Still think Canucks are the most modest people around? Think again. An international study of more than 10,000 drivers from 10 countries for the classified website Kijiji places more Canadian drivers in the category of "Image Seekers" than any of the report's other driver personas, and above the global average in this category.
The Kijiji report categorizes Canadian and international drivers among seven different personas based on driver habits and opinions, as follows:
- Image Seekers (27 per cent) - brand, design and styling are more important than among other personas. Global average: 23 per cent
- Reliability/Efficiency Seekers (22 per cent) - brand is less of a priority, but reliability, efficiency, and running costs matter. Global average: 22 per cent
- Performance Seekers (17 per cent) - handling and power are higher up on the list of priorities. Global average: 17 per cent
- Necessity Drivers (19 per cent) - say a car is just a tool to get from A to B. Global average: 17 per cent
- Risk Takers (five per cent) - parks carelessly, more likely to drink and drive. Global average: 11 per cent
- Cautious Drivers (five per cent) - rarely has accidents or damages their car. Global average: four per cent
- Accident Prone (five per cent) - despite less obvious risk taking they are still prone to accidents. Global average: six per cent
"When it comes to Canadian drivers, Image Seekers have overtaken Efficiency Seekers, though many stereotypically modest Canadian traits continue on the road," says Scott Neil, Head of Autos, Kijiji Canada. "Luckily, as Canada's largest automotive listing website, Kijiji has cars of every make and model to suit all types of drivers."
While Image Seekers and Performance Seekers combined account for close to half (44 per cent) of Canadian drivers, as a nation, we are still understated when it comes to the cars we covet. When asked to list their "dream vehicle", Canadians gravitate to more modest luxury brands such as BMW (14 per cent), Mercedes-Benz (11 per cent), or Lexus (nine per cent) versus supercars like Lamborghini (six per cent), Ferrari (four per cent), or Rolls-Royce (four per cent).
Notwithstanding our tendency to value style slightly above substance, when it comes to colour, Canadians prefer classic, neutral tones over bright and bold. Sensible silver is the most popular car colour in Canada, preferred by 18 per cent of drivers, followed by basics blue and black (15 per cent each) and good old grey (14 per cent). Just 11 per cent of us opt for racy red.
As a nation, Canadians also approach car buying pragmatically, with nine out of 10 (89 per cent) acknowledging that a new car's value depreciates when driven off the lot.1 When it comes to new versus used vehicle purchases:
- Five out of six Canadians (83 per cent) have owned a used vehicle
- Sixty-three per cent of Canadians would buy a used vehicle because they feel that new cars are too expensive
- Three out of 10 Canadians (29 per cent) feel that used vehicles are just as good as new ones, and that new vehicles are not worth the extra money
- One in five Canadians (19 per cent) would buy a used car in order to get their particular dream vehicle
The Kijiji study also reveals that, once behind the wheel, Canadians are more careful and conscientious on the road compared to the global average:
- Just five per cent of Canadian drivers fall into the "Risk Takers" persona compared to 11 per cent of drivers globally
- While 17 per cent of Canadians report scraping or scratching their car in a minor accident over the last year, 21 per cent globally say they've had a fender bender
- Ten per cent of Canadian drivers admit to getting a speeding ticket over the last year compared to 16 per cent of the global population surveyed
TIPS ON BUYING A USED CAR ONLINE
"With over 250,000 Canadians actively selling their vehicles on Kijiji, our selection of local used car listings will get you where you need to go fast — whether you're seeking a Ford or a Ferrari," says Neil.
Kijiji's top tips for Canadians when buying a vehicle online:
- Know the History - Always ask the seller for a car's Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), CarProof Vehicle History Report, mileage, and repair history
- Inspect - Have a professional inspection done by a licensed technician to save money down the road, and look for potential issues with the tires, body or interior
- Test Drive - Don't buy a car before taking it for a test drive, preferably when the engine is cold. Try various speeds, different types of roads, parking and idling. Make sure all of the lights and electronics are working. Even a short test drive can help identify problems.
