Author Archives: Kyle Senger

VW of Saskatoon Wolfsburg Crest Award

VW Centre of Saskatoon – 2019 Wolfsburg Crest Award Winner

At the FFUN Group, one of our core values is Driven to Grow. We are the reason for our success. We are great people who are excited about continuous growth and improvement through education and learning from our experiences.

It’s a value that carries us to be better every day, but only truly is achieved when our drive to grow actually delivers growth results for the business and our customers. At Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon we can firmly say we’ve achieved that this year, after being recognized with the 2019 Volkswagen Wolfsburg Crest Club award.

The Wolfsburg Crest Award is given to the Volkswagen dealers that have met the highest operating standards in Canada. It is an award based on much more than just numbers, as it heavily favours Customer Experience Survey scores, completed by both sales and service. So you, our customer are truly determining how successful we are, and the standards of excellence we’ve achieved for sales and service. 36 dealers across Canada achieved the results to net them in this prestigious club, but the FFUN Motor Group and Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon are the only dealership in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to receive the recognition.

“We are so excited and humbled to have received this award,” notes Chris Belfour, General Manager at the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon. “The Wolfsburg Crest Award has been a goal for this dealership for a last few years. It’s something we’ve been building up to and validates that the hard work and extra effort we’ve been putting in for our customers, every day, is truly paying off. Thank you to all of our staff, customers and friends for making this possible.”

Membership into the Wolfsburg Crest Club is a well-deserved recognition for the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon and is a fitting step towards their next big initiative as they look to move to their brand new home in the Saskatchewan Motor Village in the north end of Saskatoon, near Costco, beginning May 1.

With a particular attention to detail and fast, friendly atmosphere for its customers, the Volkswagen Centre of Saskatoon truly is a unique car buying experience on the Prairies. Drop by to see for yourself what it means to be a VW Wolfsburg Crest Club dealer.

The Wolfsburg Crest Club got its name from the location of the world’s biggest car plant. Opened in 1938 and located in North Germany, Wolfsburg is the headquarters of the Volkswagen Group.

Winter Car Buying

Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy a Vehicle

After all the holidays are done, everyone begins eyeing up Spring. They bundle up in the house or take a trip to somewhere hot. No one thinks about buying a vehicle in the dead of winter. But you’re smarter than that. You think of that. And because you’re on the ball and are a deal hunter extraordinaire we’re going to reward you on how to find the best vehicle and the reasons why you should buy a vehicle over winter.

Dealers Want to Move Inventory

This is the number one reason you should be looking to buy a vehicle in winter. You will get the best deals of the year. And that’s not car speak by any means.  Spring and Summer are by far the busy times of the year for buying a vehicle, but car dealerships have monthly quotas that they want to make. Inventory sits on the lots a lot longer in winter and that inventory costs the dealer more by the day. If you come in and make an offer, you generally won’t be greeted with the vehicle being in such high demand it will be gone by tomorrow. Well you might hear that, but the cold weather will relieve many of these type of pressure tactics and put you in control. More inventory to choose from and doing so at your own pace. Sounds like a pretty good time to buy.

Older Models on Sales

Not only is there generally more stock to pick from as the calendar flips over to a new year, but new model year vehicles also begin hitting the lots. You’ve all heard the model year clear-out ads on the radio or in the paper, it’s a bit of a marketing gimmick but there is truth to it. If you’re looking for a virtually new vehicle, you can get a great deal on a 2018 once the 2019s come on the lots. Sure you’ll miss out on those one or two brand new features, but in terms of bang for your buck you’re getting huge value. There’s also only a finite number of last year’s models. Once they’re gone, those deals attached to them are as well. So winter is your time to pounce.

