The Value – Issue #21: Canadian Black Book Kathy Ward Memorial Golf Tournament Raises Over $25K for Charity

Welcome to Canadian Black Book’s – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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On Monday September 9th, 116 participants from the automotive industry, teed off at the renowned Magna Golf Club in Aurora, ON, for the 22nd annual Canadian Black Book Kathy Ward Memorial Golf Tournament.  For 2019 the charitable tournament raised $25,140 for the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.

The weather cooperated much better for the 2019 edition, versus near monsoon conditions last September, the year the tournament was renamed in honour of long time Canadian Black Book CEO Kathy Ward. Since inception in 1997 the tournament, which was a major passion for Kathy, has raised well over $600,000 for the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.  The Tim Horton Children’s Foundation states its mission to ‘foster the strengths within youth to achieve their full potential and empower them to pursue a life without limits’ (https://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/childrens-foundation/index.php).

“Kathy would be so proud to know her legacy continues to raise substantial funds to help send less fortunate children to camp,” says Brad Rome, President, Canadian Black Book.  “She would be so grateful to see this tournament sell out year after year, with participants from across the industry she loved, who are so willing to contribute to such a great cause.”

Kathy Ward originally had a goal to send 1,000 children to camp.  The cost to send each child to a Tim Horton Children’s Foundation camp is approximately $1,000.  “It is so amazing that we are so close to three quarters of the way to meeting Kathy’s ultimate goal,” adds Rome.

The scramble format tournament was won by Dave Forrest, Boyd Mickle, Yasushi Enami and Don Durst from Subaru Canada (with Brad Rome) with an impressive score of 13 under par.  The tournament saw sunny skies and golfers thoroughly enjoying the pristine golf course and activities including the RBC golf ball cannon, SCI hoops challenge and more.

As in previous years, the tournament’s partner sponsors are four of Canada’s premier financial institutions: Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust.

TO SEE ALL IMAGES (ALL FOURSOMES AND MORE) FROM THIS YEAR’S EVENT CLICK HERE

 

The Value – Issue #21: Keep On Full-Size Trucking

Welcome to Canadian Black Book’s – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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By: Brian Murphy

Have you been seeing more trucks and SUVs on the road lately?  At the risk of sounding obvious, it is not your wild imagination at all.  They are everywhere and seemingly in every driveway.

Brian Murphy, VP Research & Analytics, Canadian Black Book

Currently the trend in new car retail in Canada this year is 26% car and 74% truck/SUV/CUV.  We could have a long dinnertime discussion over what constitutes a truck or SUV, however, in the final analysis there is no denying that Canadian consumers have been voting with their wallets for quite some time on this subject.  My own expectation for a few years now has been that we are heading to 20% car and 80% truck/SUV/CUV and we are almost there.

If you examine the end of the year sales for last year, it is very clear how popular actual “real” pick-up trucks (as opposed to CUVs and SUVs) are.  Furthermore, to be fair to General Motors, if you were to add Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra to 111,343 units, that product line would be the new number two in all of Canada.  To put all this in perspective, the top selling car – the Honda Civic – sold 69,005 units.  We are clearly a nation of full-size truckers at heart!

2018 Top Selling Full Size Trucks in Canada*

Ford F-Series:                    145,694

RAM:                                     84,854

GMC Sierra:                        56,246

Chevrolet Silverado:       55,097

As many of you well know, new car sales are down this year by 4.1% (Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants).  That said, when you dig a bit below the surface you see that Light Trucks, which would include pickups, SUVs and CUV’s are only down 0.8% in sales, yet Cars are down by 15.7%.  It looks like we have found the proverbial “weakest link” in Canada’s auto business.

The rise of full-size pick-up trucks is not surprising.  One of the main reasons is that they are just so good, they are so much easier to live with than they once were. Consumers love them.  I clearly recall driving the eleventh generation (2004-2008) of the Ford F150 for the first time.  It was an eye-opening experience.  It was such a liveable vehicle.  For the interior I recall they benchmarked a European premium car.  They have all the latest bells and whistles, great audio systems, modern comforts and can make an excellent family vehicle.  Lone gone are the days of a barely tolerable ride and not many creature comforts.  If you have not driven a modern truck lately you are missing out.

