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John Irwin

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Phone: 313-446-6013
E-Mail: jirwin@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Range, sticker shock still hurdles for EVs, says BMW Canada CEO

The biggest roadblock in the way of EV sales growth remains prohibitive costs, BMW Canada CEO Hans Blesse said. But, when there's price parity, there's large interest, he said.

Mercedes courts millennials with A class, and the fine-tuning for 2019 begins

Take Five is a look at five new, refreshed or retooled vehicles that are destined for or have recently entered the Canadian market. Here are some offerings from Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Toyota, Honda and Audi.

Ontario to auto industry: Prove why the public should fund you

Ontario’s new government is asking why the auto industry deserves support, and the auto industry has an answer.

Canadá molesto por tarifas de metales a pesar del nuevo pacto

El nuevo pacto de América del Norte puede haber resuelto una herida comercial abierta, pero para las empresas automotrices canadienses, los aranceles sobre el acero y el aluminio siguen siendo una lástima.

Canadians sore as metal tariffs linger

The new North American trade pact may have patched up one open trade wound, but for Canadian auto businesses, tariffs on steel and aluminum remain a festering sore.

Canadians sore as metal tariffs linger

The new North American pact may have patched up one open trade wound, but for Canadian auto businesses, tariffs on steel and aluminum remain a festering sore.

Canada a non-starter for possible Magna Steyr plant

Magna International CEO Don Walker has said many times the company isn't "adding capacity in Canada." It appears that's still the case as the supplier's subsidiary Magna Steyr considers expansion.

Rough rollout of redesigned Ram leads to FCA Canada's sales skid

Much of FCA Canada's 2018 sales decline can be attributed to the Ram brand, which has struggled this year despite having a redesigned pickup to sell in a market that heavily favours pickups and light trucks.

Chevy's blast from the past, one-upping the Demon, and Nautilus details

Take Five is a look at five new, refreshed or retooled vehicles that are destined for or have recently entered the Canadian market. Here are some offerings from Chevrolet, Ram, Dodge, Lincoln and BMW.

New AutoCanada boss conducting 'open-heart surgery' on company

New AutoCanada Executive Chairman Paul Antony is determined to meet the dealership group's financial goals — whatever they specifically are. “I want to underpromise and overdeliver," he says.

AutoCanada: Who's in and who's out

AutoCanada, the country's only publicly-traded dealership group, owns 68 dealerships in Canada and the United States and sells 27 brands. It recently made several management changes. Here's a look.

Cadillac Super Cruise coming to more Canadian vehicles in 2020

Cadillac will roll out its Super Cruise partially autonomous driving system through its entire lineup beginning in 2020 as Canadian buyers warm up to the idea of giving up some control of their vehicle.

Man arrested for allegedly poisoning co-worker at Toronto car dealership

UPDATED: 09/10/18 2:22 pm ET -- New story

Police say an employee of the dealership took a sip of his water bottle and realized that what he was drinking wasn't water.

Canadian Ford, GM stores becoming more attractive to U.S. dealer groups

Erin Kerrigan of California-based buy/sell advisory firm Kerrigan advisors says Ford and GM allowing public ownership makes Canada more attractive for large, public groups in the United States.

U.S. demand bumps used-vehicle values in Canada 

Used-vehicle values remain near all-time highs, years after low supply in the wake of the last recession, which sent prices rising. It was initially thought that U.S. demand in Canada would weaken. It hasn't.

Honda Accord sales pay the price for marketing misstep

UPDATED: 09/05/18 9:54 am ET -- Adds August numbers

Instead of an advertising campaign extolling the virtues of the redesigned 2018 Accord sedan, Honda Canada said it leaned on positive reviews from the press and word-of-mouth praise from owners. It hasn't worked.

Dealers focused on social media are losing sales: Kijiji study

Kijiji, which surveyed 125 dealers and 2,003 people either recently in the market for a vehicle or planning to be there within six months, identified what the study called “missed opportunities” when attracting consumers.

Magna says Q2 net income rises 13%, lowers production forecast for tariffs

UPDATED: 08/08/18 10:06 am ET -- New story

Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc., lowered its full-year production forecast for North America, hurt, in part, by tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

Magna says Q2 net income rises 13%, lowers production forecast for tariffs

UPDATED: 8/8/18 4:22 pm ET - adds stock close

Magna International reported a 13 percent year-over-year gain in second-quarter net income on record sales, even as it lowered its outlook for 2018 in response to tariffs.

New rides shine like (Cullinan) diamonds

Take Five is a look at five new or upgraded vehicles that are destined for or have recently entered the Canadian market. Here is a sampling of vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, FCA and GM.

FCA retooling Brampton assembly's paint shop amid 5-week shutdown

Fiat Chrysler's Brampton, Ont., assembly plant is in the midst of a five-week shutdown as the automaker retools its aging paint shop there. The upgrades are part of a $325 million commitment FCA made to the plant in 2016.

Martinrea is bigger, but the goal is to be better

Martinrea International Inc.'s years-long acquisition spree has cooled. The company, which quickly grew to become Canada's third-largest auto supplier by acquiring companies in aluminum, metallics and fluid-management systems, is content with what it has.

Dealerships face a problem: Less land, large inventories

Automakers rely more than ever on just-in-time parts delivery to build their vehicles. It's a strategy that could spill over to dealerships as some dealers grapple with reduced lot size and large inventory.

FCA's Canadian plants safe if Chrysler, Dodge die, Unifor says

Unifor President Jerry Dias says he is confident FCA's Canadian plants will survive even though the Chrysler and Dodge brands were left out of the company's five-year business plan last month.

How Canada could compete for new auto investment

For auto assembly to increase its footprint in Canada would mean the government here matching the incentives of the Southern United States or seeing America slap tariffs on vehicles made in Mexico.


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