The image of cars in a showroom
With 64,962 Honda Civics sold in Canada in 2012, the nameplate that started it all for the automaker has now recorded its 15th year as the highest-selling passenger car in the country.
Perhaps even more significantly is that almost all of those vehicles were built in Ontario, at Honda’s plant in Alliston. Since 1973, the Alliston plant has churned out more than 3.6 million Civics.
Automakers steal tech show in Las Vegas
Although the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is considered the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, much of that technology is now focused on the automobile. Here are some of the highlights (read more about the CES show in Gerry Malloy’s Tech Talk column on page W6).
Similar to Foursquare, Glympse is a smartphone app that allows users to report the location of their vehicle to a map or social media site such as Facebook. With a phone connected to the vehicle by Bluetooth, Ford drivers will only have to press the Sync button on the steering wheel to report their location. This has great potential for vehicle fleet owners and nervous parents.
Most of this new tech is destined for future vehicles, but aftermarket supplier Delphi has created the Connected Car device, which will let you track, monitor and control your vehicle remotely with your smartphone. The device plugs into a car’s OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) connector and turns a smartphone into a remote key fob with all of the functions of the original, coupled with diagnostic capabilities, car location mapping and more.
Ram announces best-ever tow ratings
The Ram brand has mounted a huge offensive in the battle for heavy-duty truck supremacy with the announcement of the highest-ever tow ratings for the segment. The 2013 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty will be rated for a maximum trailer weight of 13,608 kg, which is far above the closest competitor, at 10,478 kg. Coupled with a 17,055 kg gross weight rating, Ram may become the truck of choice for contractors and fleet buyers.
Electric cars must get noisy: NHTSA
The first thing most people notice when they drive an electric car is the eerie silence inside the cabin. The problem is that silence can be deadly for pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association south of the border has proposed that all hybrid and electric vehicles be forced to emit a sound to warn pedestrians. A 60-day “comment period” started on Jan. 7 and, if all goes as expected, a three-year phase-in period would commence in the fall of 2015.
Where to get Drive Clean performed
There appears to be confusion about Drive Clean’s new testing procedures, which began Jan. 1. Many former test facilities are unable to perform the new test, and some Wheels readers report they can’t find a place that can do it. Kate Jordan from Drive Clean says drivers can find a local test facility on the website at driveclean.com.
Under the “Find a test facility” link on the left, you will find a list of certified and accredited shops that can conduct the new test. There are about 400 stations listed in the GTA and more are being added daily. You may not need the test.