Small MPVs In Rapid Canadian Sales Decline

GM Canada sold only 32 copies of its Chevrolet Orlando in November 2014, the worst month yet for the rapidly declining Mazda 5 alternative.

Although the Orlando set an impressive sales pace in its first 18 months in Canada – 2612 were sold during 2012’s fourth-quarter – it’s been in free fall ever since. Sales have declined in 19 of the last 22 months. 2013 volume was down 68%. Through eleven months, Orlando volume in 2014 is off by 43%.

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Canada Auto Sales Recap: October 2014

In October 2014, for the first time since March of this year, the Chrysler Group outsold all other automobile manufacturers in Canada.

The margins were slim: only 259 units separated Chrysler Group’s five brands from the Ford Motor Compan y; only 301 stood between the Chrysler Group and General Motors. But these are celebratory moments for an automaker which owns 15.6% of the Canadian market. Chrysler Group’s market share in its “home” U.S. market stands at 12.6% through the first ten months of 2014.

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Canada Auto Sales Recap: September 2014

Without an unexpected drastic downward turn in the final quarter of 2014, Canadian auto sales will reach record levels this year, a strong follow-up to best-ever sales in calendar year 2013.

September 2014 was marked by a collective 13% sales improvement from the overall industry, a gain of nearly 19,000 units compared with September 2013. September also marked Ford Motor Company’s return to the top of the overall sales leaderboard in Canada. Chrysler Group’s five brands haven’t actually led the monthly results since March, but their lead was strong enough to support year-to-date number one status through the end of August.

Both Ford/Lincoln and General Motors outsold the Chrysler Group in September, however, despite a combined 20% year-over-year improvement from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat.

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General Motors Digest: June 30, 2014

In today’s General Motors digest: GM recalls over 700,000 units globally; Siemens VDO Automotive urged the automaker to look into airbag data in 2004; product chief Doug Parks was aware of the ignition problems in 2005; Feinberg compensation plan will have no payment cap; and Delphi is under the gun from both Congress and the IRS.

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Canada Sales Recap: May 2014

In May 2014, Canadian auto sales shot up to record monthly levels by soaring beyond 195,000 units, one-eighth the size of the U.S. industry last month.

These record sales levels occur as buyers transition from in large numbers from cars to crossovers, particularly smaller crossovers from volume brands.

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General Motors To Release Valukas Report On Ignition Switch Thursday

Automotive News reports General Motors will release Thursday the results of attorney Anton Valukas’s three-month independent internal investigation into how and where the automaker went wrong before recalling 2.6 million vehicles affected by an out-of-spec ignition switch linked to 47 accidents and at least 13 fatalities. The announcement will come at 9 a.m. Eastern via webcast, with what CEO Mary Barra says will be an “unvarnished” look at the events surrounding the recall. In addition, GM will have an update on plans for compensating victims of the switch, though the attorney heading up the affair, Kenneth Feinberg, says a formal announcement won’t come until a few weeks down the road. Reuters adds the Valukas report will likely exonerate Barra, former CEO Dan Akerson and other senior execs and board members of any wrongdoing over the recall, with “a number of people” to be formally dismissed from the company due to their ties to recall. The report will be turned over to the federal government by the end of June.

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Barclays: GM Recall Parade To Last Into Mid-Summer

Automotive News reports General Motors’ recall parade could, according to Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson, last well into the middle of the summer season. The data mining conducted by the automaker’s team of 60 safety investigators on 10 sources reporting potential problems — including consumer complaints and reports from its dealership network — will likely bring more recall requests before GM’s senior executives. Johnson adds that the investigators are working on likely defects on a per-issue basis instead of per-vehicle, which may mean a number of vehicles will be called back multiple times as the recall parade marches on; he also notes that its hard to discern if recalls of past vehicles have already peaked.

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Dealers Still Waiting For Replacements, DeGiorgio Linked To Original Design And Upgrade

Automotive News reports dealers are still waiting for the ignition switches meant to replace the out-of-spec switch at the center of the ongoing recall crisis at General Motors. The switch was to have arrived at dealerships beginning this week, yet most dealers are in a “holding pattern” on deliveries. Once the parts do arrive, service bays will begin work on affected customer vehicles immediately before turning toward the used lot, where vehicles under the recall are currently parked until the customer vehicles are fixed.

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Analysis: Toyota Digs In, As Union Vote At Canadian Plants Put On Hold

Unifor has put their union certification vote on hold for Toyota Canada’s manufacturing plants, amid claims by Toyota that the size of the bargaining unit is much larger than expected – derailing Unifor’s assertion that they have met the required threshold for a vote.