Pickups are more fuel efficient than ever before, which historically was one of the main negatives.  Given their mass and physical size, they still do burn more fuel than many of the smaller options on the market, but it is better than it was.  The year 2019 has been a volatile year for gas prices, and it is not over yet.  Gas prices started the year at the phenomenally low $1.00/litre only to promptly soar  to $1.30 in May, followed by a merciful decline to about 1.14/Liter today.  A 30% swing.

As I write this article a refinery is burning in Saudi Arabia with the perpetrators still officially unknown.  A middle eastern conflict with a loss of crude production will certainly be a compelling reason to see gas prices rise once again.  Higher fuel prices, especially if they appear to be here for the long term could contribute to consumers switching away from trucks on both the new and used markets.

Each year Canadian Black Book conducts a poll with IPSOS of Canadian vehicle consumers.  We asked about the consumer’s reaction to a $0.25 increase in gas prices.  The study indicates that 28% of Canadians would consider buying a smaller vehicle and/or switching the type of vehicle they buy.  This, in my mind does show that consumers are prepared to be flexible if the gas price environment changes. At the same time, we should note that 27% of consumers said they would not make a change in their purchase decision.

When referencing the CBB Used Vehicle Value Index we see the full-size pick-up segment, unlike the industry wide price index, are not currently at an all time high for retained value of 2 to 6-year-old vehicles.  They hit their all time high of 108.6 two years ago in August 2016.  Since then values have fallen by approximately 4%.  This is only a small decline, but prices have adjusted downward, which I surmise is due to rising supply in both U.S. and Canada.

It is important to note that pick-ups are even more sensitive to economic factors than other trucks/SUVs.  As you might imagine, if the Canadian economy slows, trucks are not needed to deliver goods and services to customers, or fleet operators may try to run existing trucks a bit longer to save money.  During the full economic barn fire going on in 2009, truck prices were more than 40% lower than today.  We consider inflation and model year change overs in this analysis, making that 40% as dramatic as it sounds.

From a value standpoint trucks are a bit like a snowball rolling downhill.  Because they are more desirable, wholesale values increase, which supports higher residual values, in turn making trucks very affordable to lease, driving more volume.

Another important factor that helps prices of used trucks remain high and sales volume of new trucks to stay strong is the business of exporting used Canadian vehicles to the U.S..  It is still quite possible to export a nearly new high trim pickup truck and turn a $10,000 profit for your troubles.  This export activity has helped keep values high here in Canada.

With all of that in mind, the main concern is that if a few key factors come into play, pick-up trucks will be much more vulnerable to downward price pressure.  In fact, trucks could be affected to a greater degree than cars and smaller SUV/CUV offerings.  Specifically, these factors are higher gasoline prices; an economic slowdown; and a stronger Canadian dollar.  If gasoline prices spike and remain high, it’s reasonable that consumers will reject full size pickups on the used market, causing prices to drop.  Similarly, an economic slowdown would diminish demand.  Finally, if the Canadian dollar were to rise above $0.80 USD, export activity of trucks to the U.S. market would shrink quickly.

These are some factors to consider if you are pondering truck values as you are driving your truck down the road home tonight along with many, many other truckers like you.

*Source: Automotive News Data Center

The Value – Issue #21: Summer 2019 Sizzling For Used Vehicle Values – CBB Index Shows

Welcome to Canadian Black Book’s – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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The last hot month of summer has ended on a scorching August note, as another new record for value retention has been set for the CBB Used Vehicle Retention Index market average.  The new record for 2-6 year old vehicles is 107.2, up a remarkable 3.7 points from last year at the same time.  The index also shows a 0.3 point gain from July continuing a very positive trend that shows a solid 2 point gain across all industry segment so far in 2019.

