehicles to car2go’s Canadian members, who will now have exclusive carsharing access to Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Canada believes in car2go, and in carsharing. In fact, Mercedes-Benz Canada has been working with car2go North America since it launched in 2009 through our smart fortwo vehicles and car2go’s popular Mercedes-Benz B-Class pilot program in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. car2go’s new Mercedes-Benz vehicles will expose hundreds of thousands of people outside our traditional customer base to high-quality products like the CLA and GLA now entering the car2go fleet, as well as the outstanding new smart fortwo that car2go introduced in the latter part of 2016.”


Members in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia will get the CLA and GLA models first, with members in Calgary, Alberta and Montreal, Quebec getting them later in 2017. By the end of 2017, car2go believes that most of its vehicles in North America will be Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Car2go covers fuel, parking, vehicle maintenance and insurance, so members need not worry about those associated costs.


“Mercedes-Benz has been a strong partner of car2go since we launched in 2009, delivering car2go’s original network of smart fortwo vehicles,” said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go North America. “Today our service is an important part of over 800,000-plus people’s lives, and it’s so satisfying for us to be able to reward our members with incredible new Mercedes-Benz car2gos that are just as good at taking people on long weekend getaways as they are at running errands and making short trips with friends. Together, car2go and Mercedes-Benz are taking a next big step by giving our members choices the competition can’t match – the best car on the road for parking in tight city spaces with our smart fortwo, and now our larger and more luxurious Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA will come equipped with: 4MATIC all-wheel drive with a four-cylinder engine with ECO start/stop system, rearview camera, blind spot assist, adaptive braking, heated seats, Bluetooth, navigation, panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, multiple air bags and ABS, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), andharmon/Kardon sound system.



February 3, 2017

CANADIAN AI INVESTMENT

NextAI has announced partnership with Canadian companies, including Magna, RBC, BDC Capital and Scotiabank. So far, funding provided by corporate partners totals $5.15 million.

“Innovation has always been at the root of what we do,” said Don Walker, CEO of Magna. “It is clear that technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a huge impact on future mobility and society at large. By supporting initiatives like NextAI, Magna has the opportunity to help create a preeminent AI ecosystem which will ignite a new wave of opportunity for the Canadian industry, society, and entrepreneurs.”

In addition, NextAI has technology sponsorships with IBM Canada, Google and NVIDIA, who have committed millions in hardware, access to technology and services. They will provide participants in the program with funding, mentorship and access to experts, customer trials and data sets.

“NextAI, like the programs before it, is devoted to fostering entrepreneurship in Canada, and creating a space for global talent to realize their potential with the help of key partners and mentors,” said Andrea Matheson, President of NEXT Canada. “We’re thrilled to bring on the partners who are leaders in their respective fields and who will provide the program participants with invaluable knowledge and leadership.”

NextAI is an innovation program for AI-related ventures, global teams are invited to Canada to leverage its leadership in AI. They are provided with capital, mentorship, education and networking opportunities.



January 30, 2017

TOYOTA WINS MOST TRUSTED BRAND AWARDS: STUDY

Reader’s Digest named Toyota as the Most Trusted Brand of hybrid car manufacturer for the seventh straight year, and the Most Trusted Brand of passenger car manufacturer for the ninth straight year.

“Our team at Toyota works hard to earn and build the trust of our customers, so we’re extremely proud when Canadians recognize us with these awards year after year,” said Larry Hutchinson, President and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc. “It reflects how well we were able to listen to our customers and deliver the high-quality vehicles that Canadians want and need.” The study saw Reader’s Digest commission Ipsos Canada to conduct a nationwide online survey of over 4,000 Canadians to see what brands they trust most in 30 categories.

As a result of winning the two categories for five or more consecutive year, Toyota has earned GOLD status designation for each category. The study saw Reader’s Digest commission Ipsos Canada to conduct a nationwide online survey of over 4,000 Canadians to see what brands they trust most in 30 categories.

The study saw Reader’s Digest commission Ipsos Canada to conduct a nationwide online survey of over 4,000 Canadians to see what brands they trust most in 30 categories.



January 12, 2017

NAFA NAMES I&E KEYNOTE SPEAKER

NAFA has announced that Doug Keeley, CEO and Chief Storyteller of The Mark of a Leader has been named as keynote speaker at the 2017 NAFA Institute and Expo.