Dealerships are Quieter

On average people only visit 1-2 dealerships in person. So generally speaking the in-person car dealership visits are fewer and further between. The cold weather adds even more to that. To be clear, the majority of car shopping is now done online, in the safety and comfort of your couch or bed. So at all times online there’s no line-ups to wait for. But once you do pick your car, unless you’re paying cash, you still have to get approved for financing. Confirm warranty upgrades. Then get insurance. And eventually sign all of the papers. Across the desk from a salesman. Most dealerships nowadays make this process pretty streamlined. However, coming into a dealership on a busy Saturday in the middle of summer you might get caught in a line-up waiting for the next salesman to come back from his test drive or finish her appointment. Not only is visiting in winter a timesaver for you, but if there’s no line-up behind you trudging through the snow to buy that same vehicle, your chances at paying less for it just got a whole lot better.

Better Accessorized Vehicles

Ever heard of buying a car on a beautiful, sunny day and they tell you they’ll throw in a free set of summer tires? Me neither. That’s because winter in Canada is accessory season. Once the snow hits we all know how different driving becomes. Often because that guy in front of you forgot how push his pedals. Mostly because it is a whole new ballgame from starting your car to getting it to stop. Luckily, when you purchase in winter, the accessory incentives for most dealerships are plentiful. Tired of running out to start that frozen car? Ask them to throw in a remote starter. Getting stuck in the tiniest of snowdrifts? You have to get a set of winter tires. Many dealerships, even if they aren’t advertising a promotion of these types of accessories, will willingly pair them with your purchase. Either as an incentive to push you to purchase or many times they can be financed right into your deal. That way you’ll get the upgrade with such a minimal payment increase that they’re virtually free anyway.

Gauge How a Car Drives in the Worst Conditions

Speaking of accessories, the best way to gauge how a car will actually perform or better yet, improve performance on those snowy icy streets is to drive it on those exact streets. If you’ve ever taken a rear-wheel drive sports car out for a spin in summer, it can be exhilarating. But take it out on a winter day and you might just be spinning your wheels, literally. Now obviously you don’t want to wait for the worst snowstorm of the year to hit so you see how well a car can plow through those ruts or how warm the heated seats can really get, but test driving in less than ideal weather will show you how great it can handle or compare to your existing vehicle and prove to you it’s time to upgrade.

Allows You to Budget

When the Holiday Season ends, the dog days of winter definitely keep the masses from the car lots. As they’re getting ready to prepare their tax returns and deciding on their summer vacation, they’ll regret not fitting in that car payment when their car doesn’t start come May. You however have a leg up, because buying a vehicle in winter allows you to budget the rest of your year. You know the payments you have to make and the available funds that you’ll have left over for all that other summer fun.

No one thinks about it, but there’s a lot to buying a vehicle in winter, including a whole lot of positives. Don’t be scared away by the cold. Come visit the FFUN Motor Group today for a for a nice warm cup of coffee instead and your best deal of the season.

Vehicle Jump Start

So Your Car Didn’t Start, Now What

Record breaking cold across the prairies. We are in the heart of winter my friends, and it’s not the greatest. You know who else it sucks for though? Your poor little vehicle. Actually it sucks just as much for your jacked up truck. Vehicles weren’t really made to handle -50. Here in Western Canada, us humans have adapted. But barring your vehicle spending an extended period in a heated area, you may be left out in the cold. Literally.

If you jump into the driver’s seat and turning the key or mashing the brake pedal and pushing that button yields nothing for you, have no fear. We have some tips for you!

Try turning the key.

We aren’t trying to patronize. Frankly we’ve all become spoiled with our vehicles these days and expect to just jump in and go. If you turn the key in winter and the car catches and starts, great! You’re on your way. If it doesn’t though, don’t call the tow truck just yet. Crank the key or push start for a few more seconds. At that point if it doesn’t catch, stop momentarily. Starter motors overheat rather easily if attempted for ten seconds or more, which would cause a whole other issue for you. Wait a couple minutes, allow your battery to power up again and give it another go.

For manual transmissions, another tactic you can try as you turn the key is slowly pushing in the clutch as you do so. This eases the work required on the battery and might give you that extra boost to turn the engine over

Batteries are not a fan of the cold.