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Tesla Stays In NY, Loses Key China Exec

Automotive News reports Tesla and Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association reached a compromise agreement over the weekend that would allow the EV automaker to keep their five stores while prevent Tesla or any other auto manufacturer from establishing more direct-sale stores in the state. In the words of Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Today’s agreement reaffirms New York’s long-standing commitment to the dealer franchise system, while making sure New York remains a leader in spurring innovative businesses and encouraging zero emissions vehicle sales.

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Marchionne Closes Chapter On Canadian Minivan Plant

While celebrating the successful turnaround for Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Sterling Heights, Mich. plant, CEO Sergio Marchionne proclaimed the issue of upgrades made to the Windsor, Ont. plant with help from Canadian federal and provincial governments one no longer worth discussing.

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Editorial: Marchionne Settles On Minivan Plant Location
UPDATE: Mere minutes after our prior editorial was published Chrysler announced that they will be withdrawing their request for funding from the Canadian government, and“…confirmed its intention to begin to allocate to our Windsor, Ontario plant the development and industrialization of the next “people carrier” architecture (the so-called next minivan and derivatives)” We are awaiting a call from Chrysler to discuss the matter. In the mean time, y ou can read the official announcement here.The biggest news for North America’s auto industry was announced at Geneva, and it wasn’t a new product debut. According to Automotive News, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has decided on a location for the next assembly plant, and things aren’t looking great for the current plant in Windsor, Ontario.
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Editorial: A Radical Solution To Canada's Auto Industry Investment Problem

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne took to The Globe and Mail‘s editorial pages to make his case for government investment in Chrysler’s assembly plants in Canada. Marchionne is seeking government funds to upgrade the Brampton plant (which builds Chrysler’s rear-drive cars) and the Windsor plant (which builds minivans, and would be upgraded as a flexible plant) as part of a $3.6 billion investment.

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Marichonne Still Seeking Location For New Minivans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marichonne, in talks with federal and provincial governments in Canada for loans to help prepare their factories in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario for new vehicle production, may come to a decision about moving forward with plans for where new minivans will be built by the end of March 2014.

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Canadian Government Funds Would Safeguard Windsor For 30 Years

On the heels of reports that put a $3.6 billion pricetag on Chrysler’s investment at two Canadian plants, another Canadian outlet is reporting that the money would ensure the future of the two plants for decades to come.

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Hyundai Canada Settles Class Action Fuel Economy Suit
Canadian Automakers Make Last Minute Lobbying Effort to Delay Korean Trade Deal

Imported vehicle sales by country. Source: Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association

Companies building cars in Canada are lobbying at the last minute to, kill an “imminent” free trade deal between Canada and South Korea that the automakers say would damage the Canadian auto industry and the greater Canadian economy. Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. president and chief executive, Dianne Craig, said on Thursday that the U.S.-Korea trade agreement enacted in 2007 has been a “disaster” for auto makers. Craig urged the Conservative government not to make the same mistake as the United States.

“We understand that [the Canadian government] need[s] to look for what’s in the best interests of Canada,” Ms. Craig said in an interview with Toronto’s Globe & Mail. “But, frankly, autos are the greatest driver of GDP and we think we need to have a pretty strong voice in this conversation. This is not good for autos, which means it’s not good for the economy, which means it’s not good for Canadians.”

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Mercedes-Benz Urges Canada To Adopt EU Regulations As Part Of Free Trade Agreement

Canada and the European Union’s newly inked free trade agreement will eliminate the 6.1 percent tariff on imported vehicles, but one big obstacle remains: the lack of harmonization between Canadian and European vehicle standards. According to a report by The Globe and Mail, Mercedes-Benz Canada’s President is calling for an end to the differing standards, which feature unique requirements and add costs to Canadian vehicles.

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Cain's Segments: Canada Recap

November 2013 went down as the highest-volume November in the history of Canadian auto sales. It followed three consecutive years with November improvements.

November is traditionally not a high-volume month for automakers in Canada, and by the standards of the previous eight months, last month was no different from the norm. Nevertheless, compared with the previous year’s 126,000 November new vehicle sales, last month’s 134,000-unit result represented a massive change, a change which was brought on by all but a handful of automobile brands.

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Toyota Plants In Canada On The Path To Organizing

The UAW’s troubles with organizing Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plants are well known throughout the auto world, but Unifor, the Canada union that was once known as the Canadian Auto Workers union, now claims that it has enough union cards to hold a vote on representation.

