Visitors to CES will see, through full-scale demonstrations and a VR experience, how long road trips, cargo transport services and mobile meetings can be transformed through technologies like haptic massage seats, personal sound zones and multi-sensor biometric sensing.

By CRM staff

Toronto – December 19, 2018 -- In this week’s market update, Magna provides some insight to future trends and picks reconfigurable seating as a key feature for smart mobility. Plus, Canadian car shoppers show a preference for SUVs, and General Motors rolls out a jobs plan for Oshawa workers.

 

Utility edges out luxury for Canadian car shoppers

AutoTRADER.ca's annual Top 10 most-searched vehicles list is out and data indicates sedans are losing favour to SUVs. The automotive marketplace company analyzes its site search data each year to capture the pulse of Canadian car buyers' interests.

"For the fourth year in a row, the perennial Ford F-150 has retained the #1 spot on the list, but this year, the Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 have climbed into top positions as Canadian favourites, claiming spot #7 and #10 respectively," says Michael Bettencourt, managing editor, autoTRADER.ca. "As a result, sedans appear to be taking a back seat in 2018's top 10 list compared to previous years."

While luxury sedans, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class remained in the top 10, this year, the Honda Accord and the BMW M series both fell off the list.

AutoTRADER.ca also observed an average 11 per cent year-over-year increase in new car SUV listings. Canadians appear to still love their sports cars, with classic favourites including the Ford Mustang, Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette in the top 10.

The complete 2018 Top 10 most searched vehicles in Canada is as follows:

- Ford F-150
- Ford Mustang
- Honda Civic
- BMW 3 Series
- Jeep Wrangler
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
- Honda CR-V
- Porsche 911
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Toyota Rav4

AutoTRADER.ca's 2018 data also revealed some key regional taste differences for car shoppers across the country.

Quebecers prefer practicality: The #1 most searched vehicle in La Belle Province was the Honda Civic for the second consecutive year (compared to the national list where it placed #3).

When it comes to luxury, the Maritimes and Manitoba had only one model on the list (BMW 3 Series)

The Territories and Manitoba are definitively SUV and truck country: 9 out of 10 models searched in the Territories and 7 out of 10 in Manitoba were comprised of SUVs and trucks.

"This year's search data and the future trends we have identified are all pointing to the fact that we are slowly approaching a tipping point in our industry," says Bettencourt. "We're witnessing a significant shift in consumer preference, as cars that were once a staple for one generation, are no longer for another. This will have a direct impact both economically and culturally, affecting the automotive industry and beyond."

Other trends from the year’s data: minivans fall out of favor and EVs are gaining traction. The absence of some of our favourite sedans from the list, alongside the fall of the minivan, further reinforce a car-buying future dominated by SUVs and subcompact crossovers. The Telsa revolution has dominated headlines, and while electric vehicle (EV) supply is growing, autoTRADER.ca search data shows Canadians may still need more time to adjust. Despite growing interest, the category of eco-friendly vehicles only accounts for 1.43 per cent of overall Canadian search volume. Bettencourt predicts that we are still a few years away from seeing EVs dominate car shoppers' attention

Analysis was performed based on site analytics from autoTRADER.ca using Canadian search data of over 160 million views, January 1 – November 30, 2018. Year-over-year analysis was based on data from January 2017 to December 2018.

 

Magna sees reconfigurable seating in future cars

Canadian Tier One auto supplier Magna is heading to the CES 2019 consumer electronics show with an exhibit showcasing the company’s future vision of how electrification, autonomy and smart mobility intersect in the automotive world. The ‘Welcome to Mobility’ booth will demonstrate a full range of electrified powertrain configurations as well as how flexible cabin space will better meet both driver and passenger needs.

The company says reconfigurable seating will play a large role in smart mobility solutions of the future. Visitors to CES will see, through full-scale demonstrations and a VR experience, how long road trips, cargo transport services and mobile meetings can be transformed through technologies like haptic massage seats, personal sound zones and multi-sensor biometric sensing.

“Leveraging more than 60 years of experience designing and developing new technology, Magna helps customers striving to change the entire vehicle experience, not just a few components,” said Magna CTO Swamy Kotagiri.

On the topic of autonomy, the Magna booth showcases LiDAR object detection in action and shows how Magna will master the complexity of autonomous driving through modular, scalable configurations for any vehicle architecture and autonomy scale.

A “smart mobility” section highlights new seating configurations and smart city solutions which allow vehicles to be used and shared differently by making them more adaptable to varying needs and infrastructures.

 

GM committing millions of dollars to transition workers

General Motors Canada has committed to provide financial support to help its employees with retraining and other assistance.

"My priority is to have a transition plan for every Oshawa Assembly employee," said GM Canada president and managing director, Travis Hester. "We will work with our community colleges, universities, the government and all interested local employers, to make this happen and we are committing millions of dollars from GM Canada to support this effort."

The company estimates more than 2,400 “good, available new jobs” will be open in the Durham Region area in 2019 and 2020.

GM Canada has been contacted by a variety of individual employers with job opportunities for the skilled employees from the Oshawa Assembly plant. Job fairs and targeted training programs are being prepared by a coalition of local partners to help auto workers transition to their next careers.

Since GM’s announcement on November 26 of the imminent closure of the Oshawa plant, GM Canada and its community partners have identified:

- 300 open jobs for auto technicians at GM dealerships in Ontario;

- 100 jobs that will be open at GM's other facilities in Ontario;

- 2,000 jobs in energy and other industries in Durham.

GM's November announcement impacts 2,600 hourly workers and approximately 340 salaried or contract workers at the Oshawa Assembly Plant. The company’s global Accelerated Transformation program aims to advance the company's vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion through a series of restructuring actions in the United States, Canada and globally.

 

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