With five weekends and an extra shopping day in May, Canadian consumers flocked to car dealerships in search of a new ride — setting a record along the way.
There were 195,571 light vehicles sold last month, smashing the previous May record from 2007 by 10,000 units.
Light trucks continued to be the ride of choice, with 111,035 sales, while passenger car sales dropped to 84,536 from the 86,012 sold last May.
Auto News last week: Motorcycle safety is up to riders and drivers alike
Ford edged Fiat Chrysler for the top spot, selling 31,747 vehicles, 445 more than Chrysler. Toyota was in third spot, with 20,676 sales, including the most trucks it has ever sold in a month.
Honda finished fourth, with an 12.4-per-cent increase to 16,507 vehicles, while General Motors jumped 11.8 per cent to 26,444.
It was a record month for several automakers, with Porsche and Chrysler reporting their best sales month of all time.
Subaru has set monthly sales records for five months in a row, with both April and May topping their all-time monthly sales.
Lego introduces classic Mini kit
Guys can be tough to shop for, although I don’t understand the challenge personally. All it takes to make me happy is a few diecast cars. The nice people at Lego have made shopping for me even easier, with the impending release of a Mini Cooper kit.
The authentic recreation of a Mini Cooper Mk VII, the model is made up of 1,077 Lego pieces. The finished car includes opening doors, hood and trunk, along with a detailed interior and engine.
Only available in proper British Racing Green with white strips, as John Cooper intended, the model comes complete with a picnic basket, blanket and a bottle for desk-top day dreaming.
The kit costs $120 and should be available here by August.
Roadside OPP/MOE spotchecks deter racers heading to the track
When asked why they race on public roads, street racers often blame the lack of a local and affordable track.
Uli Bieri, the owner of Toronto Motorsports Park, has been trying to combat this by hosting frequent, inexpensive weekly lapping days, without the formality of an organized racing series.
The events make it easy for performance-driving enthusiasts to do the right thing and take their car to the track.
However, many of the cars being driven to and from the track have been modified in an illegal fashion.
TMP is on the old Kohler air field in Cayuga, just outside of Hamilton, and most participants arrive on the same road.
Last weekend, the OPP and the Ministry of the Environment set up a roadblock on that road to inspect and ticket any vehicles deemed to have illegal modifications.
In our world of social media, it didn’t take long before potential racers learned of the roadblock, turned around and went home. Needless to say, the social media buzz was less than charitable about the OPP and the ministry.
A few organizers approached me, worrying that all the work being done to get street racers to do it the right way is being undone by this approach. I contacted both the OPP and the ministry to get their take on it.
Const. Mark Foster of the Haldimand County OPP detachment told me the roadblock had been set up by the MOE and the officers were just there for support.
But MOE spokesperson Kate Jordon told me the OPP set it up and invited the ministry to take part.
Foster said the OPP’s primary concern is the handful of drivers who speed through small towns on their way to and from the track.
Jordon said ministry staff “inspected vehicles that were operating on the local roads and highways. Inspections were done to determine compliance with emission standards.”
But both Foster and Jordon agreed this might be a perfect opportunity to build a relationship with the TMP community. They have agreed to meet with Bieri and other organizers.
Kick off Father’s Day with an exotic car ride
On Sat., June 14, Wheels writer Ian Law is hosting his annual Exotic Car Ride in support of The James Fund.
The event gives participants the chance to experience exotic sports cars such as Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Corvette and more, while supporting a great cause.
All donations go to The James Fund to help find a cure for neuroblastoma.
The event is being held at the Powerade Centre in Brampton from 1 to 5 p.m. For details, go to carcontrolschool.com.
- MAILMASTER __Subject: FW: On 2014-06-04, at 8:04 PM, Devine, Doug wrote: ______________________________________________ From: Devine, Doug Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 2:49 PM To: Photodesk - Toronto Star Subject: Supplied photos of the new Lego Mini Cooper kit, for Auto News. 10242_back_02.jpg 10242_back_02.jpg