Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 12

12

* JUNE 2018

An accountant who plays by different numbers
By JIL MCINTOSH

ues to grow I see myself growing with it. When you try to
outdo yourself on a daily basis,
Infiniti is the place to be."

OSHAWA CORRESPONDENT

DAVID VELASCO

KATIE ALLANSON

RUNNING THE NUMBERS
TO BRING IN THE BUYERS
DETERMINING INCENTIVES
and interest rates requires a
lot of financial juggling, and
that's what David Velasco
loves about it. As manager of
sales operations and incentives for Infiniti Canada, he
uses his accounting expertise
to determine the discounts
customers receive.
"Nissan has a team of four
people because of volume, but
for Infiniti, I'm a one-man
show," Velasco said. "I work
with the product marketing
and sales teams to come up
with customer . . . programs."
Velasco's family moved to
Canada from Peru 14 years
ago, and he washed used vehicles to pay for his education
at McMaster University in
Hamilton, Ont. "One of the
courses I liked was management accounting, and I focused
on that and completed my
CPA (Chartered Professional
Accountant), CMA (Certified
Management Accountant) right
after university.
"I worked at BMW for
two-and-a-half years in the
accounting department, and
was approached by Nissan
Canada asking if I wanted to
join their financing," he said.
He worked in finance within
Nissan/Infiniti before moving

IN TOUCH WITH
THE HUMAN TOUCH

David Velasco's expertise
keeps Infiniti's incentives on
budget. P H O T O : I N F I N I T I C A N A D A

to the management team, and
has been doing vehicle incentives for almost three-and-ahalf years.
Velasco starts
with Canada-wide
incentive programs
and then puts
individual plans
in place for each
of four regions,
depending on
what's selling and
what's not.
"Every vehicle
has a target each
month, and if we
surpass that target, what we
have in place is working,"
he said. "If it's not, we need
to adjust the program. Of
course, it has to be in the budget, and with the CPA background, I'm capable of getting
the program to that.
"Infiniti has been growing
year-over-year over the past six
years, and as the brand contin-

CONTROLS AND
touchscreens have to be
easy to reach and use, and
that's Katie Allanson's job as
human-factors engineer at
Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn,
Mich.
"We work with engineers
to design individual components for comfort and usability," she said. "We make sure
the majority of drivers can
reach them. We
have a hand in
every component in
every vehicle."
Allanson grew up
in Windsor, Ont. -
she crosses the U.S.
border go to work in
Michigan each day
- and wanted to be
a physiotherapist.
At the University of
Windsor, she met a
professor who was
teaching ergonomics.
"This was 1998, and it was
a newer field in automotive. It
was part of safety, but never
its own group. The professor
said it was the future, and I
took the class."
Chrysler hired her out
of school in her field, where
she developed procedures for
assembly-line jobs and helped

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Katie Allanson says her job with Ford's SYNC 3 "was to make
sure people could interact with the system without help, and
enjoy and want to use it." P H O T O : F O R D

design a new facility in Toledo.
Ford "made me an offer
I couldn't refuse," and she
began there 17 years ago.
"They were building a team to
work with SYNC 3 [infotainment system]," she said. "My
job was to make sure people
could interact with the system
without help, and enjoy and
want to use it."
In some cases, she works
on the initial design, such as
sketching how a screen should
look. For others, such as seats
or steering wheels, designers
bring components to her for
evaluation.
"I'm also responsible for
people doing testing in different world regions, to make
sure customers in Germany,
China or Australia understand the features."
Most items undergo the
"Louie Test," where she puts
her 72-year-old father into the
vehicle to see if he can easily operate everything. "If you
don't notice something in
your vehicle, if nothing is bad,
I've done my job."

SCOTT MARSHALL
TEACHING SAFE DRIVING
AT EVERY LEVEL

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DRIVING INSTRUCTORS
teach their students, but it's
Scott Marshall's job to train

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Scott Marshall believes that
getting professional driving
lessons is key to road safety.

P H O TO : B I L L M E E M S P H O TO G R A P H Y

the trainers. As director of
training for Young Drivers
of Canada, he teaches new
instructors and classroom
teachers for their duties.
"I thought about becoming a teacher when I was
young, and then I saw the ad
for Young Drivers in 1988, and
I began as an in-car instructor," he said. "They trained
me, and then two years later,
I became a classroom teacher
and went to the Ontario Safety
League to be certified for that.
"As I continued to work,
I wanted more challenges. I
worked with licensed drivers
in improvement programs,
and then with other instructors in our program for them
to improve, and in 1990 I had
my first opportunity to train
new instructors." He initially
alternated between teaching
student drivers and instructors, but his workload gradually switched entirely to internal training. He also writes a
blog, TheSafeDriver.ca, with
tips for novices and experienced drivers.
Marshall tailors his training so that, ultimately, students are taught how to drive
with modern safety technologies but also know what to do
if the systems fail, or if a car
doesn't have them. "You're
still the one in charge behind
the wheel, and we teach backup plans. It's nice to know you
have emergency braking, but
you're still the pilot."
He even gets as basic as
seats, pointing out that if a parent's car had electric seats but
a student's first vehicle does
not, there's a learning curve to
adjusting a manual one.
Young Drivers actually teaches all ages. Marshall
doesn't believe the perception
that large numbers of teenagers are no longer interested
in cars.
"From the courses I've
taught and what I've seen,
there are a lot of 16-year-olds
getting their licences." - ANC


http://www.TheSafeDriver.ca http://www.quorumdms.com

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

Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 28
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 29
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 30
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 31
Automotive News Canada - June 2018 - v2 - 32
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