Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 6

6

* F E B R U A R Y 2018

Enthusiasts want
the 15-year-old,
right-hand-drive
models that were
never sold
in Canada and niche
dealers are delivering

Serge Mozgovoy, general manager
of Velocity Motors, with a
Nissan Stagea turbo wagon.
( P H O TO : S T E V E M E RT L )

Right-hand

drive

By STEVE MERTL

a full-service business, complete
with parts and service infrastructure, though unlicensed sellers
still exist.
VELOCITY MOTORS IN
"I think we're probably movBurnaby, B.C., looks like any other
ing away from the do-it-yourself
small used-car lot, but upon closer
model," said Mark Szekely, who is
inspection there's something differon his second Delica and runs an
ent about the vehicles.
online owners forum.
There are Mitsubishi Delica
Velocity, which maintains
minivans, Nissan Stagea turbo
an inventory of more than 200
wagons, a Toyota Altezza sedan
vehicles, shows how JDM sales
and other nameplates that were
are evolving toward a turnkey
MICHAEL KENT
never sold here when new.
approach for buyers. The compaRightDrive,
Pickering,
Ont.
The common theme? Almost
ny acquires vehicles via Japan's
all have the steering wheel on the
auction system or trusted sources, handles shipping
"wrong" side.
and arranges needed modifications normally costing
Velocity is part of a small but diverse niche in
$1,000 to $2,000 per vehicle.
Canada's used-car sector: the Japanese domestic
"In that sense we're not much different than
market (JDM) imports.
other lots where you can buy a car and drive it home
Transport Canada figures show that 1,157 rightthe same day, with options for financing and warhand-drive vehicles were imported from Japan in
ranty," Velocity General Manager Serge Mozgovoy
2013, climbing to 2,646 in 2015 and settling back to
told Automotive News Canada.
2,008 in 2017.
Rooted in JDM car owners and small-time
Imports range from the Delica, a rugged fourimporters, the dealership opened its first lot in 2013
wheel-drive minivan, to the jewel-like Suzuki
and moved twice as it grew.
Cappuccino convertible, Daihatsu minitruck and the
"People saw the value and started inquiring
Nissan Skyline GT-R.
about getting a JDM car," Mozgovoy said.
Velocity says the market rests on onerous maintenance and inspection requirements that encourGROWING ORGANICALLY
age - or force - owners in Japan to turn over their
The story is much the same for RightDrive in
vehicles before they run up the odometer. As well,
Pickering, Ont., located about 40 kilometres east
Canada permits importation of JDM vehicles that
of Toronto. Founder Michael Kent fell in love with
are at least 15 years old and are modified to meet fedJDM cars after driving a Skyline GT-R. Buying a
eral and provincial standards.
JDM car that he later resold at a profit, Kent saw a
For buyers, the attraction is the exotic nature of
business opportunity.
models never sold in North America, or variants of
"It has grown organically really over those 10
those sold here but with different drivetrains and
years,"
he said. "We do very little in terms of marmore equipment. JDM cars also tend to have fewer
keting."
than 100,000 kilometres showing and have been well
Velocity sold just under 700 vehicles in 2016 to
maintained.
a market that's divided into buyers looking performance classics, those looking for off-road vehicles
RIGHT-HAND RISK
and those who want daily drivers. Most want to
The downside, according to ICBC, British
spend less than $10,000 for a low-kilometre vehicle.
Columbia's public auto insurer, is a 40-per-cent
"That's where the value of JDM cars is pretty
increased crash risk, according to its 2007 study.
much unbeatable," Mozgovoy said.
Driving from the right-hand seat is thought to
He added that buyers are encouraged to arrange
decrease the direct field of vision in routine maneuindependent inspections. RightDrive and Velocity
vers such as turning left, changing lanes, passing
boast repeat customers buoyed by the availability of
and pulling out from the curb.
service.
The segment has developed from enthusiasts
"Having that full-cycle experience was important
bringing in vehicles for themselves and friends, into
to us in terms of our business plans," said Kent.
Mozgovoy said Velocity wants to expand, perhaps
opening another store elsewhere in Canada, but for
now he's focused on greater value without increasing cost.
RightDrive has begun exporting JDM vehicles to
the United States, where a JDM import must be at
least 25 years old to be allowed to enter. Demand is
strong, said Kent, and the market might evolve as it
has in Canada.
"Any of the mistakes that we've made, the things
that we can learn from, we've got a bit of a competitive edge," he said.
Success for JDM players paradoxically is
anchored in the past.
Serge Mozgovoy, general manager of Velocity
"Right now, I live not in 2018, I live in January
Motors, says that the demand for JDM cars is in
low-kilometre units costing less than $10,000.
2003," Mozgovoy said. "That's the latest I can
( P H O TO : S T E V E M E RT L )
bring." - ANC
VA N C O U V E R C O R R E S P O N D E N T