“Doug Keeley will inspire and educate I&E attendees, and he is the perfect speaker to kick off the 2017 conference during NAFA’s diamond anniversary,” said, Phillip E. Russo, CEO, NAFA. “We are excited to announce that Doug will be the master of ceremonies at our annual Fleet Excellence Awards, introducing the fleet professionals who stood out for their exceptional leadership in 2016.”

Keeley will offer his insight and principles of Five Level Leadership, a core principle of the Mark of a Leader program.

The NAFA International Fleet Academy returns for 2017 with a one-day event before the start of the I&E. Two new sessions are introduced this year: The Sustainable Fleet Pre-con, and Law Enforcement New Product Showcase and OEM Service Concerns session.



January 12, 2017

ENTERPRISE FLEET MANAGEMENT PARTNERS WITH WEX INC

Enterprise Fleet Management in Canada has entered into an agreement with WEX Inc., expanding an partnership the two companies have had in the United States since 1993, into Canada.

“We’re thrilled to extend our 24-year partnership with WEX into the Canadian market,” said Brice Adamson, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Fleet Management. “We have a great history of working collaboratively with WEX, and we are confident we will see continued success through this expanded agreement.”

WEX is a global provider of corporate payment solutions and the partnership will allow for Enterprise Fleet Management customers throughout Canada to use WEX products. It will also allow for fueling at locations available through WEX.

“WEX is a global company servicing markets throughout the world. We are looking forward to this new chapter in our partnership with Enterprise and the opportunity for us to expand our presence in Canada,” said Melissa Smith, President and CEO, WEX, Inc. “WEX and Enterprise have a long, successful history together, and we’re certain that working in tandem to bring our offering to Canada will prove beneficial to everyone involved.”



January 12, 2017

HONDA INVESTS IN ONTARIO MANUFACTURING FACILITIES


Honda of Canada Mfg., will invest $492 million over three years to modernize its Ontario manufacturing facilities and improve its carbon manufacturing footprint.

“Thank you to both the federal and Ontario governments for creating an environment which will allow us to further modernize our manufacturing facilities and make innovative upgrades possible, including building a state-of-the-art paint shop which will reduce the GHG emissions from our paint process by 44%, further reducing our manufacturing carbon footprint in Canada,” said Jerry Chenkin, President and CEO, Honda Canada Inc. “As a result of these upgrades, HCM will continue to provide thousands of well-paying, high quality jobs in Alliston and throughout Canada.”

The Government of Canada and Government of Ontario will partner with Honda Canada and both will provide conditional grants of up to $41.8 million.

“Our government’s support for advanced-manufacturing platforms and clean technology in the auto sector is a key part of our plan to drive economic growth through innovation to create a better Canada,” said Navdeep Bains, Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “That means better jobs, better opportunities and better living standard for all Canadians.”

Honda built a manufacturing facility in Canada in 1986, becoming the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to do so.

“Technology and innovation never stand still, so it’s essential that Ontario’s auto sector remains globally competitive,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “Honda is a cornerstone of our sector — accounting for about 17 per cent of Ontario’s vehicle output. With this partnership, the company and provincial and federal governments are joining forces to ensure that Honda’s skilled Alliston team remains a leader in building the vehicles of tomorrow.”



January 12, 2017

OVER A QUARTER OF CANADIANS CAN’T WAIT FOR DRIVERLESS CARS

A new survey by Kanetix.ca has found that 26 per cent of Canada said they can’t wait for the day when driverless cars become a reality.

A majority of those surveyed (56 per cent) said the idea of driverless cars depends on the technology and how well it works. While 18 per cent do not like the idea of driverless cars, as they love driving too much.

"Technology is continually improving and innovating, and we've already seen auto manufacturers incorporate self-driving safety aspects in some existing vehicles, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) or sensors that temporarily control steering to avoid collisions," said Andrew Lo, Chief Operating Officer and Tech Expert, Kanetix.ca. "It's still a jump for most people to make in terms of going completely driverless but Canadians are interested in these improved safety features and, as a result, seem willing to slowly adopt more automated functions."

Other findings of the survey include:
-36 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 say they can't wait for the day that driverless cars are a reality;
-56 per cent of Canadians would buy or lease a car with improved self-driving features;
-81 per cent say autonomous cars will eliminate the treat of distracted driving;
-73 per cent say autonomous cars will reduce accidents and auto-related fatalities;
-68 per cent say it will increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists;
-Under half feel reduced traffic will be a benefit;
-80 per cent say they don't see driverless cars being available to the public for 15 years or more.