All batteries, from the ones in your remote to the one in your car produce less output when it’s cold. They tend to be the main culprit for a car that won’t start. But a good first step is to open up the hood and take a look if there’s more of an issue than just the battery being dead. Over time a salty substance of corrosion can built up, causing the battery to not work properly. Disconnecting the battery and cleaning with a toothbrush with a concoction of baking soda and water will straighten that issue right up. It’s winter though, so try and do that inside or the frozen water could actually cause further issues. Even if you check and there are no signs of corrosion, always good to ensure you have no loose cables which could be breaking a connection.

Turn off all your accessories.

The best part of having a newer vehicle is all the bells and whistles that come with it. Unfortunately, with each heated seat it means more power required to get your car started. Step one if your engine isn’t turning over is to turn everything off. Your headlights, heated everything, your vehicle’s defrost, stereo, etc. This will allow your battery to give it all she’s got and maximize its amps in hopes of getting that engine started. If this works, don’t jam on that radio to celebrate right away. Let the car run for a bit or you may run the risk of the battery dying on you once again.

If all else fails, it’s time for a boost.

If your engine doesn’t turn over or does so weakly, and you’ve already tried the options above, it might be time for the last resort, a jump start. If you’re a boosting veteran and you’ve done it a million times, simply track down that good Samaritan and get your car running again. Many people are also subscribed to a roadside assistance service through their vehicle purchase or perhaps a sign-up through CAA. In these cases, though wait times may be excessive, you will find a professional who can assist or diagnose a further issue. However, if these options aren’t available, the next steps are up to you. Even if you’re prepared with booster cables in the trunk, it’s not a great idea to give it a go on your own if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can hurt yourself or do further damage to your vehicle. So to make sure you’re all trained up, here’s a quick breakdown of how you can boost your car in these Canadian winters in less than 10 steps.

Here’s what you need to boost your vehicle

  • Your vehicle that won’t start
  • Another vehicle that runs well
  • A driver for the second vehicle
  • Set of battery cables

Here’s the steps required to boost your vehicle

  1. Check to ensure you have a good set of booster cables. No frays or cracks.
  2. Position the vehicle that runs close enough to your non-running vehicle so that the cables can connect from one to another.
  3. Place both cars in park or neutral and with the engines off, attach one end of the red jump cable to the positive red battery terminal or bare metal on the clamp on your vehicle and the other red jump cable to the positive red battery terminal on the vehicle that runs.
  4. Do the same process with the black (though sometimes it can be white) jump cable to the negative black battery terminal on the running vehicle ONLY.
  5. The black ground cable for the dead car DOES NOT get connected to the battery terminal. Clamp this one to bare, unpainted metal on the engine block or a bare metal bolt attached to it. Attaching to the battery itself can actually cause the battery to explode if the circuit isn’t grounded.
  6. Check the connection of the dead car by turning the key to accessory “On” mode, without starting it. If the dashboard lights up, you’ve connected correctly, if not, you maybe need to adjust the clamps a bit.
  7. Prior to attempting to start your own engine, start the donor vehicle that runs, and leave it running for a few minutes with the engine running at 2,000 RPM. You might have to rev up the engine above its regular idle to ensure you’re hitting this metric.
  8. It’s finally go time. Turn the key and try to start the vehicle that was not running. If it is just a battery issue, the vehicle should turn over no problem. Once it’s running smoothly, while it’s still on, disconnect the cables in the reverse order of how they were connected above.
  9. Keep in mind, just because it started, your battery is not charged. Ensure you run your vehicle for a minimum of twenty minutes before turning it off or you’ll be at risk of needing a boost again.

And that’s it, at this point you should be back on the road. Keep in mind though, once you’ve had a dead battery from cold weather, just because your vehicle runs doesn’t mean your battery is healthy. If you’ve required a boost, get your battery checked out as soon as you possible from a certified service technician, like the ones at FFUN Motor Group and ensure there’s no permanent damage that will leave you stranded again.