TORONTO - Canadian automakers say demand for cars and light trucks remained strong in September, with many of them reporting significant year-over-year sales increases on Tuesday.
Among the Big Three manufacturers, Ford Canada and Chrysler Canada both said saw improvements in vehicle sales last month, substantially so in the case of Ford.
"What is somewhat surprising is that September 2012 had also been a record month," according to a commentary by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.
"It is a lot easier to show significant improvements in the market when comparable data from previous years are weak. September had a very tough comparable month to beat, but blew past this quite easily."
DesRosiers said if vehicle sales continue at this pace, they could beat the all-time annual record of just over 1.7 million set in 2002.
Ford said it had the second-best September on record, as sales for its vehicles jumped 10 per cent last month compared with the same month a year earlier.
It said it sold 25,956 light vehicles in September, compared with 23,600 in the 2012 period.
The boost was attributed to a surge truck sales, including the F-Series, which saw its best September on record. Ford said it sold 20,237 trucks last month, an 8.8 per cent increase from 18,606 a year earlier.
It also reported strong sales of the Ford Fiesta, which increased by 64 per cent, while sales of the Fusion jumped by 20 per cent year-over-year. Sales of the Mustang climbed 10 per cent in the same period.
Chrysler Canada said it recorded its best sales for September in 13 years, with 19,858 cars and light trucks sold last month, up slightly from 19,555 in September 2012.
Still, the total marked the 46th consecutive month of year-over-year growth, the longest sales streak in the company's history, Chrysler said.
The gains were due to sales records for its Ram trucks and Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 models. Sales of its Town and Country minivan more than doubled to 454 sold in September, compared with 162 a year earlier.
The last of the Big Three, General Motors, reported a small decline last month, with 18,270 cars and trucks sold, compared with 18,756 in the same month a year earlier.
Meanwhile, many of the other automakers also reported higher sales in September.
Japanese car manufacturer Honda Canada saw sales of 12,449 vehicles last month, up 8.7 per cent from 11,457 in September 2012.
Honda said its Civic models continue to be its most popular cars, with 6,262 sold in September, an 8.3 per cent jump from 5,782 in the same period a year earlier.
"Strong September sales wrapped up the summer selling season and will help to continue our sales momentum through to the end of the year," Dave Gardner, vice-president of sales and marketing for Honda Canada Inc., said in a statement.
Its luxury division, Acura, also saw an increase of 4.2 per cent, as it sold 1,515 cars in September, compared with 1,454 in September 2012.
Toyota Canada also reported an uptick in September across its cars, trucks and Lexus luxury division.
Toyota had total sales last month of 15,688, up 2.7 per cent from 15,278 a year earlier, due to strong gains by its Corolla and RAV4 brands. Sales of Lexus vehicles were up 1.5 per cent in September to 1,580 sold in September of last year.
Nissan sales increased by 39 per cent last month, making it the company's best September on record, as it sold 8,564 vehicles across Canada.
Subaru Canada said September was also its best month ever, with its vehicle sales increasing by 23.2 per cent to 3,310 units. This compared with 2,686 units in September 2012.
Luxury brand Mercedes-Benz also saw its sales climb more than 20 per cent to 3,226 vehicles in September from 2,676 vehicles a year earlier.
But it wasn't all rosy news from the auto sector.
Mazda Canada said its vehicle sales fell by 16 per cent in September compared with a year earlier to 5,647. Its compact Mazda3 vehicles led September sales, with 3,310 sold, but were down more than 20 per cent from 4,278 sold in September 2012.
Kia Canada also saw its sales figures decline slightly in September compared with a year earlier. The automaker reported new vehicle sales of 6,833, down 2.8 per cent.
SEATTLE, WA - A fire that destroyed a Tesla electric car near Seattle began in the vehicle's battery pack, officials said Wednesday, creating challenges for firefighters who tried to put out the flames.
Company spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean said the fire Tuesday was caused by a large metallic object hitting one of the battery pack's modules in the pricey Model S. The fire was contained to a small section at the front of the vehicle, she said, and no one was injured.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. fell more than 6 per cent Wednesday after an Internet video showed flames spewing from the vehicle, which Tesla has touted as the safest car in America.