January 12, 2017

FLEET COMPLETE NAMED TO GTA TOP EMPLOYERS 2017 LIST

Mediacorp has named Fleet Complete, a fleet telematics company, as one of the winners in its Greater Toronto Top Employers 2017 competition.

“Our success has created opportunities for new and existing employees,” said Larry Indovina, Executive VP of HR at Fleet Complete, “We’ve made over 100 hires in the past 12 months, from software developers to sales and marketing roles that required seasoned professionals as well as new graduates.”

Fleet Complete has over 300 worldwide employees and is expanding its international presence.

“It’s a great honour to have earned our spot amongst an elite group of companies, like Salesforce, Pepsico, Cisco, RBC and MLSE, as winners of the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers 2017 award,” said Tony Lourakis, CEO of Fleet Complete. “Not only does it validate the culture and the values that have driven Fleet Complete to its success, it celebrates the achievements and contributions of our employees, who have made the company an industry-leader.”

This is the 12th year for the competition, and it focuses on eight criteria that are judged by the editors at Mediacorp. Employers are graded on:
-Physical Workplace;
-Work Atmosphere & Social;
-Health, Financial & Family Benefits;
-Vacation & Time-Off;
-Employee Communications;
-Performance Management;
-Training & Skills Development;
-and Community Involvement.

“We are devoted to the employee experience at work as much as their career progression,” explains Indovina. “Our state-of-the-art headquarters in downtown Toronto has our own tailored design that ensures a productive and collaborative work environment, providing the right tools for professional and personal growth. The central downtown location draws top talent to the company, provides a vibrant setting for many of our employees’ active lifestyles and a convenient commute to and from the office. Moreover, Fleet Complete’s highly competitive benefits packages, vacation allowance, parental leave and stock option plans ensure our employees are well taken care of.”



January 9, 2017

FORD NUMBER ONE IN 2016


Ford of Canada took the number one sales spot in 2016, powered in part by record sales by its Ford brand. Total vehicle sales for Ford of Canada (including Ford and Lincoln brands) was 304,618 units, the most since 1989.

“It’s been an unprecedented year of sales for the Ford brand and we are thankful for the support of our customers who have helped us achieve sales success on many levels,” said Mark Buzzell, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. “Together with our dealer partners, we enter 2017 focused on our commitment to enhancing the customer experience and look forward to continued growth in the year ahead.”


F-Series was the number one selling pickup truck in Canada for the 51st consecutive year and the best selling vehicle in Canada for the seventh consecutive year. Additionally, Ford’s SUV and CUV sales were up six per cent, including the Edge which was up 24 per cent.

Lincoln brand was up five per cent overall.



January 9, 2017

MERCEDES-BENZ OUTDOES ITSELF IN 2016

Mercedes-Benz Canada was the top selling luxury manufacturer in Canada for 2016, as it beat its previous sale record with 48,320 vehicles sold. The total includes passenger vehicles, vans and smart brand, and is an 8.5 per cent increase over 2016. 2016 was the third year in a row that Mercedes-Benz took top spot among luxury manufacturer in Canada. Mercedes-Benz sold 40,526 passenger car and luxury light trucks in 2016, a four per cent increase over the prior year.

“While we were definitely aiming to surpass our 2015 record-breaking results and cross the 40,000 unit threshold, the final tally netted out at 40,526 passenger cars and light trucks sold in Canada in 2016. We also delivered 1,875 smart fortwos and 5,919 Sprinter and Metris commercial vans, achieving a grand total of 48,320 units for the year. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of this outstanding achievement,” said Brian D. Fulton, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. “While the numbers alone were enough reason for all of us to rejoice for a few days, there is also the important matter of being the number one luxury car manufacturer in Canada for the third year in row! This was no small feat when you look at how strong the industry numbers were across the board.”

Mercedes-Benz sold 40,526 passenger car and luxury light trucks in 2016, a four per cent increase over the prior year.



January 9, 2017

ACTION REVVING UP FOR ANNUAL EXPO


Action Car and Truck Accessories will hold its 3rd annual Action Expo on January 22 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The 2017 Action Expo will feature over 75 leading aftermarket suppliers showcasing the industry’s #1 upfitting products. Action’s sales and service team will also be on hand to discuss customers needs for the year ahead.

The show will take place at Toronto Congress Centre at 1020 Martin Grove Rd, Toronto, Ontario, on Sunday, January 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information or to register, visit: www.actionexposhow.com.



