Steve Mertl

Vancouver Correspondent
Address: Automotive News Canada,
PO Box 243, Station A, Windsor, Ontario, N9A 6K7
Phone: (604) 551-8653
About Steve Mertl: Vancouver Correspondent CLICK HERE to see our entire staff list

Recent authored articles

Canada's cellular market blamed for lack of connected cars

Vehicle connectivity has been slower to roll out in Canada than in the United States for a variety of reasons, including geography and lack of competition among wireless providers. But that's changing.

BlackBerry strikes deal with Chinese parts supplier

Former smartphone giant BlackBerry Ltd. increased its footprint in the auto sector Monday when it struck a deal with China’s Yanfeng Visteon.

Nissan Canada continues 'strategic' expansion by opening 200th store

ALBI Nissan in Mont-Tremblant, Que., marks the automaker's 200th store in Canada. Ken Hearn, the automaker's director of dealer network development, said Nissan's expansion is “strategic,” not over-aggressive.

Fed's ZEV policy committee ends talks, but with few answers

A committee created to help the federal government frame a national policy on zero-emission vehicles held its final meeting in mid-September.

Electra Meccanica says it has $1.6B in orders for single-seat EV and sports car

Vancouver's Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. says it has total orders worth $1.6 billion for its Solo single-seat electric commuter vehicle and Tofino electric sports car.

National ZEV policy that mandates sales quotas could rile automakers

As the federal government's zero-emission vehicle policy review races to conclusion, its central question is emerging as contentious: Just how much should Ottawa intervene to accelerate the growth of Canada's ZEV fleet?

B.C. fuel cell engine maker Ballard will power buses in France

Ballard Power Systems of Vancouver will supply Belgium-based bus builder Van Tool NV with fuel cell engines to power eight hybrid tram-buses for use in France.

A closer look at Magna's fuel cell and battery electric hybrid engine

Magna International's new hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric hybrid platform is right on track when it comes to the direction fuel cell vehicles are headed, one expert says.

McLaren sales growing fast in 'important' Canadian market

McLaren Automotive expects to continue its strong growth in the Canadian market this year, tracking the British supercar maker's rapid global sales expansion.

Porsche opens 4th B.C. dealership

Porsche Canada has opened Porsche Centre in Kelowna, in the heart of British Columbia's increasingly affluent Okanagan region. It's the luxury automaker's fourth dealership in B.C. and 18th in Canada.

Canada's sedan category faces decimation

The migration away from traditional passenger cars to utility vehicles is not news, but its scope is unprecedented, says one analyst, who thinks the passenger-car market hasn't bottomed out yet.

B.C. startup awaits U.S. certification for Solo single-seat EV

Electric-vehicle startup Electra Meccanica of Vancouver says it expects U.S. certification later this month, but it won't ship single-seat cars there until the fourth quarter.

Honda Canada dealerships adding EV quick-charge stations for Clarity

Honda Canada says 152 of its dealers, almost two thirds of its network, have committed to install Level 2 electric-vehicle chargers by the end of this year, all in time for the arrival of the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid sedan.

Iconic dealer Jim Pattison sees radical change coming to auto industry

Longtime dealer Jim Pattison believes radical change is inevitable as the personal transportation industry shifts toward online transactions, lower-maintenance electric vehicles, car sharing and driverless cars.

Nissan Canada exec promoted to a global gig in Japan

Nissan Canada regional sales operations vice-president Michael Soutter has been promoted to division general manager of global aftersales at Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

Canadian EV sales limited by supply, lack of variety, advocate says

Limited manufacturing capacity and the lack of different models are restricting growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales, an advocate said during the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association's ElectraFest 2017.

Zero-emission vehicles: Is push coming to shove?

Governments are getting impatient with the pace of transition to a future of zero-emission vehicles. So, around the world, they're mandating the sale and use of ZEVs, writes Steve Mertl.

Leasing's exotic side

Leasing is on the upswing in Canada, even at the top of the market with exotic brand names and ultra-luxury cars such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

Diesel's future remains murky in wake of VW cheating scandal

The future of diesel light vehicles in North America remains uncertain as the Volkswagen emissions scandal ripples through the industry.

Electra Meccanica of Vancouver delivers first Solo EV to customer

Vancouver-based automaker Electra Meccanica has put its first production Solo single-seat electric car into customer hands. Deli owners in suburban New Westminster, B.C., received the first car.

Leasing's exotic side

Canadian companies thrive on quality low-mileage lease returns while creating a captive audience.

Mercedes head-office staff shadows at dealerships

It wasn't exactly “Undercover Boss,” but Mercedes-Benz Canada's president made sure to include himself in a program that dispatches head office staff to work in dealerships.

Magna shopping its hydrogen fuel-cell range extender for EVs

Magna is shopping around a hydrogen fuel-cell platform as a range extender for battery EVs. It allows a vehicle to recharge its battery on the move.

Ford Canada's challenges include NAFTA talks, softening car market

Record sales and a fresh four-year deal with the company's union do not obscure the challenges that will confront Mark Buzzell.

Hyundai unit partners with Bell on vehicle connectivity

Bell says its technology will enable services such as roadside assistance, collision notification, local searches, maintenance alerts and more in some 2018 Hyundai and Kia models.