The liquid-cooled 85 kilowatt-hour battery in the Tesla Model S is mounted below the passenger compartment floor and uses lithium-ion chemistry similar to the batteries in laptop computers and mobile phones. Investors and companies have been particularly sensitive to the batteries' fire risks, especially given issues in recent years involving the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car and Boeing's new 787 plane.
In an incident report released under Washington state's public records law, firefighters wrote that they appeared to have Tuesday's fire under control, but the flames reignited. Crews found that water seemed to intensify the fire, so they began using a dry chemical extinguisher.
After dismantling the front end of the vehicle and puncturing holes in the battery pack, responders used a circular saw to cut an access hole in the front section to apply water to the battery, according to documents. Only then was the fire extinguished.
The incident happened as the Tesla's driver was travelling southbound on state Route 167 through the Seattle suburb of Kent, said Trooper Chris Webb of the Washington State Patrol. The driver said he believed he had struck some metal debris on the freeway, so he exited the highway and the vehicle became disabled.
The driver, who did not return a phone call seeking comment, told authorities he began to smell something burning and then the vehicle caught fire.
Firefighters arrived within 3 minutes of the first call. It's not clear from records how long the firefighting lasted, but crews remained on scene for 2 1/2 hours.
Tesla said the flames were contained to the front of the $70,000 vehicle due to its design and construction.
"This was not a spontaneous event," Jarvis-Shean said. "Every indication we have at this point is that the fire was a result of the collision and the damage sustained through that."
There was too much damage from the fire to see what damage debris may have caused, Webb said.
The automobile website Jalopnik.com posted photos of the blaze that it says were taken by a reader, along with a video.
Shares of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla have risen more than 400 per cent this year. But some investors likely were alarmed that the fire could be an indication of a flaw in the company's battery packs, and Tesla shares fell $12.05 to $180.95 Wednesday.
Also contributing to the stock's decline was a rare analyst downgrade. R.W. Baird analyst Ben Kallo cut his rating on the stock from "Outperform" to "Neutral," telling investors that while he's still bullish on Tesla's long-term prospects, the company has "significant milestones" during the next 18 months that come with risk.
The company's battery system and the Model S itself have received rave reviews, including a top crash-test score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a tie for the highest auto rating ever recorded by Consumer Reports magazine.
But lithium-ion batteries have raised concerns in other vehicles.
Two years ago, battery fires broke out in three Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid cars after crash-testing, but NHTSA investigators determined that the Volt was no more risky than vehicles with conventional gasoline engines.
Officials from General Motors Co. and the government believed the fires were caused by coolant leaking from damaged plastic casing around the batteries after side-impact test crashes. At the time, they said there were no real-world fires in any Volts.
Still, the fires tarnished the Volt's reputation and cut into sales. Recently, though, sales have recovered. Sales are up about 3 per cent this year, with GM selling about 17,000 Volts through September.
Earlier this year, Boeing Co.'s worldwide fleet of 787s was grounded because lithium-ion batteries overheated or caught fire. Flights resumed four months later after a revamped battery system was installed.
Under normal circumstances, investigators from NHTSA, the government's auto safety watchdog, would travel to Washington state to investigate the Tesla crash. But with the partial government shutdown, NHTSA's field investigations have been suspended.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Seven midsize vehicles earned the top rating in a new insurance industry test of high-tech safety features designed to prevent front-end collisions.
The Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60 and XC60 won "superior" ratings in tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The institute tested 74 midsize cars and SUVs from the model years 2013 and 2014. Those equipped with front collision-warning and automatic braking systems generally scored better. The systems can either warn the driver or automatically stop the car if they sense a potential collision.
The institute IIHS, a non-profit research group funded by insurance companies, has pushed federal regulators and automakers to require or offer as an option new safety systems such as antilock brakes. The group also is pushing automakers to bolster front-end crash resistance.