Looking at the segments we had some that outperformed the index and of course a few that lagged behind the progress of others.

Despite rumours that cars are dead the market strongly disagrees when it comes to retained value.  Compact cars were up 10 points from last year, 2.5 points from last month and set a new record of 116.3.  Mid size cars also set a new record of 107.4 which is up 5.5 points from last year and 1.4 points from last month.  These are impressive records in a market where the commonly held belief is that market demand fully switched over to SUV/Crossover.  Full size cars are also up by 2.2 points this month.  Car values are strong!

On the other end of the temperature scale we have a few segments that have had a chilly August.   There were no record low values set, but we did see Compact Luxury CUV/SUV fall by 5.4 points from last year and 1.1 points from last month.  This segment was at a an all time high last year in July but has declined since that time.  However the smaller luxury CUV/SUV’s still outperform the industry average for retained value.  We have also seen minivans fall some 4.1 points from last year and 1.7 points from last month.

This Index serves to offer unbiased and accurate insights and statistics regarding the health of the used wholesale vehicle market in Canada.

The Canadian Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Canadian Black Book’s published Wholesale Average value on two- to six-year-old used vehicles, as a percent of original typically-equipped MSRP. Canadian Black Book’s Wholesale Average is a benchmark value for used vehicles selling in the wholesale auctions with the vehicle quality in average condition. The index is weighted based on used vehicle sales volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage, condition, and inflation (MSRP).

Aggregated from daily vehicle value updates, and captured throughout thousands of wholesale vehicle transactions across the country, the Canadian Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index represents data across all regions of Canada. The Index is based on a comprehensive list of vehicles included in the Canadian Black Book wholesale database, and includes no bias toward any brand, data source or region, ensuring an accurate report of the used vehicle market.

The Index is posted monthly on https://blog.canadianblackbook.com/ and distributed to automotive media for wider industry consumption.

The Value – Issue #16: Vehicle Tech: Dollars and Sense

Welcome to Canadian Black Book’s – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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By: Brian Murphy, VP Research & Editorial, Canadian Black Book

Colour commentary on the pace of technological change around us is plentiful here in 2019.  There is an abundance of amateur and professional futurists living among us.  It doesn’t matter what aspect of society or business, the impact of ever evolving tech is front and center in daily discussions and media reporting.

The automotive industry illustrates a perfect example of rapid technological change.  You can bet the farm that every model year there will be shiny new innovations, some better than others.  To further make the topic interesting, technology that was once a pricey option, may now be magically “free” as standard equipment.  At Canadian Black Book keeping on top of new tech and the related price/value trends is critically important to us.  A key element of our business is forecasting future values for vehicles, so we also have a need to forecast what vehicle features will be worth in the coming years.

Recently the focus for many vehicle manufacturers is the deployment of numerous active safety features, such as lane assist/warning, smart cruise control, emergency braking and so on.  Somewhere in the suite of offerings are self-parking and other semi-autonomous features that I am often too risk adverse to try, when we have a vehicle on loan. We have also seen in-vehicle screen sizes and quality grow rapidly, along with all the various apps and widgets that inhabit them.  The list of new automotive tech is long and seems to be added to almost daily.

So what does it all mean for fleet professionals and vehicle values?  Well, I expect we all know that vehicles depreciate at a fairly brisk rate.  Given the many, many years of data, that has become something not easy to predict, yet is predicable if you have enough data and effective modeling.

Technology features within a vehicle are arguably much more difficult to predict.  We have been gathering data on how vehicles age and devalue for a very long time, but when it comes to understanding how a particular feature ages there is typically very little reliable data.  To make it more difficult the lifecycle of a technology can be hyper fast.  A feature could go from all new and very expensive, to being available on almost every car and priced into a package or a model as standard equipment in a matter of a few years.