Winter

If You’re Cold, Your Vehicle is Cold Too

It’s winter. And it’s cold outside. This time of year you either bundle up until you can barely move or you say screw it, and jump on a plane to somewhere where you can wear shorts and have no fear of your legs falling off from frostbite. Winter in Canada can be a doozy. But as much as we hate it as humans, your vehicles despise it just as much, if not more.

You’ve braved the cold and made it into the driver’s seat, so this is the worst time to have a problem occur. Unfortunately, actually starting your vehicle is usually the cold winter culprit. So let’s be nice to our cars, trucks, vans and SUVs and talk about some preventative measures to make those cold mornings a little more pleasant for everyone in involved.

Keep Your Vehicle Warm

Seems simple right. If it’s available to you, the easiest bet is to park in a garage, a heated garage would be preferable, an underground variety would be a close second, but any shelter will keep the vehicle’s temperature that much more bearable. This includes anything that may assist in hiding your vehicle from the wind or cold, such parking under a tree or next to a building. You’d be surprised how much of a difference several degrees of warmth can do for that vehicle of yours.

Next, don’t worry about the power bill, plug in your vehicle’s engine block heater to keep it warm overnight. How it works is it helps the oil and other fluids stay warm so they can continue to flow smoothly, especially for diesel vehicles.

Use the Right Oil

All owner’s manuals will continue detail of what type of oil should be used in all weather types, including cold conditions. Most synthetic oils have no issues in the cold as long as you use the correct type. For reference, that W in your oil type, such as 5W40 actually stands for winter, and is telling you how well your oil will flow in cold temperatures. The lower the number, the better the flow. So make sure you’re aware of what that local oil change place is putting in your car.

Monitor Your Fuel Gauge

This is thought to be a bit of an old wives’ tale but keeping your gas tank topped up or at least filled to half during the winter months is actually very important, even more so if your vehicle runs on diesel. First off, you never want to head out on the road with a chance to run out of gas and become stranded in the cold in winter time, so that’s just good practice. But more importantly, not being topped up can cause issues with water in your gas tank. Condensation builds up when cold water vapour gets in contact with a warm surface. Like water dripping down your cold windows as it meets a warmer surface, if there’s available space in you gas tank, this can happen in that area as well. As it slides down into the fuel itself, this is when issues occur. Water and gas do not mix, and when you add cold to the equation you’re looking at potential corrosion or the freezing of fuel lines that prevent gas from reaching your car’s engine. In the case of a diesel, the fuel can actually gel in the cold weather. This is what causes stalls or refusals to start in the first place.

Antifreeze was Built for a Reason

Antifreeze prevents coolant from freezing. When water or any liquid for that matter freezes, it builds up pressure which can cause cracks in your engine block and other areas of the internal workings of your vehicle. Smooth flowing coolant means happier, running cars. The antifreeze jug itself shows you it’s recommended use based on a temperature range to make sure you’re covered regardless. Typically vehicles use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, which covers you to the -35 Celsius range. However, the colder it gets, the larger percentage of that mix you should be using, a 70/30 split isn’t a bad idea when Mother Nature really lays one on us.

Beware the Carburetor on Your Old Car

Used vehicles are sticking to the roads longer and longer thanks the quality of builds we’ve seen over the past number of years. If you have a definitive veteran unit, from the early 1980s or even before that, you may also run into an issue with your carburetor in the cold. These carburetors that mix fuel with air in the engine are very finicky in the cold as their jets get clogged up with ice when the fuel doesn’t evaporate as it normally should. Just another potential issue and likely a reason for an upgrade to your next ride.

Warming the Car Up

Lastly, if your car does start, with a growl back at you or not, the question is always how long you should let it idle before driving away. The answer from auto experts may surprise you, as they advise 30 seconds is more than enough. Your car actually will warm up faster while being driven. So don’t worry about shivering in that cold car until the temperature needle starts to inch up. Go get to your destination and warm up!