Automakers have been offering the frontal-crash systems on more and more models as the price of the technology falls. The systems use radar, cameras, ultrasonic sensors and computers to spot objects in front of cars and determine if a collision is possible. A driver may be warned to take action, or the system may apply the brakes itself.
The IIHS said its data institute has determined that the devices help drivers avoid frontal crashes, but even so, auto insurance companies generally aren't offering discounts for people who buy them.
Insurance companies say that as the systems become more popular in certain models, insurance claims will decline. Those models eventually will see discounted rates.
In the tests, six other cars got second-best "advanced" ratings, while 25 received "basic" ratings. Another 36 got no rating because they didn't have the systems or their systems didn't meet the institute's standards.
The institute says the tests will help people decide which features to buy and encourage automakers to adopt the new technology faster.
Over this past week, there has been plenty of recalls to go around. Most of us see the reports; glance at the headline or over the body of the article and move on with our day. Gone are the days when we get nervous over recalls and they become major headlines. Now they are a reported footnote for the public to know that these companies are doing the best to seek out these problems and find solutions for them.
The latest recalls mostly come from Japan, where Toyota Canada is recalling 56,211 Sienna minivans from 2004 to 2005, as well as from 2007 to 2009 because of a shift lever problem that could lead to your car rolling away. While, Nissan announced a global recall of 908,900 vehicles (Serena minivan, Infiniti M luxury, X-trail sport utility, and a few other models) due to defective accelerator sensors that could cause the engine to stall. Finally, Honda Canada are recalling 23,300 Honda Odysseys from 2003-2004, as well as 4,800 2003 Acura MDXs because of a possibility for an inadvertent airbag deployment.
German-based BMW recalled 134,100 5-series cars in the United States and an additional 5,800 in Canada to address faulty rear lights. The recall affects cars from model years 2008 to 2010.
Recalls were all the talk back in those dark days in late 2009 and early 2010. Toyota headlined the news when they announced recalls of approximately 5.2-million vehicles for a pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, followed by an additional 2.3-million vehicles for an accelerator pedal problem. Toyota totalled over 10 million vehicle recalls in 2010, but it wasn’t only them that dealt with this situation. Luckily, for the rest of manufacturers, they could hide behind Toyota while making recalls of their own. Honourary members to the over a million recall club in 2010 were General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler.
Toyota saw a major drop in sales and confidence in their brand, but they’ve been gradually forging forward except for a faulty power window switch hiccup in October of last year. In fairness to Toyota, they tackled the problem head-on and faced their accusations and apologized for their overambitious growth goals that played a factor in a slip in quality.
Toyota felt most of the burden from the 2009-10 recalls, but they helped change the way auto manufacturers attack problems. Recalls are now a good thing, because they show that manufacturers are no longer hiding from their mistakes, but attacking them head-on. Any report of a recall should show that the manufacturer has the customer’s back and they won’t allow any minor issue affect your driving safety. In the new recalls listed above, most of those issues have not affected any drivers on the road, which proves that these carmakers are taking no chances and being over-cautious with any possible situation that could arise.
It was only two decades ago, when Audi, who had a similar problem as Toyota with its Audi 5000. The Audi 5000 could shift into drive or reverse without having your foot on the brake, which in today’s world would cause a big scare. Audi decided to blame its own customers for the problem, rather than face a dreaded recall. Audi sales took a nose dive after that public relations nightmare, but eventually got them back.
The Audi story might be outdated and global communication has changed, but it’s important to give kudos to Toyota and the rest of the manufacturers for coming forward and dealing with their problems. Perhaps, they didn’t have a choice, but regardless the reasoning, it resulted in action being taken and recall not becoming an evil word that at all costs could not be uttered.
A recall doesn’t mean that the vehicle is inferior. Problems can arise and a lot of these recalls are minor in nature. It’s a cautious approach taken by all for the sake of transparency. And if it ends up being major, at least you’ll know about it. Personally, I rather know what’s wrong with my vehicle, rather than finding out after-the-fact.