Vehicle technologies, similar to other technology such as home entertainment components, tend to go down in price rapidly as manufacturers find ways to drive cost out of the manufacturing process.  A case in point is the DVD player I bought in the very early days of DVD, which I recall was about $900, Best Buy has a Sony model today for $44.99.  A similar price trend exists in the auto industry today and it’s something to carefully consider when selecting vehicles and the technologies that go with them, for your fleet.

My recommendation is for you to become a fleet futurist yourself.  When you are making fleet purchase decisions, the question to ask yourself is what a feature or group of features will be worth in 5 years or 150,000 km from now, or whatever your magic age and mileage numbers are.  Picture yourself at the auto auction as a purchaser for your own hypothetical used car business.  When you are considering bidding on a 5-year-old used car that has a package of tech gizmos on it that originally sold for $2,000 new, what is it worth to you now?  I think you might be surprised that often the answer you come up with is nothing, or very little.

To be clear, it is not that I am negative about technology, nor am I counselling you to be tech-adverse in your vehicle ordering, I’m simply suggesting you need to have a very objective hat on when making these decisions.  There are certainly many benefits of new auto technologies.  Improved safety for the people behind the wheels of your fleet is the most obvious one.  Some of the autonomous emergency braking technology has great potential to avoid accidents or to at least lower the impact speed greatly and help to prevent injury.

A bit of a safer bet, in my opinion, are any options that lead to larger infotainment screens being installed in a vehicle.  The way we look at the market today, larger screens and features that support handheld devices like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are very worthwhile to add to your vehicles.

Technology is changing and improving very quickly, and manufacturers are working to cost reduce it all the time.  With that in mind, don’t be disappointed if your operating costs take a hit when these vehicles are remarketed.  Choose wisely!

The Value – Issue #16: March 2019 Used Vehicle Retention Index – Rebounds From Losses Last Month

Welcome to Canadian Black Book’s – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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After faltering last month our price index climbed back up to near record levels.  Now at 105.1 it is within a tenth of a point of the all-time record.  As the Canadian market (finally!) enters the spring selling season demand is expected to pick up across the board, with some seasonal strength in the sporty fair-weather car segments.

The largest gains since March of last year were the Compact Luxury SUV/CUVs with a remarkable 23 point jump in value, although they were down almost a point from last month.  Subcompact Cars grew in value by 7.4 points and Midsize Cars posted a strong result with a 3.6 point increase

Compared to February Subcompact Cars rose a respectable 1.4 points.  Both Premium Sports Cars and Full-Size Vans rose by 1.5 points.

On the downside of the curve are larger expensive and high end cars which showed weaker performance, year over year.  Luxury Cars fell 6.6 points in that time and its more expensive brother the Prestige Luxury Cars fell 5.9 points.  The Full Size Car segment posted a loss of 4.8 points over the past twelve months.

Compared to last month there was very little noteworthy downward activity.  The $0.75 Canadian dollar helps to keep the opportunities open for vehicle exports to the U.S. to continue with strength.

Happy spring selling (and buying) season, we hope to see you in the lanes!

The Value – Issue #11: October 2018 Used Vehicle Retention Index

Welcome to The Canadian Black Book – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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All-Time High!

For October 2018 the Canadian Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index has hit yet another high point at 104.3.  Over the history of the index, which began in January 2005, two to six-year-old vehicles are now maintaining their wholesale values better than ever before.  Strong fundamentals in the Canadian economy, along with strong demand from the U.S. market for Canadian used vehicles continue to propel values to record levels.

Some of the significant movers for the month include the Compact Car segment, which is now at 109.1, a new all time high for that grouping, up 5.6 points from the same time last year.  In the adjacent Sub-Compact segment, values rose 1 point from last month and 7.6 points from last year.  With the national fuel price well below $1.20 a litre, down almost $0.10 from last month, it is surprising that the most fuel-efficient segment in our index has shown such gains this month.

The high-end Prestige Luxury Car segment is down almost 3.9 points from last year and 1 point from last month.  This contrasts with the full-size Luxury SUV segment, which is up almost 5% from the same time last year.

Minivans and full-size vans posted weak results for October, they were down 4.1 and 2.2 points respectively when compared to last year.