January 9, 2017

MAVEN CAR SHARE EXPANDS TO KITCHENER-WATERLOO


Maven is expanding to the Kitchener/ Waterloo, Ontario area for a pilot program of Maven car sharing. The Tannery District is the first area to receive vehicles and will be available to Communitech Hub members.

“Just over a year ago, we launched 2908, our innovation lab at Communitech. It’s fitting, then, that our Canadian pilot of Maven’s car sharing service be at Communitech where so many other innovative services have come to life in Canada,” said Hossein Hassani, Head of Maven Canada. “This is just the beginning. We are a mobility company, and we will continue to deliver innovative services to help Canadians get there – wherever ‘there’ is – smarter.”

Maven is General Motor’s personal mobility brand and operates in various cities in North America. It allows members to access and start vehicles with their smartphone through the Maven app. Registered members of the pilot project will be able to reserve one of five vehicles available (Buick Encore, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Spark, and GMC Yukon).

Vehicles can be reserved for hourly or daily rates, which begin at $7 per hour or $63 per day. There are no application or membership fees, and fuel and insurance costs are included.

All vehicles are equipped with OnStar 4G LTE with Wifi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, active and passive safety features, and heated seats and steering wheel. Remote start is also included and allows the vehicles to be heated or cooled for up to eight minutes before a reservation.



January 3, 2017

FCA, GOOGLE COLLABORATE

FCA and Google are demonstrating the integration of Uconnect 8.4-inch connected vehicle system with Android 7.0 Nougat. The concept is on display in a Chrysler 300 sedan at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. One-on-one demonstrations of the system will be available to CES attendees during the show.

“This collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” says Chris Barman, Head of Electrical Engineering, FCA. “With Android, we are able to maintain our unique and intuitive Uconnect user interface, all while integrating our easy-to-use systems with Android’s features and ecosystem of applications.”

The system includes infotainment features (radio and comfort controls), as well as connectivity and compatibility with Android applications. The demo at CES will show the system working with Google Assistant, Google Maps and Pandora, Spotify, NPR One and Pocket Casts.

“Google is committed to building Android as a turn-key automotive platform that integrates deeply with the vehicle in a safe and seamless way,” said Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, Google. “This collaboration with FCA brings together the industry standard for connected car systems with Android to create powerful infotainment systems designed for the digital age.”



January 3, 2017

NAFA FLEXY AWARD DEADLINE IS JANUARY 20

The fifth annual NAFA Fleet Management Association Fleet Excellence Awards (FLEXY) submissions deadline is set as January 20.

The FLEXYs will be awarded in the areas of sustainability, safety, and overall fleet management achievement. Three finalists for each award will be chosen for public fleets and corporate fleets. Also, one award will be presented in the area of fleet leadership. Submissions can be made at www.flexyawards.com.

Fleet management professionals, media and industry organizations participate in the selection process for finalists and winners. Selections are based on achievements put forward by nominees on anonymous submission forms.

All finalists will be notified in February and be invited to attend the awards ceremony on April 25 in Tampa, Florida as part of the NAFA Institute and Expo.



December 23, 2016

SANTA'S NEW SLEIGH


As part of the Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive, Mercedes-Benz Toronto Retail Group have been collecting toys at its locations from staff and customers since mid-November.

Recently, representatives from Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive picked up the donations from Mercedes-Benz Thornhill by piling into ‘Santa’s Sprinter.’

This is the third year that Mercedes-Benz Toronto Retail Group has participated in a toy drive.


December 22, 2016

BLACKBERRY JOINS AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE PARTY


BlackBerry QNX unveiled the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC) to be opened in Ottawa, Ontario recently. John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry Limited and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were on hand for the unveiling.

"Autonomous vehicles require software that is extremely sophisticated and highly secure," said Chen. "Our innovation track record in mobile security and our demonstrated leadership in automotive software make us ideally suited to dominate the market for embedded intelligence in the cars of the future."

As part of the announcement, BlackBerry QNX will recruit and hire local software engineers to work on projects for connected and autonomous cars. The new BlackBerry QNX facility will develop production-ready software on its own and as part of collaborations with partners.

