Tag: Canada

By on July 1, 2020

North of the border, Wednesday dawned on a country celebrating a significantly less festive, no-touch national holiday. No fireworks and crowds on this COVID-y Canada Day, just locals lighting them off from the roofs of walk-ups in your author’s humble neighborhood. The “crowd” outside the Burger King hasn’t grown or shrunk in size (and remains just as clandestine as before).

This year, however, Americans have good reason to join in the celebration. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2020

Unifor hopes to sway the Canadian government toward an automotive strategy centered around the adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles and a totally revised economic system. On Wednesday, the union released its “Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery” while announcing that corporations have failed everyone.

It’s all part the #BuildBackBetter campaign, which sees the coronavirus pandemic that made 2020 a collective — yet strangely isolating — hell for all of us as a unique opportunity to rebuild society under the banner of economic justice. “Unifor’s plan is designed to build a more strategic and self-reliant economy that can both withstand and prevent future crises,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in the initial announcement.

“This is an ambitious road map but I think ambition is what our country and its workers need right now.” (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2020

2020 Chevrolet Silverado front quarter

Once upon a time, crew cab pickups were for logging crews in the Pacific Northwest, not families. That’s obviously changed. Whereas the typical pickup configuration was a regular cab, long-bed setup (efficient!), times change, and with it the take rates of various truck configurations.

In the eventful 2020 model year, it seems the buying public has never had less use for once-common body styles. It’s four doors, or get lost. (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2020

ford

Ford’s utility vehicle lineup may grow too crowded to sustain the midsize Edge and its Lincoln Nautilus sibling for much longer. That’s the opinion of AutoForecast Solutions’ Sam Fiorani, who claims the Blue Oval has cancelled next-generation versions of both models.

Introduced for the 2015 model year and facelifted for 2019, the two-row Edge and Nautilus (formerly, the MKX) slot between the compact Escape and three-row Explorer, but the appearance of new models in the coming years might trample these models into the dust. If so, it could spell the end of Ford’s vehicle manufacturing presence north of the border. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2020

Over the past decade, regular reports that Chinese automakers were readying a major push into the North American market became commonplace. We started seeing them move out of trade show basements to take up some of the most desirable real estate on the main floor. While some of the product clearly wasn’t yet up to snuff, one could imagine budget-focused products flooding the U.S. and Canada after a few years of polish. However, the last time that seemed like a likely scenario was 2018.

Chinese brands are still trying to break into the untapped North American market; some even have physical office space set up within the United States. However, Sino-American relations have soured dramatically over the past few years, and new financial hurdles have made wrangling a new market extremely difficult.  (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2020

Mexico is attempting to accelerate parts production to ensure North American automakers have enough components on hand to stay operational. The response to the pandemic saw manufacturing stalled worldwide as governments assessed whether or not we’d soon be living through a plague of biblical proportions. While fate decreed a repeat of the Black Death would not be necessary, untold damage resulted in numerous business sectors.

The automotive industry hardly went unscathed. Lockdowns stopped sales in many markets for months and plunged supply chains into turmoil as OEMs shut down to ensure staff were helping to “flatten the curve.” With the public’s interest shifting rapidly away from coronavirus mandates toward demonstrations about police brutality and racial justice, or simply devolving into riots because people are pretty angry about how poorly 2020 is playing out, suppliers and automakers are gradually moving back to more normal production schedules.

This has been easier said than done. But it is being done, and that’s the important thing.  (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2020

FCA Brampton Assembly Line Challenger & 300 - Image: FCA

Fiat Chrysler is prepared to ramp up its U.S. manufacturing presence starting May 18th, but the situation on the south side of the Detroit River is another story. That’s according to Unifor President Jerry Dias, whose union represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada.

Dias’ U.S. counterpart, UAW President Rory Gamble, is now on board with FCA’s restart plan after initially opposing an early return to work, but the Canadian labor official is now having a change of heart. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2020

gm

It was a sad day when General Motors all but mothballed its Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant — a manufacturing site that had cranked out cars since 1907 — but new production will soon be underway.

Not of sedans or pickups, the latter of which happened to be the plant’s last vehicular products when it ceased assembly in 2019, but masks. A lot of masks. (Read More…)

By on April 3, 2020

Mirroring its southern neighbor, Canadian auto sales took a dive last month as measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 went into effect across the country. First-quarter volume, as a result, fell roughly 20 percent across the industry, with March’s decline pegged at 48 percent by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (via Bloomberg).

Still, amid all the gloom were statistical bright spots. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2020

FCA Brampton Assembly Line Challenger & 300 - Image: FCA

Unifor, the union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, joined those companies in announcing a joint task force Tuesday, the same day the province of Ontario declared an emergency amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Like the U.S. task force announced Monday, the Canuck team aims to boost protective measures at the country’s auto plants and warehouses. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

Denis Le Not 2019 Nissan Altima unveil - Image: Nissan

The new-for-2019 Nissan Altima, arriving in the fall of 2018, marked a significant departure from the previous model. For starters, there was no V6 on offer; a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with variable compression technology set up shop as the uplevel option. Also different was the appearance of all-wheel drive.

In Chris’ review of an attractive AWD Altima, he made note of Nissan’s enthusiasm for the technology, with the automaker’s U.S. brass claiming a significant take rate for Altimas with four driven wheels. That may be true in the U.S., but how does a traditionally front-drive model fare when it’s only available in AWD? Canada has the answer. (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2019

Ram 1500 MultiFunction Tailgate

Many stories can be told of the events of 2019, but one of the headliners should be Fiat Chrysler’s growing presence in the full-size truck segment. Not domination of it, obviously — that role continues to be reserved for Ford Motor Company and its F-Series pickups. Still, the past year did see the Ram brand relegate Chevrolet to the third-place spot in U.S. sales.

North of the border, where people love big trucks just as much as Americans (regardless of what virtues are signalled on the world stage), it’s a similar story. Let’s see how the Detroit Three are faring in the snowy full-size segment up yonder. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2019

Volkswagen Group can’t seem to escape the rippling effects of its 2015 emissions cheating scandal. It wasn’t long ago that the automaker was subjected to surprise raids from German prosecutors, still investigating its regulatory malfeasance. On Monday, Canada threw its hat into the ring — charging the company with importing roughly 128,000 vehicles into the country in direct violation of its environmental laws.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) announced VW is facing 60 counts of breaching the Canadian Environmental Protection Act by selling automobiles that fell outside the prescribed emission standards. Broken down, that includes 58 counts of contravening the law between 2008 and 2015 with two counts of providing misleading information.  (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2019

2004 Acura EL in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsLast year, I found a 2009 Chevrolet Chevy (a Mexican-market Opel Corsa) in a Denver car graveyard, presumably driven here on Mexican plates and then abandoned and towed away when it couldn’t be registered in Colorado.

We can assume that today’s Junkyard Find came to the Mile High City in the same way, but via the northern border rather than the southern one. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2019

2019 Mazda Mazda3 rear quarter

If you’re a regular on these digital pages, you probably read how the revamped-for-2019 Mazda 3 is a very different beast depending on which side of the border one resides. The Canada-U.S. border, that is. Eager to keep cheapskates entry-level car lovers in a certain province satisfied, Mazda Canada saw fit to offer buyers greater choice than Americans enjoy down south, coupled with a very non-premium starting price.

Good stuff, in this writer’s books.

However, despite both countries having access to sedan and five-door variants, both offered with Mazda’s weather-conquering i-Activ all-wheel drive system, the Mazda 3’s Canadian sales trajectory doesn’t differ from that of its U.S. counterpart. (Read More…)

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