. . . we're not much different
than other lots where you can
buy a car and drive it home
the same day, with options for
financing and warranty.

TRENDING
STORIES
automotivenews.ca

ONGOING WEB COVERAGE

NAFTA NEGOTIATIONS

NO AGREEMENT ON AUTOMOTIVE RULES OF ORIGIN IN
JANUARY, WITH NEXT TALKS IN MEXICO BEGINNING FEB. 26

AUTO-SHOW SEASON

CANADA HAS YET TO RATIFY ITS INCLUSION IN THE NEW
TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, BUT IT'S EXPECTED TO

KONA HAS ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE, JUST LIKE
ALL OTHER HYUNDAI UTILITY VEHICLES

SHARP DESIGN, MODERN CONNECTIVITY FEATURES AND
all-weather capability will
help bring Canadian customers to the Kona subcompact utility vehicle,
Hyundai Canada says.
The Kona scheduled
to arrive in showrooms in
late winter or early spring, ( P H O T O : H Y U N D A I )
company spokesman Chad Heard said. Pricing hasn't been
announced.
"The Kona will absolutely offer AWD in Canada; most vehicles will be so equipped," Heard wrote in an email to Automotive
News Canada.

CANADA'S RAPIDRESPONSE GETS NOD
FOR ITS SUPPLY-CHAIN SOFTWARE PACKAGE

TOYOTA, WHICH HAS THREE ASSEMBLY PLANTS IN
Ontario, will use the cloud-based RapidResponse by Kinaxis to
speed information-sharing across departments and with suppliers
and vendors. Financial terms were not disclosed when the deal
was announced Jan. 23.
RapidResponse will allow Toyota to "unify the company's
global demand and supply planning between its sales and production divisions, and to help better manage vehicle and unit volume," Kinaxis said.
Ford and Nissan are already using Kinaxis software to manage supply chains.

GM SAYS ONTARIO TECH HUBS KEY
TO THE AUTOMAKER'S AUTONOMOUS CARS

ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY'S CEO, GENERAL MOTORS
of Canada sees Ontario's strength in advanced technologies as
strategically important for its plans to create safe, self-driving vehicles in the near
future.
The automaker's new software centre in Markham, Ont. - Canada's largest
automotive innovation hub, according to
GM - currently has 300 employees but is (P H O TO : G M C A N A D A )
aiming for 700 by 2019.
"Our team here in Markham has worked on what we call
Super Cruise, which is an automated driving technology we have
in our Cadillac CT6s today," GM Canada CEO Steve Carlisle
said Jan. 19 at the centre's grand opening.

MORE ELECTRIFICATION, AUTONOMY
INVESTMENTS FOR MAGNA

"AT A TIME WHEN THERE IS UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE
happening in the industry, we believe Magna is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the key trends, which include taking
weight out of the vehicle, electrification, autonomy and new
mobility solutions for the future," Magna International CEO Don
Walker told analysts at the Deutsche Bank 2018 Global Auto
Industry Conference in Detroit, Mich., Jan. 16.
The Ontario-based company forecasts strong growth in
hybrid electric vehicles over the next 10 to 12 years. However,
Magna says electric vehicles will only account for six per cent of
the global market in 2025 and 13 per cent in 2030.

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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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