In more than 30 years in the automotive industry supplying original and repair parts for auto lifts across the country, I’ve learned a few things about basic auto maintenance, but the most important thing I’ve learned is that most people don’t know jack about their cars, and really don’t want to pretend they’re a mechanic in any way, shape or form.
If you’re one of those people, it still pays to know some basic strategies on how to take care of your car or truck. So here are five habits every car owner should have. Even if you’re not a mechanic, developing these habits can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
5) Keep your tires properly inflated, and rotated
Never underestimate the value of properly inflated tires. Your vehicle will drive better in all road conditions and get better gas mileage too. If you know how to inflate your tires, you know it’s not that hard to read the raised letters on the side of your tires to learn the proper PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). If you don’t know how to inflate your tires, ask your local service station for help. But make sure to keep all four tires evenly inflated, which means you should check them at least every other week. Every 5000 miles or so, have your service station rotate your tires. They have an auto lift and can raise your car up to look at tire wear to see how your tire inflation and wheel alignment are doing.
4) Keep your headlights in shape
You should keep a couple spare headlight bulbs in your glove box in case one of your headlights goes out. Headlight bulbs are not expensive for the most part and are quick to replace. It’s not that hard to learn but if you don’t want to do it yourself, a service station can usually change a light bulb for you in under five minutes. If your headlights get clouded over with age, it’s possible to fix them without buying a whole new headlight. 3M makes a kit for $20 that can clear up dull headlights, which are really dangerous because they reduce visibility and make it difficult to drive at night. A little precaution can save you major damage and prolong the life of your vehicle.
3) Wash your car
Until the automotive industry comes out with paint finishes that are matte, completely rustproof, scratchproof and impervious to salt, you need to wash your car once in a while. Yes, washing your car is a good habit to have! Even if you just slide $2.00 into the dollar changer and use those quarters to turn the spray gun on your vehicle, getting the dirt and grime off saves the finish of your vehicle and helps prevent rust and paint damage and abrasion. Here’s a hint: you can actually save your tires if you use water to hose ice off the wheel wells.
2) Have brakes, brake fluid and steering fluids checked
Your brakes, of course, are life-saving devices and must be operating at peak efficiency if you want to be truly safe on the road. Ask your mechanic to check brake fluid levels regularly and make sure they are adequate. Have your mechanic put your car up on a lift to check brakes and brake pads, and replace as necessary. These have no set "lifespan," since driving habits and road conditions affect their wear-and-tear. Signs that your brakes need repair include "grabbing," vibration, or noise when you push down the brake pedal. Suspected faulty brakes must be checked immediately because they never, ever improve performance on their own. Finally, have your steering fluids checked as well each year. It’s never a good thing when those levels drop too low.
1) Check oil levels and change oil regularly
With all the oil change options in the world, there’s no excuse for not changing your oil every 7500 kilometers or so, or as recommended in your vehicle’s service manual. In terms of priorities on the 5 Habits Every Car Owner Should Have, changing your oil is really the most important. Experts are now advising that regular oil changes should be done based on the manufacturer's recommendation for your model and make of car. If you want to know how to check the oil level yourself, park the car on a level surface, lift the hood and find the dipstick that usually has a little oil can symbol on it, wipe it clean with a paper towel or clean cloth, and then return it to the oil tube. When you pull it out again, you can see the oil level on the dipstick. There are a couple lines on the dipstick that tell you the acceptable range. But never overfill your oil, which actually damages the engine.
About the author:
Doug Climenhaga is president of SVI International, Inc., a leading supplier of parts for industrial lift equipment. With more than 20 years experience in the hydraulic and automotive lift industries, he holds two patents and has designed scores of problem-solving products. But he also knows that no everyone is mechanical.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL (AP) - It carried hippies through the 1960s, hauled surfers in search of killer waves during endless summers and serves as a workhorse across the developing world, but the long, strange trip of the Volkswagen van is ending.
Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle, or "bus" as it's known by aficionados, but VW says production will end Dec. 31. Safety regulations mandate that every vehicle in Brazil must have air bags and anti-lock braking systems starting in 2014, and the company says it cannot change production to meet the law.