At the end of the day if you ran into one of these issues and your car doesn’t start, have no fear. Neighbours, tow trucks and dealerships themselves are always there to help you out. They’ll assist in troubleshooting the issue and you’ll be back on the road in no time. And if you need a vehicle upgrade, we’ve got a few great people we’d love for you to talk to at the FFUN Motor Group.

Winterize Your Vehicle

It’s (Sadly) Time to Winterize Your Summer Toys

We always hate to admit it, but when it gets cold enough out that it’s deemed “hoodie weather” the sad truth is that our summer fun has passed us by for another year. Whether it’s your car, bike, boat, trailer or any other summer toy, the time has likely come to pack them up and put them away for the winter.

Unlike the kid’s toys, you can’t just shove your summer toys into a pile in the garage to pull-out and dust off come spring time. It takes a little preparation, sometimes from the professionals, to keep these units in tip-top shape. So take the time now, so you don’t miss a moment of the season when the weather turns again.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get your summer possessions ready for storage.

Cars and Motorcycles

  • You’ll want to start by performing an oil change and topping up all fluids
  • Fill your tank with gas, adding fuel stabilizers to avoid depletion and condensation
  • Inflate your tires to the recommended PSI to prevent them from flattening from lack of use
  • Clean your car or bike, inside and out, the best you can. This is the greatest prevention for rust or corrosion. If there’s stains on any of the upholstery, remove them now as well or risk having the stain become permanent
  • Vehicle batteries kept in the cold can freeze or crack, so you’ll want to disconnect the battery, as well as turn off the alarm and store it in a warm, dry place
  • Put on your vehicle cover, with all compartments securely fastened. For extra protection, consider using an interior car jacket
  • After you’ve done everything to store your vehicle, do not start it up again. This can add moisture build up in the engine, especially if it doesn’t get the chance to warm up to operating temperature

Boats, Engines and Personal Watercraft

  • There are a lot of variations on how to winterize your watercrafts depending on the models, type, the power, etc. An incorrectly winterized engine can become severely damaged and potentially ruined by leftover water
  • Fill the gas tank and treat it with a good fuel stabilizer. Despite what the instructions may say, double the dosage to ensure the fuel supply is completely treated. Run the engine for at least half hour to ensure the treated fuel gets from the tank into the engine
  • For two-stroke engines, spray engine tuner into the intake while the engine is running. This will help break down hard carbon deposits on the pistons, rings and cylinder heads
  • Use quality engine fogging oil to fog the engine
  • Drain out the old gear lubricant from the gear case/drive unit. If the old lube you removed is black and smelly or milky, brownish with water in it, resolve the left behind residue before you put in new lube.
  • For inboard motors, four-stroke outboard motors, stern drives and personal watercrafts, you’ll want to change the engine oil and filter
  • Grease your fittings, such as the steering
  • Remove propeller(s) and if damaged, send out to be repaired over the winter
  • Store outboards with the engine in its running position to ensure leftover water in the gear case has a chance to drain
  • Tape the exhaust outlets shut to prevent pests from entering and making your vehicle their hibernating spot
  • Disconnect your battery and store it in a warm, dry location with trickle charger installed
  • Wash your watercraft, inside and out, and add a protective finish wax for extra coverage
  • Use a ventilated cover for the watercraft to prevent moisture from becoming trapped

Trailer Units

  • Perform maintenance on the unit (repack wheel bearings, wiring, check/repair lights, check/replace winch strap, rotten bunk boards/covering, etc.)
  • Lubricate your pivot points (tongue jack, coupler, etc.)
  • If you can, jack up the axle and block so tires are off the ground to reduce the chance of flat spotting and rot
  • If possible, remove wheels and tires and store them inside

If you’re not of the handy variety, ensure you consult your dealer, such as FFUN Motor Sports or a local pro to help you to ensure you don’t miss a costly step. The last thing you want to run into is a cracked block, drive housing or clogged carburetors and their costly repair bills come springtime. Though it’s never fun to put away these toys for the winter, it’s all but necessary to keep your car, bike, boat, trailer and more, lasting for years to come. Take the time now and you can enjoy the ride the minute the snow melts next year.

