Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 10

10

* F E B R U A R Y 2018

Solutions come 'naturally' to showroom designer
By JIL McINTOSH

OSHAWA CORRESPONDENT

FIONA YIP

DEALERSHIP STYLE IS MORE
THAN WHAT'S ON THE WALLS

modate more people. I have to understand the processes
we have, and how
Mercedes-Benz does
business with its customers. I like to see
the different pieces
come together as a
whole. I look at the
floor plan and say, 'I
can do this.'"

IN EVERY MERCEDES-BENZ
store across Canada, there's
a similar style. Fiona Yip, the
company's national facility
designer, gets the credit.
"The corporate identity
comes from Germany, and we
FINDING THE STORY FOR
need to ensure that all faciliTHE STORY WRITERS TO WRITE
ties nationwide comply with
that look and feel.
WRITERS CAN'T REACH OUT
"Everything from finishes
to readers if they don't have
to furniture is affected by the
information, and that's how
decision our team makes."
many end up meeting Jenn
Yip studied
McCarthy. As
interior design
manager of
at Ryerson
product comUniversity in
munications
Toronto and
for Nissan
originally
Canada, she
worked on resmakes sure
idential projpeople know
ects, but "at
what the comone point it
pany's offerwas too much,"
ings are all
and she took
about.
a job as an
"For the
administrator
most part, it's
at a MercedesJenn McCarthy said her pas- communicatBenz dealership. sion for automobiles helps
ing with jourWhen the auto- her convey information.
nalists, writ(PHOTO: NISSAN CANADA)
maker's head
ing documents
office posted
and making
the new facility designer posisure our media website has
tion, it was all but tailor-made
the content the writers need,"
for her.
she said. "It's a brand-new role
She sources as many prodoverseeing all external and
ucts from within Canada as
internal product communicapossible. "I'm finicky about the
quality. It's important to support our local economy, and
delivery times are quicker and
prices are better. I work closely with our vendors, and they
update me regularly on what's
up and coming."
And it's not just what's on
the walls or the floor, Yip said.
"Traffic flow is part and parcel of the planning. I go in and
do the steps. If customers come
to meet with advisors and they
have to go all the way over to
pay for the service, I look at
how we can correct it. The customer has to feel comfortable,
Fiona Yip has been
not inconvenienced.
outfitting dealerships
"I don't know how I do it.
with their corporate
I can just see things, and it
identity for 15 years.
comes naturally to me. I've
( PHOTO: MER C ED ES- BEN Z )
changed the floor plans four
times at head office to accom-

JENN McCARTHY

By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

KIA CANADA HOPES SPORTY DESIGN CUES

can help the Forte compact car gain
market share, even as buyers line up
to buy utility wagons and pickups.
Many of the 2019 Forte's aggressive
design cues are taken from the new
Kia Stinger sedan. For instance, creases on the hood, which appears longer than that of the 2018 model, give it

tions. That includes
technology, because
you can't talk about
products without
talking about the
technology, and
that will be a huge
part of our overall strategy for both
brands [Nissan and
Infiniti]."
McCarthy comes
by her love of cars naturally: Her father was a mechanic
for Volvo and Rolls-Royce in
Ireland and England. She studied public relations at Durham
College in Oshawa, Ont., and
did an internship with General
Motors in 2005 that turned
into a temporary position in
the internal-communications
department. She continued her
trade at public relations companies and at Mercedes-Benz
Canada before ending up at
Nissan Canada, working with
the automaker for the last six
years.
"On a typical day, the first
thing I do is respond to journalists' emails," McCarthy
said. "I try to pitch stories and
interviews. I work with product planning and chief marketing management. They're
the engineers who see the pro-

EMAIL YOUR PICKS

Please send nominations
for the Unobvious Ones to:
jil@ca.inter.net

more identity. The car also
grew in length by about eight
centimetres.
The interior is marked
by spaciousness and simplified design, fewer buttons
and a standard 20-centimentre touchscreen infotainment
system.
The Forte will come with a
147-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder
engine - the same as the 2018 model
- but will be hooked to a continuously
variable transmission that is expected
to significantly reduce fuel consumption.
Kia Canada COO Ted Lancaster
said he sees the compact-car segment as "starting to come back," especially in Quebec. According to the

Amanda Claassen said
the "opportunity to wear
multiple hats" allows her
to tackle new challenges
at Subaru.
( PH O TO : AL D A S MI N K E V I C I U S )

totypes, and I have to learn
about the product and translate what they say into digestible information for the media
and the public."
In her writing, "My style is
to speak simply and directly,"
she said. "We don't have anything to hide. There's a 'no-BS'
approach that I think writers
appreciate. I want to give them
what they need, and if I can't,
we'll find a solution."

AMANDA CLAASSEN
REACHING CUSTOMERS,
FROM PRINT TO ONLINE

AUTOMAKERS LIVE IN
the online world, and that's
where Amanda Claassen, a
web analytics and search-engine strategist, works at
Subaru Canada.
"We're tracking and
understanding how people
are engaging with our site,"
Claassen said.
"We don't sell cars online,
but we use our website analytics to help determine prospects, and drive leads to the
dealership. We don't know
who the person is, but we
know where the person is,
what device they're using, how
many pages they see, if they're

Automotive News Data
Center, Kia Canada sold
16,388 Fortes in 2017, a 33 per
cent gain from 2016.
"I think this car is going
to do very well," Lancaster
said. "Our challenge is that
[the Forte] coming late in the
year. So we're going to have
to have a strong launch."

AS FAR AS REFRESHES GO, THE 2019 JEEP

Cherokee is getting an extensive one.
Jeep's best-seller in Canada
receives new front plastic and a
new rear end marked by an optional
foot-activated tailgate-opening feature
and a new wraparound light.
The midsize utility vehicle can be
optioned with a new 270-horsepow-

downloading photos, or if
they're watching videos."
Claassen studied graphic design and advertising at
Toronto's Humber College and
joined Subaru as an intern
in 2002. The self-described
"Subaru lifer" was initially
hired as a print designer.
"My first project was a
national print ad for the
National Post and Canadian
Living. I was doing large-scale
pieces where a lot of my classmates were in agencies doing
grunt work. That's the scope
of the company. We are small,
but I can steer in different
directions and try new things."
She moved into online
work, laying the foundation
for the company's search-engine program.
"Instead of hiring outside,
we build in-house, and as it
gets bigger, we bring in people
to help manage it," she said.
"I've always had a desire
to learn, and as these areas
become more important, my
desire to stay on top of it helps
drive Subaru forward. I do it
at a pace where we're comfortable, and make sure it's
an avenue we want to explore
before getting too big with it."
- ANC

er turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The base 2.4-litre four-cylinder makes
180 horsepower and the optional 3.2litre V-6
makes
271. The
Cherokee
comes
with a
nine-speed
automatic
transmission and in five trims.
Jeep sold 23,702 Cherokees in 2017,
down 27 per cent from 32,250 units in
2016, even as utility vehicles boomed
nationwide.
Canadian Jeep dealers will begin
selling the new Cherokee in the first
quarter of 2018. Pricing was unavailable at press time. - ANC



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - CT1
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - CT2
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 28
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 29
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 30
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