To download the October Index CLICK HERE.

The Value – Issue #11: Canadian Black Book Provides Revamped Customer Experience on New Website

Welcome to The Canadian Black Book – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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New Tools For Consumers Include Industry Firsts Equity Calculator and Total Loss Report

Today, Canadian Black Book, provider of vehicle valuation data and analytics to the auto industry and Canadian car buyers, launched its new website at canadianblackbook.com.   The company first introduced its consumer website to the Canadian public in 2010, which gained vast attention at the time.  This changed Canada’s car buying and selling landscape by providing the public with CBB vehicle valuations for the first time and for free.  Prior to 2010, that information was released only to dealers, banks/lenders, and insurance providers.

Of course the new site continues to offer Canada’s leading Trade-in, Average Asking and Future Values free for visitors, however, with an interface that requires fewer steps when compared to the legacy website.  In addition to the values tools is the introduction of a Canadian automotive industry first, Equity Calculator to help Canadians determine their equity position during the course of an existing or potential loan.  The updated website also introduces a new Total Loss Report, to aid consumers in negotiating a write off situation with their insurer.

“We really jumped out of the box in 2010 opening up our data to consumers and saw an immediate interest from all corners of the country. In fact, in the first week we crashed the servers due to traffic overload,” says Brad Rome, President, Canadian Black Book, who was instrumental in the initial build nine years ago.  “Our goal is to continue to better assist car buyers and sellers with new tools available on our website that can help expedite the car shopping and buying process,” Rome adds.

The remodeled website is easier to use and faster loading on any device.  It was built using responsive design for mobile as the priority before desktop, as a result of the exponential growth in mobile traffic and usage.

The all-new listings section boasts a Canadian first market analysis to help users compare listings.  This new function plots vehicles on a two by two grid to compare average price and average mileage.  This system will identify vehicles that are below/over average price and below/over average mileage, to provide consumers with the best price versus mileage snapshot.

“The assortment of new functionality that we have built into the new website, was chosen and designed after 8 years of watching and analyzing our own web traffic and deep research and understanding into the contemporary needs and methods used by today’s car shopper.” Says Cole Reiken, VP Digital Strategy & Product Management, Canadian Black Book, the lead architect of the new site.

The revamped listings section, of hundreds of thousands of cars for sale across Canada, has new and used car listings featuring a large clear photo first.  Listings are geo relevant, which default to display listings within 100 km of a users’ postal code.  Vehicle details pages use new map integration to identify dealership locations.

Also available on the site is the new CBB Financial tool that can quickly and easily qualify users for a car loan before going into a dealership.  This system can get approvals, and book an appointment with a dealer to make the loan qualifying and buying process hassle free.  CBB Financial works in tandem with the CBB values and the Equity Calculator to provide trade-in information or calculations on carrying the balance of a loan from a previous car into a new deal.

Canadianblackbook.com now offers new content options to provide comprehensive vehicle overviews, expert video reviews of new vehicles in the market and details with new vehicle photo galleries to provide clear images of the cars.  Further to this, visitors will still find the Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards winners as well as pre-owned vehicles highlighted throughout the site, including our Best Pick section exclusively featuring Ford and Lincoln pre-owned certified vehicles..

See the new consumer experience at canadianblackbook.com.

 

The Value – Issue #11: Test drive? Yes please! By: Brian Murphy

Welcome to The Canadian Black Book – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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This month’s article is intended as an open letter to consumers, in praise of the test drive, and why you should always, always, take one or learn to live with the results.

Dear Canadian Vehicle Consumer:

At a conference I attended recently, a participant in a panel discussion commented that he had worked at a dealership that would refuse to sell a car unless the client had test driven it first.  This practice, admittedly a bit heavy-handed, was intended to reduce the chance the customer would show up a few days after, unhappy with the car, and want to return it.  Nowadays, the speaker clarified, it was no longer the practice, and they would happily close the deal if there hadn’t been a test drive.  I believe that the mandatory test drive might not have been such a bad idea in the first place, here’s why I strongly feel that way.

