Disruption, or Business as Usual?
Auto industry heavy-hitters gather in Toronto to discuss emerging trends.
After a very successful symposium in Montreal, Quebec, Templeton Marsh invited some of North America’s most respected auto industry professionals to speak in Toronto, Ontario to an audience of business leaders. The theme of the event, “Disruption, or Business as Usual?” was addressed by some of the industry’s most recognized names and personalities.
Michael Croxon, President and CEO of The NewRoads Automotive Group served as the MC for the event, and got the ball rolling with a discussion about the Internet, the connected car, electrification, and how these technologies have already impacted car dealers, and how they will do so even more in the future – both on the sales and service side.
Wolfgang Hoffmann, President of Jaguar Land Rover Canada, continued the discussion with a closer look at electrification. “The challenge facing the electric car is the fact that the infrastructure is not there yet,” he said. “If I want to drive from Toronto to Montreal, where will I charge my car? If I live in a high-rise in downtown Toronto, where will I charge my car? Some units don’t come with a parking spot. What do I do then?”
Renowned industry analyst, Maryann Keller, spoke about a number of timely issues, including the future of the autonomous vehicle. “There are five levels of autonomy,” she explained. “Tesla offers Level 2, whereas Level 4/5, which is what Ford is working on, means no steering wheel and no pedals. It means total passive involvement with that vehicle.”
What’s been so far understood about autonomous vehicles is that they don’t always work, Keller added, referring to the incident where a Tesla driver died after his vehicle struck a truck while in autopilot mode.
Templeton Marsh also invited Sid DeBoer, Founder and Chairman of the Board for Lithia Motors, Mike Stollery, one of Ontario’s most successful dealer group operators, and Steven Landry, CEO of AutoCanada to speak at the symposium. These gentlemen shared their rich experience and insight with the audience, shedding light on a number of timely issues.
Look for a full report in the December issue of AutoJournal.