Hyundai Service Competition

Endless Opportunities – One Service Advisor’s Journey from Saskatoon to South Korea

The automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. Sure, that can make business difficult, but it also comes with some huge positives – innovation, focus, and ultimately; improving customer service. This competition exists well beyond selling vehicles at one dealership versus another, it exists internally as dealerships and their staff push themselves to be better, every day.

Cue the story of Spencer Boyenko, a 23-year-old Service Advisor at FFUN Motor Group’s Saskatoon North Hyundai location. Growing up on a farm in Vonda, Saskatchewan, 30 minutes outside of Saskatoon, Spencer was an outgoing kid, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with himself after graduating high school. After dabbling in a couple of odd jobs, he applied as a Wash Bay, Service Drive-Through Tech at Kia of Saskatoon. Showing initiative and raising his hand as looking for more, Spencer was promoted to an Advisor at our North Hyundai location. With the help of FFUN’s training programs, a lot of hard work and guidance from some senior staff, in just two short years, Spencer began to stand-out from the crowd with customer service scores well above average.Hyundai Canada Headquarters

Last month, his accomplishments garnered him a recommendation from Hyundai’s Zone Manager to submit an application to take part in the 2018 Hyundai National Customer Experience Championship. (Yes, there is a championship for service advisors. We told you we’re competitive!). After completing numerous training courses and passing three exams, Spencer was notified he was one of twelve people across Canada – and the only advisor from Saskatchewan and Manitoba – to be chosen to compete at the event in Markham, Ontario.

Spencer boarded a plane for the 3-day event with no idea what to expect. Placed amongst the twelve other contestants, most double his age, he knew he was in for some tough competition. The goal of this contest is to get Hyundai brand representatives to deliver the best customer service in the automotive field. The first days consisted of training modules, with each attendee sharing their own experiences, tips and tricks on dealing with customers and difficult situations. The final day, the testing began, including numerous customer role playing scenarios where you were required to ask the right questions, spark the problems and kindly deal with all customer requests. Once all contestants had completed their scenarios, they gathered around a screen where the results were announced. Low and behold, Spencer’s name appeared on the screen, along with an advisor from Quebec, Frederic Blais, as the National winners. It was announced that the two of them would be heading to South Korea in November to see the Hyundai plant and compete against 30 other countries as Canada’s representatives at the 2018 Hyundai Global Customer Experience Championship.

This is an incredible accomplishment by Spencer. We are very proud of his efforts and look forward to seeing him bring home another championship. But everyone was wondering, how in the world did he accomplish this feat at such a young age?

His response “I started working here fresh, with no preconceived notions of the industry. The FFUN Motor Group has provided me outstanding training around process, how to handle customers and objections. I’ve also had some tremendous mentors and learned directly from their success. I came in to this job with an open mind, determined to grow and have been given every opportunity to continue forward, improve and impress.”

Spencer is wise beyond his years and incredibly personable, which makes his customers feel so at ease. He attributes this to the household he grew up in. This is also how he grew into his love of cars, but that’s not his only pastime, “I also love to play video games”. Yep, the competitive spirit never ends.

Winter-Tires

The Ultimate Winter Driving Question. Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires vs. All-Wheel Drive?

It’s almost winter, and how you prepare for it, especially driving, can make a big difference. Some people will tell you, if you have all-wheel drive you don’t need winter tires. And others will tell you if you have winter tires you don’t need all-wheel drive. The truth is, neither are correct, because when it comes to winter driving, the more grip you can get on the roads, the better.