I asked my friends at J.D. Power, what percentage of Canadians take a test drive before buying a new car.  Their J.D. Power 2017 Canadian Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM   indicates that 80% of consumers do.  There certainly are legitimate reasons for some of the 20% that didn’t. However, to me these people are missing out on a very important part of the vehicle purchase process.  After all, would you buy a couch without sitting on it?  I didn’t think so.

I’ve spent most of my career in the car business, in my humble opinion (I’m not alone) you should take a test drive every time you buy a new or used car.  In fact, I’d take as many test drives as possible!  You would be hard pressed to find an automotive professional who would suggest you pass up that essential evaluation drive before signing on the dotted line.  If a sales person doesn’t want you to take a test drive then you may be working with the wrong sales person.  Many auto retailers will deliver a car to your home or work so you can try it out, why not take them up on it?  Before we get into the how’s and why’s of this, I should explain that I have a great deal of test drive experience and am therefore opinionated about the topic.  I am not an engineer, nor a professional driver.  However, I’ve spent many years planning future products for two Japanese OEMs, followed by several years evaluating vehicles during development as part of a global consulting team.  Now, at Canadian Black Book, I am part of a team that drives over one hundred different vehicles yearly, in order to assess competitiveness of the product, before forecasting its future value.  For example, in the last week and a half I have driven a very nice three row SUV, three pickup trucks and a really amazing 480 hp sports coupe. Based on this experience, I conclude that you should always go for a test drive, let me explain why.

First and foremost (and obviously!), a new car is a major financial commitment, second only to your home in terms of cost, for most of us.  You may spend the next seven or eight years paying for it, and even choose to keep it for longer.    If you end up with a car you hate it’s going to feel a lot longer than seven or eight years.  Getting out of a car before the end of a lease or loan can be challenging.  In a lease you are committed unless you can find someone, to take over your lease.  In a loan, you may owe more than your car is worth (also known as being upside down) making getting out of the loan potentially an expensive financial burden.

I think there is a myth out there, that vehicles “these days” are all very good and largely the same, negating the need for a test drive.  I firmly argue the opposite. Vehicles these days are more complex than ever before, with an even greater number of differences than ever before.  Just because you own a 2012 version of the same vehicle does not mean you will like the 2019, you might hate it.

Here are some pointers regarding your test drive, many of which can be checked before even leaving the dealer’s lot:

  1. How does the car drive? Are the steering, brakes, engine and transmission what you were expecting?  How about the noise levels inside the vehicle?  Make sure you try out a variety of driving scenarios(highway, city, residential, parking lot).  Do you feel safe in each of these environments?  Can you park it easily? Is it enjoyable  to drive?  You are going to spend thousands of hours behind that wheel, it might as well be a pleasant experience.
  1. Does the car physically fit you and your passengers? People and vehicles come in all shapes and sizes.  Can you operate the vehicle safely and comfortably?   Are there any problematic blind spots?  Do your child seats (if you have them or are planning to have them!) fit?  Is there room for the back-seat passengers, and will they be happy back there?  Do you have enough headroom?
  1. Are the seats comfortable? The spines and backsides of Canadians are like snowflakes, there are no two alike.   Are you comfortable? If not, does the seat adjust in a way that you are?  An extended test drive is important, some seats are comfortable for an hour, and then not anymore!  If you have never had a car with heated and cooled seats, you might want to investigate that further.  Trust me on that one.
  1. Do the controls seem easy to use and understand? If they seem more like a Rubik’s cube, then maybe that is not the car for you.  If you can’t easily understand how to use the various controls after some help from the salesperson you are unlikely to use them, despite having paid for them!
  1. Does all your junk fit in the trunk? If you are a golfer or regular carrier of 50lbs of smelly hockey gear or a stepladder collection check that it fits.  Bring it to the dealership to check, don’t just assume it fits.
  1. Does all your essential tech work? Today(if you are buying a new car) your car should support Apple’s CarPlay/Android Auto or have some phone integration that allows you to make/receive phone calls, text and get directions in a safe and legal manner.  If you own no technology whatsoever then skip this step.
  1. How will this car be at night? It’s a good idea to drive the car at night as well.  Some vehicles I have driven have horrible headlights or distracting reflections in the windows. Some offer poorly illuminated controls that make driving at night a pain.
  1. Will the car be winter friendly? Will you need snow tires?  Will you feel confident piloting your new chariot through the worst February has to offer?  If you would like a safe and uneventful winter, then AWD and snow tires might be the best money you’ve ever spent.
  1. Are you sure you have the right type of car? After the test drive it’s always a good time to ask yourself, if you are shopping for the right type of car. Are you looking at a three row SUV when maybe a moderately sized hatchback would work?  Are you thinking of buying a convertible when you really aren’t a convertible person?  Are you thinking of starting a family, yet you are considering buying a racy little sports car? Don’t buy the wrong type of car!  The test drive is a great time to validate this one last time.
  1. Trust your instincts. After you’ve had a chance to drive it, then trust your gut instinct.  If you don’t like the car don’t be talked into buying it.  Maybe you have the right brand, the right dealership, but not the right model.  Express your specific concerns to the sales person and see what alternatives they propose.  Failing that, go home, regroup and repeat as necessary.