The company also recently was approved by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to test autonomous vehicles on Ontario roads as part of a pilot project. This will be one of AVIC’s first projects, as well as helping to build an autonomous concept vehicle with University of Waterloo, PolySync, and Renesas Electronics

“With the opening of its innovation centre in Ottawa, BlackBerry is helping to establish our country as the global leader in software and security for connected car and autonomous vehicle development," said Trudeau. "This centre will create great middle-class jobs for Canadians, new opportunities for recent university graduates, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”


December 22, 2016

ELEMENT-ARVAL GLOBAL ALLIANCE REACHES 50 COUNTRY MILESTONE

Element-Arval Global Alliance has grown its fleet management partnership to 50 countries.

“For more than 20 years, Element and Arval have worked together to build and continuously expand this global fleet alliance, tailoring its approach to both global and local needs of our customers,” said Bart Beckers, Chief Commercial Officer, Arval. “Reaching our 50th country marks a new milestone in our growth story and further strengthens our presence in Latin America.”

It has added RDA Renting, which operates in Argentina and Uruguay, as a new member.

“We are honoured to join the Alliance,” said Arturo Simone, President, RDA Renting. “Our values and goals are greatly aligned, making the arrangement a perfect fit to deliver what our mutual customers will need. RDA’s long-standing goal is to provide comprehensive, comfortable and efficient service for fleet companies from the initial purchasing advice to the final resale.”

RDA Renting offers advice, purchasing, delivery, administration and resale of fleet vehicles.

“We are very excited to have RDA Renting join the Alliance and expand our services and coverage for regional and global customers,” said Jim Halliday, President and CEO, International, Element Fleet Management. “As the Alliance continues to grow, this significant milestone supports our goal to empower extraordinary results for our customers across all continents.”


December 22, 2016

ADESA AND EMKAY RAISE OVER $50,000 FOR JDRF

ADESA and EMKAY have raised over $50,000 in 2016 for JDRF (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), which funds type 1 diabetes research.

“JDRF is singularly focused on the worldwide effort to end type 1 diabetes, and ADESA is proud to work closely with EMKAY each year in this important fundraising effort,” said Stéphane St-Hilaire, President and CEO, ADESA. “Almost everyone has a friend or family member fighting this disease, and we’re committed to doing our part to help find a cure for something that affects so many people.”

The companies worked together from March 1 to November 30, with a $10 donation being made every time an EMKAY vehicle was purchased at 20 participating ADESA locations. In all $52,460 was raised. Since the partnership began five year ago, the companies have raised over $210,000 for JDRF.


December 19, 2016

AUTOMOTIVE FLEET NAMES CHEVROLET MALIBU FLEET CAR OF THE YEAR

U.S. fleet management publications, Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet awarded Chevrolet Malibu as the 2016 Fleet Car of the Year.

“Our team works hard to put the customer at the center of everything that we do at GM. So when we win awards, it means we’ve done something right for the customers,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of General Motors Fleet & Commercial Operations.

Malibu bested a selection of the highest volume fleet vehicles to get the most votes in an online ballot by fleet managers, who had to register their names to be able to vote. Malibu also won the honour in 2009.

For more information on the Malibu, read CAF’s First Drive at: fleetbusiness.com/drives/gm/16malibu.html.


December 19, 2016

VOLVO CAR FINANCIAL SERVICES LAUNCHES IN CANADA

Volvo Car Canada Ltd., has launched Volvo Car Financial Services (VCFS), handling management of the financial services business including leasing and financing.

“Volvo Car Financial Services is an integral part in growing the Volvo Car business in Canada,” said David Carroll, National Sales Manager, Canada, VCFS. “We are here to support our retailer sales and increase customer satisfaction.”

VCFS will offer many products at launch, with enhancements coming in first half 2017. A local team of dealer reps will be available throughout Canada as part of VCFS. The program launched in the US in 2012.


December 6, 2016

FINALISTS NAMED FOR NORTH AMERICAN CAR/TRUCK/UTILITY VEHICLE OF THE YEAR

The finalists for the North American Car of the Year, North America Truck of the Year, and North American Utility Vehicle of the Year awards were announced at Automobility LA in Los Angeles, California.

The finalists for North American Car of the Year are:
-Chevrolet Bolt
-Genesis G90
-Volvo S90.

Finalists for Truck of the Year are:
-Ford F-Series Super Duty
-Honda Ridgeline
-Nissan Titan

Finalists for Utility Vehicle of the Year are:
-Chrysler Pacifica
-Jaguar F-Pace
-Mazda CX-9

New for 2017 is the North America Utility Vehicle of the year award, which was added as the popularity of SUV vehicles grows. Winners of each award will be announced on January 9, 2017 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

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