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Proposed lower tax saves
money, emissions

“Drive Green: Company Car Tax Shift”, a new proposal from the David Suzuki Foundation, would change the way company cars are taxed in Canada, and save employees and businesses money on gas and taxes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

David Suzuki is a true Canadian hero

Drive Green would enable employees who drive fuel-efficient company cars to enjoy a tax reduction, while those who choose gas guzzlers would be taxed at an increased rate. Under current tax rules, employees who receive company cars pay additional income tax based only on the cost of the vehicle. “It’s a relatively simple policy since it involves changes to existing tax rates,” says Pierre Sadik, a senior policy advisor with the Foundation. “All the institutions and mechanisms required to carry out the policy are already in place.”

The Foundation’s analysis found that in Canada, other benefits to Drive Green would include a reduction in fuel costs for businesses and employees who use company cars, and the avoidance of job loss in Canadian automobile assembly plants, while retaining current income tax revenue.
The proposal is modeled on a successful program in the UK that reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than half a million tonnes in its first year.

A recent survey of industrialized countries found that Canada’s greenhouse gas are two times higher than the average, and major smog-causing air pollutants are two to three times higher. Among 30 leading industrialized countries, Canada ranked 26th in greenhouse gas emissions.


JD Power profiles Canadian new
vehicle customers

The typical Canadian new-vehicle buyer in February 2006 was 45 years old, reports JD Power and Associates’ Power Information Network (PIN), with almost half between the ages of 36 and 55, and the rest almost equally split between groups above and below this age bracket.

Among buyers, 26.8 per cent were between 16 and 35; 49.8 per cent between 36 and 55; and 23.4 per cent were over 56 years of age. Close to 39 per cent of buyers were female (not including male buyers whose purchase decision was influenced by a female). One out of every six new-vehicle buyers purchased a service contract.

Almost 40 per cent of trade-ins were from the same nameplate as the new vehicle purchased; half of all new-vehicle transactions in February were leases, with the remaining purchases split evenly between cash (including loans arranged by consumers outside the dealership) and finance.


Driving for Fuel Mileage

By Mike Harlow (Atlantic Cat)

It’s no secret that fuel costs have an enormous impact on budgets, whether talking about a fleet or an owner/operator. The best ways to conserve aren’t so obvious. Here are some tips for consideration:

Make fuel efficiency a priority
Start by considering fuel economy when spec’ing equipment. Customers want an engine that can provide both the power and fuel economy they need. Some efficiency can be gained simply through driving techniques. Do the drivers brake and accelerate hard, or are they steady and smooth? Customers might consider tracking fuel use and giving incentives to those who achieve the best efficiency.

Spec more aggressively
Customers might consider purchasing lightweight components. Obviously the concept of shedding weight to gain fuel economy isn’t new. But an owner might be surprised to see how far some component manufacturers have come in reducing weight while delivering durability. Aerodynamics is another area of steady improvement worth exploring.

Keep engines properly maintained
Following recommended maintenance schedules extends the life of the engine. But there is an added bonus to adhering to maintenance: It also improves fuel economy. Seemingly minor – and easy to replace items – such as dirty air filters or fuel filters – hurt fuel efficiency. Keeping up with recommended maintenance guidelines keeps more fuel in the tank!

Keep tires properly inflated
The Department of Energy estimates fuel economy is 3.3 percent better in vehicles using properly inflated tires. Under-inflated tires are easy to diagnose and fix; properly inflated tires can have a fairly substantial bottom line benefit.

Don’t idle excessively
Equipment that is running – but not working – uses fuel.

Use the right gear
When on the road, use the highest gear possible. The lower the gear, the more power – and the more power, the more fuel is burned. That much said, keeping the engine in a top gear on hills and corners hurts efficiency as well. Make sure drivers know the optimum shift points.

Check with the experts
Caterpillar and Caterpillar dealers have decades of experience. Caterpillar is eager to help our customers. Visit Atlantic CAT here.


Ontario Doubles Hybrid Sales Rebate

The Ontario sales tax rebate available to buyers of hybrid vehicles has been increased from a maximum of $1,000 to $2,000 per sale, in a budget announcement made by the province’s treasurer recently.