Although output will halt in Brazil, there should be plenty of VW vans rolling along for decades if only because there are so many, and they are so durable. VW produced more than 10 million Volkswagen Transporter vans globally since the model was introduced 63 years ago in Germany, though not all resemble the classic hippie machine. More than 1.5 million have been produced in Brazil since 1957.
The VW van is so deeply embedded in popular culture, it will likely live on even longer in the imagination.
"The van represents freedom," said Damon Ristau, the Missoula, Montana, director of the documentary "The Bus," which follows van fanatics and their affection for the machine. "It has a magic and charm lacking in other vehicles. It's about the open road, about bringing smiles to peoples' faces when they see an old VW van rolling along."
Perhaps nothing with a motor has driven itself deeper into American and European pop culture than the VW, known for its durability but also its tendency to break down. Van lovers say its failures only reinforce its charm: Because its engine is so simple, it's easy to fix, imparting a deeper sense of ownership.
The van made an appearance on Bob Dylan and Beach Boys record album covers, among many, though in music circles its most closely linked to the Grateful Dead and the legion of touring fans that followed the rock group across the U.S., the machines serving as rolling homes. Steve Jobs is said to have sold his van in the 1970s to buy a circuit board as he built a computer that helped launch Apple. The vehicle is linked to the California surf scene, its cavernous interior perfect for hauling boards.
But in poorer regions like Latin American and Africa, the vehicle doesn't carry the same romantic appeal. It definitely doesn't hold the cool mystique in Sao Paulo that it does in San Francisco.
It's used in Brazil by the postal service to haul mail, by the army to transport soldiers, and by morticians to carry corpses. It serves as a school bus for kids, operates as a group taxi, and delivers construction materials to work sites. Brazilians convert their vans into rolling food carts, setting up on street corners for working-class lunchtime crowds.
In Brazil it's known as the "Kombi," an abbreviation for the German "Kombinationsfahrzeug" that loosely translates as "cargo-passenger van."
One recent drizzly morning in Sao Paulo, Jorge Hanashiro took a break inside his light green 1974 Kombi while his wife, Anna, served deep fried meat and vegetable pastry pies to customers at an open-air market.
"There may be safer and more modern cars around, but for me the Kombi is the best vehicle to transport my stall and products to the six open air markets I visit each week," the 77-year-old Hanashiro said. "It is economical, rugged and easy to repair."
The vehicle has found its way into the hearts of Brazilians like Enio Guarnieri, 54, who stood grinning next to the blue-and-white 1972 van he keeps in his cluttered garage in a working-class Sao Paulo neighbourhood.
Guarnieri bought the vehicle a year ago to stoke childhood memories. When he was 10, his father taught him to drive a van.
"Driving a Kombi with your face up against the windshield is a thrilling adventure," he said. "There is no other van like it. There is no other van that is so easy and inexpensive to maintain. Anyone with a minimum amount of knowledge about engines and a few tools can fix a Kombi."
A VW plant in Mexico stopped producing the classic version of the van in 1995, leaving a factory on Sao Paulo's outskirts as its last lifeline. Production in Germany was halted in 1979 because the van no longer met European safety requirements.
Sao Paulo advertising executive Marcello Serpa says the van's spirit will live on after its demise.
He has a 2007 version meant to have a 1960s American hippie feel. He painted it in bright green, yellow, blue and red colours with cartoon-like drawings of his wife, daughters and himself, surfboard in hand.
Serpa said the bus evokes "a spirit of playfulness and happiness," causing people to pause and smile when he drives it down Sao Paulo's chaotic streets.
"The Kombi is part of Brazil's cultural and emotional landscape," he said, "and that explains the strong feelings of affection most people have for it."
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche revealed their 918 Spyder that’s set to go into production in the latter half of next year. Porsche will only be producing 918 cars in total, making it one of the first hybrid models to go into limited production. The 2-seater 918 is based around a carbon-fibre monocoque with plastic body panels and a chassis made up of aluminum, magnesium and titanium. One of the most eye-popping features of the 918 is you can pedal it up to a top speed of 344 km/h.
