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THE UNOBVIOUS ONES: No ‘typical day’ amid stock challenges

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The Unobvious Ones is a month-to-month take a look at movers and shakers who fly under the radar within the Canadian auto trade.



Getting automobiles to prospects includes understanding gross sales targets, vendor volumes, opponents and what merchandise can be found. Because the nationwide supervisor for gross sales and stock planning at Toyota Canada in Toronto, Rebecca Wu places all these variables collectively.

“There isn’t a typical day in my job, particularly as we’re coping with shortages in manufacturing,” Wu stated.

As with different automakers, Toyota’s automobile output has been hit by the worldwide microchip scarcity and industrywide supply-chain points, which impression vendor stock. In Canada, Toyota builds the RAV4 and the Lexus NX and RX crossovers.

“I’ve a staff of 30 folks, however we’re nonetheless all working from house, so it’s back-to-back [online] conferences about gross sales, stock and what subsequent yr will seem like.

“We work with our sellers and assist them plan in these occasions as effectively, with the autos we’ll launch and the stock we’ll get. It’s a variety of planning effort.”

Wu, who speaks English, French and Cantonese, studied translation strategies at York College in Toronto. She was employed by Toyota in 1999 to translate paperwork comparable to manuals, coaching packages and technical bulletins.

“Two years in, I went into public relations. Toyota has a rotation tradition as a result of we would like folks to grasp the enterprise and check out various things and see what works for them. In [the public relations] function, it’s a must to perceive the company along with the autos.”

Six years later she moved into advertising, working her manner as much as nationwide supervisor for Toyota. She took on her present function in August.



Mercedes-Benz Canada has a novel fleet buyer: the Canadian Armed Forces. And because the automaker’s supervisor for Defence Program, Stanley Ing, sells and oversees conversion of the G-Class utility automobile for navy responsibility.

“With one other colleague, I assist their technical modifications and restore and overhaul. I’m additionally concerned in future gross sales, and now we have two gross sales tasks developing with the Canadian Armed Forces.”

The contracts embrace a cargo automobile and autos for the navy police, and command and reconnaissance. The navy variations are just like the buyer G-Class, however they’re stripped down on the within, fitted with communications programs and will be modified with weapons stations and armour.

Ing coordinates their manufacturing, which incorporates suppliers in Germany and Canada.

“My days embrace convention calls with German colleagues, conferences with Mercedes-Benz for elements, collaborating in progress-review conferences with the Division of Nationwide Defence (DND), and as wanted, calls with the DND Technical Authority.”

Ing, 68, earned a grasp’s diploma in worldwide relations from the College of Toronto and was employed as a analysis affiliate on strategic research at York College. In 1985, he was requested to affix a Nationwide Defence think-tank as a coverage analyst after which turned a senior adviser on aerospace industries for the Ontario authorities. He labored for Airbus for eight years till MercedesBenz, which at the moment partly owned Airbus, requested him to assist with the G-Class program. When a Canadian Armed Forces contract for 1,159 G-Wagons was signed in 2004, Ing joined MercedesBenz’s fleet program.

“Defence is harder than business fleet as a result of there are extra insurance policies and layers of administration. All of the elements need to be catalogued by the military to allow them to get them organized. It takes extra time, and also you simply need to be affected person.”



Earlier than a brand new automobile goes on sale, there must be hands-on expertise for dealership personnel, media, automaker workers and even some prospects. Establishing such an occasion is a big quantity of labor that’s now second nature to Jud Buchanan, president of Automobile Dynamics Group (VDG) in Campbellville, 65 kilometres southwest of Toronto.

“We have been an experiential advertising firm earlier than most individuals even knew what that was,” he stated. “We are able to do all the pieces from a easy drive program to utterly turnkey with journey, lodging, meals and leisure.”

Buchanan, 68, at all times cherished automobiles. He raced autocross as a pastime, beginning in 1976, and received the Canadian Auto Slalom Championship in 1983 and the Ontario title a yr later.

In 1985, he joined Yokohama Tire as nationwide advertising communications supervisor, in command of public relations, motorsport and promoting. However he longed to be his personal boss and based VDG in 2000.

“Each program is constructed in regards to the automobile, so I first get educated on it, so we will put it in an surroundings that represents what a broad swath of customers may anticipate from it. We’ve digitized topographical maps of North America and we construct the route on our proprietary GPS, work out the timing and the place we have to put our personnel.”

Buchanan has eight workers, plus 10 contract staff who ship the autos, clear them and guarantee all individuals are accounted for alongside the driving routes.

“I’m passionate in regards to the journey, the problem of organizing issues, and all the pieces in regards to the automobiles.”


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