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Canadian Auto Workers More Cost Effective Than U.S. Workers, Study Says

The land of Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons and Michelle Creber has yet another thing going for it: Their auto workers have a cost advantage over their two-tiered brothers and sisters down south according to a study from Toronto, Ontario-based Scotiabank.

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Canada To End Duties On Imported Vehicles From The EU, Will Recognize EU Standards

As part of a new free trade agreement due to be signed with the European Union, Canada will remove its 6.1 percent tariff on imported vehicles from the European Union, while the EU will remove its 10 percent duties on autos and and its 4.5 percent duty on parts.

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General Motors To Keep Oshawa Consolidated Line Open Past 2014
GM Canada CEO Sounds Alarm Over Cheap Loans

GM Canada’s CEO is expressing apprehension over the way cheap auto loans are fueling vehicle sales in Canada.

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Ford to Invest $700 Million to Possibly Build Fusions In Canada, While VW Puts $529 Million Into Brazil to Locally Build Audis and Golfs

Ford Oakville, Ontario, Canada Assembly Plant

The Toronto Star is reporting that Ford Motor Co. will soon announce a ~$700US million investment in it’s Oakville, Ontario plant, where it assembles the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX midsize crossovers. According to Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper, $135 million of that will come from the Ontario and Canadian governments, which recently divested some of their bailout related shares in General Motors. The investment by Ford follows commitments made to the Canadian Auto Workers, now under the banner of Unifor, to add 600 jobs to the Oakville facility.

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GM, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement On CAMI Plant

GM and Unifor (the union formerly known as the CAW) have reached a tentative agreement for the 2,500 workers at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.

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RFID Enhanced Driver's Licenses: Big Brother Or Brighter Future?

Wired.com is reporting that the state of California has abruptly tabled legislation that might have allowed RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips to be embedded into the state’s drivers’ licenses. Privacy activists are hailing the suspension of this plan as a victory against government intrusion in people’s lives and believe that these chips, which are actually tiny radio transceivers that can be accessed over the open airwaves without the consent of the person carrying the document, will eventually be used to track people’s movements without their knowledge. Currently, three states, Michigan, Vermont and Washington, already have RFID chips in their licenses and are already sharing information collected by the DMV, including basic identity data and photos, with the Department of Homeland Security via a national database. Scary, right?

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Canada Sales Recap: June 2013

Canada’s auto industry grew 1.3% in June 2013, an increase of a couple thousand vehicles. No brand sold more often than Ford. No manufacturer sold more vehicles than Ford Motor Company. No June in history saw Canadians buy more vehicles than they did last month.

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Oshawa's Future Looks Bleak As The Clock Runs Out On GM's Vitality Commitment

Ontario is home to a number of auto plants, both import and domestic, union and non-union, as well as numerous suppliers. None of them are so tightly intertwined as General Motors is with the town of Oshawa, about 40 miles from Toronto (though, as any area resident will tell you, it’s really 2 hours away, thanks to our horrendously inadequate infrastructure). For nearly a century, GM has been building cars in Oshawa in one form or another, as the plant has established a reputation as one of GM’s best, consistently building high quality cars, trucks and crossovers over the decades. But that tradition may be coming to a close by 2016.

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Quebec's Obsession With No Frills Cars

Most estimates put the market share of manual transmission cars in the United States at less than 10 percent. Whether it’s a lowly Nissan Sentra or the mighty Porsche 911 GT3, it seems that Americans just do not want to drive a three pedal transmission. The die hard manual crowd, as vocal as they may be, can’t seem to get anyone to listen to them, for love or money. If only they knew that just a few hours north of Boston, there existed a land where automotive purity was considered as the full contact lap dance.

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Canada In May 2013: Picking Up The Pace

(Editor’s note: Despite being a close neighbor, ally, and NAFTA member, Canada usually receives short shrift when it comes to the counting of cars. TTAC is a prime offender. We cover sales in Europe, Japan, China, and of course America – but Canada? Our resident car counter Cain will now cover the Canadian market on a monthly basis. Any volunteers for Mexico?)

For the second time in what was predicted to be yet another year of growth for the Canadian auto industry, volume grew significantly in May 2013. January volume was down 2%. By the end of February, the market was off 2012’s pace by 3%. March’s decline wasn’t as bad, but through the first quarter, sales were still down 2%. After April’s 9% increase, auto sales in May reached their highest level in six years.

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CAMI Gets $250 Million Investment For Flexible Assembly Line

GM announced a $250 million dollar investment for the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontaro. CAMI is the main production site for the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain (also known as the Theta crossovers), two of GM’s best selling models, and the investment comes amid uncertainty over the fate of CAMI itself.