The rebate increase applies immediately. About 1,000 vehicles out of 600,000 sold in Ontario last year were hybrids (like the Honda Civic Hybrid above). The Ontario Budget also included funding for a subway extension from Toronto to the nearby Vaughan Corporate Centre, which will allow commuters to ride the subway into Toronto and leave their vehicles at home, and an integrated public transit system in the Greater Toronto Area.


Ford Fusion Most Washable Car

The International Carwash Association named the Ford Fusion as the Most Washable Car 2006 at Car Care World Expo 2006, March 13-15, Las Vegas, Nev.  The annual award acknowledges the vehicle that car wash operators consider the most wash-friendly car of the year.

The honor is a critical distinction in the car care industry as research shows that nearly $24 billion a year is spent battling automobile corrosion damage.  With the number of consumers keeping their cars longer, this award is an important nod to Ford’s dedication to designing cars that are easier for car owners to maintain. “Professional car washes not only help a vehicle’s appearance, but also increase its long-term condition and value,” said Mark Thorsby, International Carwash Association executive director. “Members recognize the Ford Fusion as a vehicle that is easy to wash professionally, therefore contributing to its preservation.”

The International Carwash Association considers the following criterion for choosing the Most Washable Car:

  • Smooth aerodynamic lines that do not catch and retain dirt
  • Moldings and ornamentation that do not protrude and are securely attached
  • Bumpers, mirrors, wipers, etc. that are securely attached
  • Radio antennas that are securely attached or are hidden in the windshield or back window glass
  • Retractable side view mirrors that are robust at the pivot or mirrors that do not retract at all
  • Ground affects and desk lid spoilers that are aerodynamic and securely attached or do not exist
  • Windshield wipers that are concealed under the rear edge of the hood
  • Rear window wipers on Sport-Utility vehicles that do not
  • Front license plate attachments (when required) are secure and are not susceptible to damage

Runners up for the International Carwash Association’s 2006 Most Washable Car designation were the Chevrolet Impala and the 2006 Honda Civic.


Affinia Canada Announces Spicer® Showdown Promotionr

A New Promotion Exclusively for Technicians and Counter Personnel with prizes ranging from Chips to Tournament Play. Grand Prize Winner Earns $10,000 Seat at World Series of Poker! Affinia Canada Corp., Mississauga, ON. has announced the Spicer® Showdown, a new promotion that offers technicians and counter personnel the chance to win hundreds of poker-related prizes, including a seat at the 2007 Las Vegas World Series of Poker valued at $10,000.

From April 24 to August 15, 2006, for every purchase of an open stock premium quality Spicer professional grade chassis part, technicians will receive a Spicer Showdown instant-win game card. One (1) lucky installer winner and the counter person who presented them with their winning game card will receive a first prize trip to Las Vegas to take part in the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament.

Complementing the instant-win portion of the promotion is a sweepstakes, which allows technicians to submit non-winning game cards for a chance to win a trip to the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament. One (1) first place winner will be randomly selected and the counter person who presented the instant winner with their game card will also will win a trip to Las Vegas, joining the two instant win sweepstakes participants, in the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament.

The overall winner from among all of the participants in the Spicer Showdown Poker Tournament will be awarded the grand prize, a seat at the 2007 World Series of Poker. “The Spicer Showdown is a unique promotion in which everyone has a chance to be a winner,” said Brian Fleming, Director of Marketing for Affinia Canada Corp. “Poker is a hot commodity and appeals to a broad cross-section of our customer base.

We’re looking forward to growing the Spicer Brand by offering our Canadian customers an opportunity to become a Grand Prize winner and be seated with the best-of-the-best at the Las Vegas 2007 World Series of Poker.” Additional instant-win prizes include Professional Poker Tables, Texas Hold ‘Em Table Tops, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Kits, Spicer Chassis Poker Chip Sets, and Spicer Chassis Sunglasses.
Spicer Professional Grade chassis parts are manufactured by Affinia Under Vehicle Group.

Visit us online for more information about Spicer Professional Grade chassis parts.