When looking at it, it’s hard not to compare it to the current generation Audi R8, as both specimens are made by the same parent company. We thought it would be interesting to draw similarities between the two supercars.
Now yes, it’s easy to argue that the Porsche’s body panels are a lot curvier than the Audis, but that’s what Porsche buyers want – curves. There’s also been rumblings that the Porsche 918 has been constantly revised since its reveal in 2010, but who’s to say it didn’t start out as an R8?
In the front, the side scoops are spaced out at almost the same distance from the bottom of the car. Moreover, the placements of the front grilles are almost identical and when you look around even the placement of the fuel door is the same.
Porsche, being the more exclusive of the two, has larger wheel wells, while the Audi’s smaller wheel wells gives the impression that the car is higher off the ground.
More parallels are revealed when you compare both rears. Instantly noticeable are the slim profile taillights with the placement of air vents below each taillight cluster. Another obvious likeness is the larger engine bay right behind the driver’s seat; although we assume that the Porsche’s is longer as it has to accommodate quite a large battery.
It amazed us how similar these two vehicles are in design. If you don’t think you’ll have the money for the Porsche 918 by the time it launches, or worry you may not be one of the lucky 918 to buy it, you can always turn to your Audi dealership and get something just a bit more affordable.
OAKVILLE, ON – Ford Motor Company made a big announcement yesterday that their Oakville Assembly plant will be receiving an $800-million investment ($700-million from Ford and the rest from the federal and provincial government) to expand its manufacturing capabilities.
This is all part of Ford’s “One Ford” global product plan that has seen several European vehicles come to North America, and vice versa, into Europe and Asia. This new investment will bring several new global models to the Oakville facility, but they didn’t specify which models they will be.
Currently, the Oakville Assembly plant produces the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, the Lincoln MKZ and Lincoln MKT, which brings about 2,800 jobs. This announcement is a major boost for the workers at the plant, as those jobs will be secured with this announcement. There’s no talk of added jobs, but there will be plenty of work to go around once the new global models are added to production.
“This investment is helping us find much needed capacity for global products and securing jobs, and it is positioning Oakville as one of the most competitive and important facilities in the Ford system,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas. “Global fuel-efficient products, built in a state-of-the-art facility, by a great workforce are a win for everyone today.”
Furthermore, Hinrichs noted that this investment into Oakville would mean more purchases of Canadian-made auto parts increasing its sales by an additional $200-million.
The “One Ford” global plan will be put into action in Oakville and production will adjust accordingly based on consumer demand. The plant workers will not face line shutdowns and time away from work, because now they can change their focus from one car to the next in this flexible global approach.
“Ford’s investment demonstrates Canada can be competitive in the global market through strategic partnerships,” said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “Working closely with government and labour, we have secured a bright future for our employees at Oakville Assembly.”
Since 2004, Ford has invested $2-billion in Canada and survived the automotive financial crisis without a government bailout. Ford is clearly doing things right and it’s nice to see that Canadian jobs have been secured for the foreseeable future.
Infiniti just released its upcoming Q30 concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month. Infiniti claims that the vehicle is a sports coupe, a hatchback, and a crossover all rolled into one. The company also claims that the Q30 is designed to appeal to a younger customer that would usually opt for a premium compact vehicle.
The Q30 certainly reveals the future of Infiniti’s design language without straying too far away from their current one. The design shares design cues with other Infiniti products such as the deep grille found in the Q50, as well as the familiar curve on the rear passenger window – currently found on the popular JX model, now known as the QX60.
Even though this is a concept, its design looks too road-ready to consider it one. We expect this to be what the Q30 will most likely look like. Although we like the design, we couldn’t help but compare it to Mazda’s newly designed compact hatch – the Mazda3. Expected to come out this fall, we can’t help but think that the Q30’s design might be a bit outdated by the time it launches. In fact, it was just a few months ago at the Detroit Auto Show that we were surprised how similar the Q50’s rear looked to the Mazda6.
This can only make us wonder: are automotive companies truly running out of design ideas?