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Analysis: The Clock Is Ticking For GM's Oshawa Plant

Upon receipt of a multi-billion dollar loan from the Canadian government, General Motors signed a “Vitality Commitment”, essentially a covenant in the loan agreement between GM and Canada’s government, which guaranteed that a certain amount of GM’s North American production would remain in Canada. That number is widely reported as being 16 percent, while page F-69 of GM’s IPO filings outlines that the covenant is valid until GM repays its loan commitments or until December 31, 2016, whichever comes later.

While Oshawa has widely regarded as one of GM’s best plants in terms of producing high-quality vehicles, the future of GM’s Oshawa plant is looking increasingly bleak.

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Ecoboost May Put The Squeeze On Ford's Canadian Engine Plants

Ford’s plan to ramp up production of their Ecoboost engines may negatively impact the Blue Oval’s Essex engine plant in Windsor, Ontario.

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Lumina APV Redux: Fiat 500L

Our own Alex L. Dykes postulated that the 500L is what happens when Fiat stays in America for awhile – and he’s right. The feature that stuck out immediately are the massive side windows between the front doors and the windshield, looking for all the world like that area of the original GM Dustbuster minivans.

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SUV Onslaught Continues: Honda Urban SUV Concept

Feeling the need to build a segment vehicle that slots below the CR-V, both in terms of size and price, Honda showed its Urban SUV Concept at the Canadian International Auto Show. To drive home the point that they are marketing this at young’uns, Honda amped up the hyperbole while Skrillex blared out of the main speakers onstage.

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Light On Top: VW Golf Carbon GTI

Shuffled off to the side of the Volkswagen display at the Canadian International Auto Show was this Golf, sporting a carbon fibre roof and side mirrors.

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2013 Canadian International Auto Show: Coles Notes Version

As per usual, press day at the Canadian International Auto Show was filled with automakers busying themselves with the “Canadian Premières” of their wares. Very little had not already been seen and what vehicles haven’t been shown are probably being saved for the New York or Geneva shows. This event fell on February 14th, meaning I also needed to rush and buy a Valentine’s Day item. Before I did, however, I put together some notable observations from the 2013 [s]Maple Syrup & Hockey[/s] Canadian International Auto Show.

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Canadian Government Investigating Price Discrepancies For New Cars

Every Canadian consumer knows that when it comes to new car prices, we get screwed. Yes, Canada is a small market with higher taxes. It costs more to do business here in part because the high distribution costs can’t be amortized over 300-odd million people. In addition, things like metric instruments further complicate things.

But then there’s the question of why a Toyota RAV4, built two hours outside of Toronto, costs $2,890 less in Hawaii than it does in Canada. Why does an Oshawa-built Camaro demand a $4,685 premium in Canada? Where does BMW get off charging a $19,300 premium in the Great White North for a 535i xDrive, a 38.9 percent increase over the U.S. sticker?

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Toyota Gets $34 Million From Canadian Government To Build Hybrids

Toyota’s Cambridge, Ontario plant will have the honor of being the sole facility outside Japan to produce hybrid Lexus RX crossovers. The announcement came alongside plans for an investment of $34 million investment from the Canadian government.

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Honda Captures First And Last Place In Canadian New Car Market

Congratulations to the Big H; Honda managed to capture the top spot in Canadian passenger car sales for the 15th year running, while also earning the dubious honor-or, honour, as it would be spelled in Canada – of offering the slowest-selling vehicle in Canada.

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Canadian Government Launches $250 Million Auto "Innovation Fund"

The Canadian government will put up $250 million as part of an “auto innovation fund”, a continuation of a 2008 program which the government claims led to over $1 billion in spending.

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CAW: Oshawa Needs New Product To Survive

GM’s announcement that it would move Camaro production out of Oshawa has left one of GM’s best plants in a lurch, and the CAW says that the plant’s very survival is at stake.

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Canada Governments: No Sale Of GM Stock

Timing the market is a tricky matter. There are people who urge the Canadian government to dump its shares in GM at a considerable loss. And there are others who rather wait for the stock to go higher. Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is in the second camp.

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Ontario Pushing To Dump GM Stock At A Significant Loss

The government of Ontario is calling on the Canadian government to sell off its shares in GM, obtained as part of a bailout package for the automaker in 2009.