If you, the consumer, really don’t want to drive a vehicle, obviously it’s crazy for a sales person to insist that you do.  After reading this article at least you’ve been warned.  As for me, that 480hp coupe is one that I am still thinking about many days after we gave it back to the manufacturer.  What would my monthly payment be?  I want the dark green one.

The Value – Issue #11: TalkAUTO 2018 Another Massive Success

Welcome to The Canadian Black Book – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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2018 TalkAUTO Canada Another Massive Success
Seventh Annual Keeps Streak Alive Hosts More Auto Industry Execs Versus any Previous Year

Event Recap Video Available at: https://youtu.be/XNaKNe9dzn4 

The seventh annual TalkAUTO Canada Conference, hosted by Canadian Black Book and J.D. Power, took place November 7th and was, as in every year before it, the largest event in terms of attendance since its inception in 2012.  Over 450 executives from the auto industry, financial sector, media and more converged at the Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, to get involved in discussion, witness top tier keynotes and socialize amongst the industry’s key influencers.

The 2018 edition of TalkAUTO Canada was themed ‘Who Moved My Keys? Adapting to Change in a New Marketplace’, a play on the popular motivational business fable and New York Times Bestseller – ‘Who Moved My Cheese’.  The topic was timely given the unrelenting change in today’s auto sector..

“There is a lot of change going on, which is the theme of TalkAUTO, and we need to come together to these kind of events to share ideas and hear what we all have to say, which can help us to better position all of our businesses for the future,” says Brad Rome, President, Canadian Black Book.

A major highlight of TalkAUTO was the lineup of guest and keynote speakers who encapsulated this year’s theme.  2018 was headlined by Sheryl Connelly, manager of Global Consumer Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Company, who grabbed the audience with deep insights into shifting global priorities, political upheaval at home and abroad, and  a spotlight on social inequity which has upended the status quo and left many feeling disoriented.

Attendees come from a wide variety of automotive industry segments, with strong representation from manufacturers, retailers, financial providers, data providers, marketing agencies, aftermarket suppliers, and media.

“We think the automotive industry is  due for change and that disruption is coming for the automotive business, which is why we are spending our time at TalkAUTO discussing how we can best adapt, and ultimately thrive,” says JD Ney, Automotive Practice Leader, Canada, J.D. Power.