The tire industry invented the idea of the all-season tires a number of years ago and people took that as they don’t have to buy anything extra for winter. The truth is, all-season tires state M+S (mud and snow) on the side, but really don’t hold up to ice and snow. This really makes them three-season tires, a term you’re starting to hear the past couple years.

Winter-Tires

A lot of all-season tires are also promoted as being long-lasting – up to 130,000 kilometres. To have that kind of tread life and improve fuel economy, the rubber has to be harder. When the temperature gets below 7 degrees Celsius they become even more firm and brittle, essentially becoming hockey pucks that shoot across the ice. Great in the arena, not great on a busy highway.

Most people don’t realize that tires are the single most important safety feature on any vehicle. Your tires provide the only connection between your car and the road, and life-saving technologies like antilock brakes and electronic stability control cannot do their job if the tires don’t have a good grip on the pavement. Winter tires could actually be called, cold weather tires. The tread stays soft and their bigger blocks of rubber are able to more effectively grip the ice, slush or whatever conditions you’re driving through. Thus, bringing you up to speed quicker and helping you stop quicker as well.

In Consumer Reports tests, winter tires stopped six feet shorter, on average, than all-seasons on ice. And winter tires required a shorter distance – 22 feet less than all-seasons – to accelerate from 8 to 32 km/h on moderately packed snow.

All-wheel drive doesn’t make a difference in stopping either – in fact, heavier all-wheel-drive vehicles can take even longer than a two-wheel-drive vehicle to stop on all-seasons. At the end of the day, all-wheel drive, though great, is a performance feature, not a safety feature, and it has nothing to do with braking and cornering. With all-wheel drive you can accelerate pretty good on snow from a stoplight, but when you have to stop, physics always wins.

So should you buy winter tires? Absolutely. Especially if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle. Take that available grip and spread it to all four corners for acceleration, and when it’s time to brake and steer, your winter tires will really excel and could just save you from an emergency situation.

The magic time for winter tires is when the temperature hits 7 degrees Celsius. That’s when the performance of tire varieties really starts to take shape. This tends to be in October, but in Saskatoon, Edmonton or anywhere in Canada for that matter, that’s never a given. To ensure you’re ready for the first snowfall, avoid lineups and get the full selection of tire options, now is the time to start your search. That search should begin at the FFUN Motor Group tire headquarters, www.treadnation.ca. Shop online and get the best savings and benefits in the Saskatchewan market today.

Atlas Family

My VW Story – Opening Up an Atlas

Buying a car isn’t fun. That was always my thought. Who wants to deal with the stress of haggling tooth and nail for the second largest purchase of your life. That’s likely why I kept my last vehicle for 10 years. When you buy a house, most people go into it armed with an information and the support system in the form of a Realtor. When you buy a car, you research online for 15 hours so that when you step into a dealership you don’t get taken advantage of as much as you would have otherwise. Again, at least that’s what people think.

I was recently looking to buy a new vehicle for my wife to drive, and fit our growing family. Two kids (soon to be three) and two dogs (a rather large Goldendoodle and a lapdog Boston Terrier that needs his own seat). Logically the first step was the same as anyone researching, hit the internet. So we searched and searched some more, specifically for 7-seater vehicles. More room was determined as our number one factor. We greatly considered the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Kia Sorrento and potentially the Acura MDX, but at the end of the day we settled on the new Volkswagen Atlas. The selling features that got us were the no-touch lift gate, heated and cooled seats, and the captain’s chairs for the second row. What we weren’t sure of at the time was what trim level would cover each of these features.

Humans are innately terrible at making up our minds. Buying a vehicle amplifies that. In fact, we made Chris, RJ, Jay and the gang at VW Centre of Saskatoon really work for the sale. I reached out on a Friday in May, asking if I could take an Atlas for a weekend test drive. Graciously the team at Volkswagen Saskatoon obliged and had the unit ready for me to pick-up first thing Saturday morning. The vehicle we took only had a bench seat as the second row, and we realized that’s actually all we needed. It drove smooth and was extremely roomy, enough the kids can’t even kick your seat. But at the same time, it didn’t feel like you’re driving a tank. A really important feature for my wife who didn’t want to have an anxiety attack anytime she had to park, especially in the garage. We finished the test drive that weekend and told the guys we needed time to think it over.

