Automotive News Canada - October 2017 - 6
* OCTOBER 2017
ONGOING WEB COVERAGE
TALKS ESSENTIALLY HUNG BY AGGRESSIVE U.S. DEMANDS
DEALERS FEELING EQUINOX SUPPLY PINCH
ELECTRA MECCANICA EV TO BE BUILT EN MASSE IN CHINA?
A display at a Toyota Towards Tomorrow mall store emphasizes safety features.
( P H O T O : T O Y O TA )
make a move to the mall
is welcomed and
By MICHAEL GOETZ
MARKHAM, ONT. -
Mercedes-Benz Canada and
Toyota Canada are each taking a new look at the vast shopping-mall landscape, with each
taking different approaches.
Toronto Retail Operations,
made up of seven corporately owned Mercedes-Benz dealerships, recently opened a
retail space called Mercedes
me Markham in the CF
Markville shopping centre. The
5,600-square-foot (520-square-metre) space is a satellite operation
of Mercedes-Benz Markham.
"This is not a pop-up store,
or a short-term presence, or just
one or two vehicles sitting in the
centre of the mall; this is a whole
different concept," says Philipp
Von Witzendorff, vice-president, Toronto Retail Operations,
It has all the trappings of a
regular small showroom.
The concept is an effort to
engage and make an impres-
We learned that was
a really good way to
slow down and have a
conversation with people.
Toyota Canada marketing director
Store in Markham, Ont.,
will operate as a satellite
location for Mercedes-Benz Markham,
located three kilometres away.
sion with shoppers and
non-shoppers alike. "Just browsing" is welcomed and encouraged.
If customers want to go forward with a purchase, they are
"seamlessly" transferred to the
sales department at the dealership, Von Witzendorff said. A
visit to the dealership is necessary to complete the transaction,
owing to zoning bylaws. If a
fully registered dealership's primary address is the mall (Tesla
in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping
Centre, for example), then it is
free to conduct sales, but with
trades and deliveries still subject to zoning.
The one other Canadian
Mercedes me store, in the
Aberdeen Mall in Richmond,
B.C., is much smaller, and both
differ from the six other posh
Mercedes me stores in Moscow,
Munich, Tokyo, Hong Kong,
Milan and Beijing that offer a
broader introductory experience, including dining.
Two years ago, Toyota
Canada launched a program
called Towards Tomorrow,
designed to build brand awareness by establishing a presence
in a mall.
The first pilot at Square
One mall in Mississauga, Ont.,
in early 2016 lead to further
mall appearances in Laval,
Que., Richmond Hill, Ont., and
Each installation featured
virtual-reality experiences, safety-system learning stations, four
vehicles, a children's zone and
cell-phone charging stations.
"We learned that was a really good way to slow down, and
have a conversation with people," said Jamie Humphries,
marketing director for Toyota
Canada. Visitors stayed for an
average 20 minutes.
Younger people might do
most of their shopping online,
but they are also skeptical about
what they see and read online,
Dealers also liked the mall
"They're asking that we
bring more brand galleries to
their markets." Humphries
said Toyota Canada is assessing
where to locate the next phase of
mall stops later this year. - ANC
DELPHI, BLACKBERRY PARTNER
ON SELF-DRIVING SYSTEM SOFTWARE
DELPHI AUTOMOTIVE HAS ENTERED INTO A COMMERCIAL
partnership with BlackBerry in Canada for the development of
the U.S. supplier's turnkey automated-driving platform.
BlackBerry's QNX operating system will run and keep secure
the proprietary technology that Delphi will use in its self-driving
software. It's expected to launch in 2019.
LEXUS RAMPS UP FOR THE NEXT RX
AND SO DO THE PARTS COMPANIES
TOYOTA SUPPLIER TOYOTETSU IS TRANSFERRING
stamping work to Ontario from Kentucky to supply the next-generation Lexus RX utility vehicle, which is built in the province.
The company is also expanding
operations in preparation of the
soon-to-be redesigned RAV4.
The Lexus RX is built in
Cambridge, Ont., while the RAV4 is
assembled in Woodstock, Ont. Both
facilities are near the Toyotetsu
plant in Simcoe, Ont.
( P H O T O : T O Y O TA )
Toyotetsu is moving the stamping work to Simcoe from its Somerset, Ky., plant, eliminating the
need to import parts and then assemble them for shipment to the
Lexus RX assembly line.
FCA RECALLS PACIFICAS TO FIX SEAT BELT
FLAW BROUGHT ON BY 'SPORTY' DRIVING
FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES IS RECALLING ALMOST
50,000 Pacifica minivans in Canada and the United States from
the 2017 and 2018 model
years because one of the
second-row seat belts might
unbuckle if the vehicles are
driven too fast and furiously.
All affected vehicles are
equipped with the eight-pas( P H O T O : F I AT C H R Y S L E R )
senger seating option. About
1,900 of the affected minivans are in Canada.
The automaker says that during "sporty driving," the centre
buckle could hit the release button on the left buckle and cause it
JAGUAR LAND ROVER MUM ON THE
LOCATION OF ITS NEW CANADIAN STORES
JAGUAR LAND ROVER IS COMMITTED TO ADDING SIX
stores to the Canadian marketplace
in the short term, bringing the number to 32, JLR North America CEO Joe
The luxury automaker, which currently has 26 stores in Canada, has
selected some dealership locations but
they have yet to be named publicly.
"We have had the presentations by
the dealer groups that are applying for ( P H O T O : E D G A R S T E N )
those. I think we're about to make the first announcements in
the next couple weeks," Eberhardt said during an interview with
Automotive News in Detroit on Sept. 22.
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