Other featured expert speakers, included:

  • Jeff Schuster, President, Americas Operations and Global Vehicle Forecasts, LMC Automotive talking about his ‘Outlook Canadian Automotive Market
  • Chris Hodges, VP, Customer Experience and Digital Solutions, J.D. Power, discussing ‘Digitally Enable CX
  • Brian Murphy, VP, Research & Editorial, Canadian Black Book, presenting the ‘Canadian Black Book Market Briefing’
  • Richard Wallace, Vice President, Transportation Systems Analysis, Center for Automotive Research, explaining ‘New Mobility: Connected, Automotive, Shared (and Disruptive)’
  • Dan McGrath, Chief Operating Officer, Cineplex Entertainment, presenting ‘Staying Relevant – The Cineplex Diversification Story

As in years past, another key piece that holds the audience in the seats are the lively Dealer Panel and F&I Panel, which shine light on the issues and change affecting those spaces.  For more TalkAUTO Canada details go to http://www.talkauto-canada.com  and on Twitter follow the hashtag #TalkAUTOCanada.

For a glimpse at this year’s event:  2018 TalkAUTO Canada see the wrap-up video .

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For more information or media requests please contact:

Conrad Galambos
Media Relations
Canadian Black Book
cgalambos@canadianblackbook.com
905-979-7039
Geno Effler
Corporate Communications
J.D. Power
media.relations@jdpa.com
714-621-6224

 

The Value – Issue #10: New Dealer Tool Helps Bridge Gap Between Sales and Service

Welcome to The Canadian Black Book – The Value. Our goal is to provide our clients and partners with news, event updates, new initiatives and opinions from Canada’s trusted source for vehicle values and automotive insights. In this edition we cover:

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Vin-UP Launch in Canada Provides Acquisition Tool in the Service Bay

Mobility Sales Solutions has partnered with Canadian Black Book to power its Vin-UP offering.  The ‘in-lane’ service customer vehicle upgrade program has now launched in Canada.

The tool works through a physical handheld scanner which vin-scans vehicles while in service and outputs a coupon with a buy-back value, in combination with OEM and dealer incentives.  Canadian Black Book is the exclusive provider of valuation data to power the system as well as the sale arm for Canada.  Vin-UP is a lead generation and vehicle acquisition tool used in service departments to help feed the sales pipeline.

“Fewer and fewer customers enter the dealership from the front door today.  Vin-UP provides a very positive way to generate qualified leads from those customers entering from the service entrance,” says Bruno Lucarelli, President, Mobility Sales Solutions LLC.  “The approach is less intrusive, whereby the service lane specialist or used car manager offers to buy a customer’s car versus a sales rep trying to sell them a car,” he adds.

The theory being that, offering to purchase a client’s vehicle first is a soft sell strategy that can be easier for some to digest compared to hard selling showroom floor sales tactics.  Transitioning customers from the service bay to the sales floor is a method to retain existing clients so not to lose them to other competing dealerships.

“Canadian Black Book has come a long way from our days selling little black books to dealers.  Today we are continuously looking for innovative ways to help dealer sell more cars using our data.  This is certainly a good example of that,” says Brad Rome, President, Canadian Black Book.

Dealers would choose the vehicle model year(s) that they want to target for buy-back.  Service centers would scan all vehicles, which builds CRM data that can be easily integrated into DMS systems.  Qualified vehicle owners receive an instantly generated offer at which point they could be transitioned to sales.  If clients are not ready to sell/buy, the scan will be kept in the dealership database for future marketing and sales efforts.

As part of the Canadian launch, Vin-UP was piloted over the past 2 months, at BMW Canbec in Montreal, part of the AutoCanada Dealer Group.  “We are forever looking for ways to produce new quality leads and Vin-UP has opened our eyes to a new friendly approach to generating leads from our own service area,” says Martin Taillandier, General Manager, BMW Canbec.   “We will certainly be moving forward to deploy this tool on a full-time ongoing basis.”

The service is based on either a monthly subscription fee for the Vin-UP unit, with the dealership following up leads using its own BDC or the program offers lead follow-up services, provided by Suivitel, which only charges a fee per scheduled appointment.

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For interview requests or questions, please contact:

Conrad Galambos
Media Relations
Canadian Black book
905-979-7039
cgalambos@canadianblackbook.com