Tag Archives: Canada

Which automobile manufacturers are taking you for a ride?

Now that the Canadian dollar is hovering around par with the US greenback again, we will likely be hearing plenty of complaints about the fact that things still cost more here in Canada than they do in the US, even though our dollar is worth the same or even more.

It seems to me that nothing illustrates that complaint better than comparing the cost of  the same automobile on both sides of the border. Canadian consumers have been suffering for a number of years from new car prices that seem to ignore the comparative value of our dollar. As a result, used car dealerships and individual consumers have been importing vehicles from the US in record numbers over the past few years as the Canadian dollar has continued to strengthen.
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Posted by on April 18, 2010 in Automotive


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Canadian Black Book Announces Retained Value Awards

Canadian Black Book, the company that publishes the Canadian automotive industry’s used car value “bible”, announced their fifth annual retained value awards yesterday. These awards recognize the 2006 vehicles in 17 categories that experienced the lowest average depreciation in the first four years of ownership. Black Book indicates in their press release that past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but I think we can all agree that its better than not winning.

Not suprisingly, Japanese brands dominated these awards with 13 of the 23 winners (including ties). Despite their recent troubles, Toyota took home the most awards of any brand with 6. Honda was second with 3 winners.

German nameplates had the second large block of winners with 8 of the 23 winners (including ties). BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen each had two winners.

The only American company on the list was Chrysler, with the Dodge Sprinter. I’m afraid I can’t really call this vehicle American since it is built by Mercedes-Benz and is a left over from the failed marriage of Daimler-Chrysler.

The Mini Cooper seems to stand out as the only vehicle from a brand that isn’t Japanese or German. That said, BMW owns the Mini brand and the new Mini’s have significant BMW engineering influences. Although final assembly is still done in the UK, I’m calling this one a German car too.

So that’s 13 wins for Japan, 10 wins for Germany, and 0 wins for every other country. Very interesting.

Here are the winners by category…

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Posted by on March 9, 2010 in Automotive


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Purchase Decision – Mobile Phone – Part 2

In my last post on this subject, I decided that I was going to go with a regular cell phone rather than a smartphone. In that post I listed my requirements, and I came up with a list of cell phones that I thought should meet my needs. In this post we are going to dig a little deeper and narrow the field of candidate phones, and then make a final selection.

What carrier should I go with?

One way to narrow the group down in a hurry is to make a decision on the network I want to be on. This criteria may not make a lot of sense to someone living in one of Canada’s largest cities, but anyone who lives in Atlantic Canada and spends any time outside the major centers knows that the network really does matter.

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Posted by on March 2, 2010 in Consumer Electronics


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Purchase Decision – Mobile Phone – Part 1

The time has come to replace my 4-year-old mobile phone and I have some decisions to make. As with any purchase decision, I like to do the research so I am going into it with all the information I need to make the best decision. In this case I had a few decisions to make and I researched them in order. This post is the first of two which discuss my major decision points along the way.

Decision 1 – What type of phone?

To paraphrase Shakespeare…

“to smartphone or not to smartphone, that is the question.”

Indeed, that is the question that anyone buying a mobile phone these days should be asking themselves. Unfortunately I don’t think a lot of cell phone buyers are really asking that question. I see a lot of people buying smartphones without much thought as to whether the enhanced feature set offered by these phones justifies the much higher upfront and ongoing monthly costs.

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Posted by on February 24, 2010 in Consumer Electronics


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