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Canada Adopts CAFE 2025-Based Fuel Economy Standards

Canada’s government is seen as reluctant to tackle the issue of climate change. Concerned Canadians have even taken to discussing how putting a Canadian flag on one’s backpack may be dangerous because our lack of environmental leadership has diminished our standing in places like Europe. Or at least that’s what one eco-conscious party guest told me, in between agitating for more bike lanes and asking for a lift home.

Since motorists and drivers are low-hanging fruit without any kind of organized lobby, our Conservative government has decided to offer up the automobile as a sacrificial lamb in the PR temple by implementing CAFE-style standards on Canadian vehicles. As we all know, CAFE is a deeply flawed system that rewards the bad guys. So why would Canada, a land of small cars and high gas prices, do this?

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Suzuki Autos, Alive And Well In Canada

American Suzuki Motor Corp may have gone bust, but Suzuki cars will continue to be sold in Canada, where the SX4, Kizashi and Grand Vitara are still offered (but not the Equator pickup).

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CAW Strike At Key Parts Suppliers

The drama over a possible strike at the Big Three was averted this summer, but it ain’t over yet; roughly 75 employees walked off the job at two key suppliers this weekend.

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CAW Workers Ratify Chrysler Agreement As The Countdown To 2016 Begins

Workers at Chrysler plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario ratified the CAW’s labor agreement by an overwhelming majority, despite a lack of new product or investment at either plant.

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CAW And Chrysler Reach Deal: Marchionne May Get The Last Laugh

Did Ken Lewenza hose Sergio Marchionne and Chrysler? Ask me that a few days ago and I may have said yes. Now that the terms of the CAW and Chrysler have surfaced, I’m not so sure.

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CAW Opens Door For Wage Cuts

With the CAW’s strike deadline just four days away, the union has apparently tabled a proposal to reduce wages for new hires, a move that would stop short of a true two-tier wage system, but meet a major demand of the Big Three auto makers.

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Chrysler's "Wildcard" In Labor Talks: Marchionne

Chrysler is coming off a strong year sales-wise, but negotiations with the Canadian Auto Workers will force the company to make a tactical decision; should Chrysler take a tough line in an effort to reduce costs, or look for a quick settlement in order to hold off a strike, maintaining their sales hot streak.

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The Great Ontario Drive Clean Swindle

For one Canadian auto writer, an emissions test turned out to be a giant time-and-money-suck that should have never happened in the first place, all thanks to an unscrupulous mechanic. Is anyone surprised?

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Ooops, Canada: Detroit 3 Say Production In Canada Way Too Expensive

Contracts talks between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Detroit 3 won’t start before August. But combattants are already lobbing grenades across the border. Ford of Canada told Reuters that Canada is now the most expensive place in the world to make cars.

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The CAW's Long, Futile Road To Organizing Honda Plants

If you believe Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, the CAW is well on its way to organizing Honda’s Alliston, Ontario assembly plant. Lewenza told Ward’s Auto that “We’re getting some enthusiastic and strong support, but we’re not there yet.” The biggest problem for Lewenza is that the CAW has been in that position for almost two decades with respect to Alliston and hasn’t made any progress.

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Canadian Car Thieves Heart Japanese. Sometimes, They Make An Exception

Canadian Car crooks have an affliction for Asian automobiles. According to a list of the 10 most stolen cars in Canada – 2011, published by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), half of the cars are Japanese, with Toyotas and Hondas taking the podium.

And the losers are:

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Chevrolet's Mini Crossover Is Making Trax To The Great White North

As TTAC’s official reviewer of all things “emerging market cast-offs sent to Canada”, I’ll be busy again in Q4 2012, when I get my hands on a Chevrolet Trax.

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Shuttered Canadian Plants May Help Big Three Ease Projected Capacity Crunch

A study commissioned by Canada’s federal government suggests that Canada could be in a position to benefit from strong auto sales from the Big Three OEMs, and a lack of capacity could lead to more manufacturing jobs for Canada, including the revival of mothballed factories.

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Mitusbishi Mirage: Yes For Canada, Maybe For America

Looks like I have my work cut out for me yet again; the new Mitsubishi Mirage will be coming to Canada, but Mitsubishi may not bring their new small car to the United States. Yes, I’ll take time to review it.

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Canada: We Have Morons Too

Some of you may be confused as this video seems to depict a warm sunny day, a dearth of moose (mooses? meese?), and the miscreant in question isn’t wreaking havoc with a snowmobile. But trust me, this is Canada, and this is one of our normally polite citizens tearing it up on a blue Yamaha R1 at extra-legal speeds on a crowded highway. He probably drank some bad maple syrup or something.

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  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.