At that point life took over. Next thing you knew it was Father’s Day, then we headed on a trip for Canada Day and we were steamrolling through July. Throughout the process we received regular check-ins from VW Centre of Saskatoon, exclusively through email, my desired mode of contact. They asked how the family was doing, where are heads were at and if they could help us with anything. Never intrusive, never overstepping their bounds. And each time they reached out it reinvigorated our search and prompted us to ask new questions. How much would this feature be to add? I don’t think we actually need the captain’s chairs anymore. And on and on.

Atlas RLine

Atlas RLine

That’s when we heard about Volkswagen’s new sporty RLine package, a delayed production addition for the Atlas that really enhanced the look of the vehicle. Adding in fancier 20-inch rims, meaner air intakes for the front bumper and really just making the vehicle appear more in-line with the luxury SUV models. Except with, you know, still having the interior built for the spills, bumps and bruises of a growing family. We were sold. And when we called the dealership, what do you know, they were getting their first shipment of RLine models in that weekend. Oddly enough, the financing side of things was the easiest part. It’s like a choose your own adventure. Do you want extended warranty? You decide, it comes standard with four years coverage. How about tire and rim protection? Yeah, we’ll take that, our Saskatchewan streets aren’t really built for longevity. And that same day we put down our payment, swapped the plates on our trade-in and drove home with the new ride. We were off on a road trip 8:00am the next day and now our only vehicle worry is where do we take it next.

What does this all tell you? Buying a vehicle can be easy. It can be fun. And you don’t have to feel pressured to make a decision until you’re ready. So basically the opposite of everything you fear . The biggest decision you need to make? Make sure you’re buying from the right people, that’s what we found in the FFUN Motor Group and the VW Centre of Saskatoon.

Genesis, Hyundai and Kia top the J.D. Power Quality Rankings for the First Time

Korean quality, that’s the name of the game in J.D. Power’s latest annual Initial Quality Study. Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, topped the annual U.S. report card for 2018 new vehicle quality for the first-time ever. Their renewed focus on giving customers exactly what they want and avoiding operator confusion by not making the vehicles too complicated is at the heart of their first-place ranking. They are followed in the rankings by Kia, who had led this study the past two years, and Hyundai taking third place. This is the first time South Korea’s three main automotive brands have led these survey results.

J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a focus on vehicle exterior, interior, safety, performance and other criteria. For 2018, Genesis ranks highest in initial quality with a score of 68 PP100, followed by Kia (72) and Hyundai (74). The Korean trio have taken over from the longtime Japanese leaders, Toyota and Honda, who ranked below the industry average for 2018.

JD Power Initial Quality Ranking 2018

Overall, new-vehicle quality has increased for the fourth consecutive year and has reached its best level ever. The area where car companies have made the biggest improvement is vehicle exterior, specifically around less wind noise and fewer paint imperfections. Electronics and infotainment system technology remain the most problematic category for new vehicle owners. However, the improvement of built-in voice recognition systems, has increased their scores in recent years. Safety continues to be a concern as well. Despite the level of problems being low, these types of issues have been increasing by about 20% annually for the past three years.

In addition to offering the top three brands, the FFUN Group sported nine segment winners. If you’re looking for quality in your next new vehicle, each of these models are worth a look.

Small car: Kia Rio

Small premium car: Acura ILX

Midsize sporty car: Ford Mustang

Large premium car: Genesis G90

Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan

Small SUV: Hyundai Tucson

Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento

Large SUV: Ford Expedition

Large heavy-duty pickup: Ford Super Duty (tie)

J.D. Power said the study is based on responses from 75,712 buyers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles. The study was conducted from February through May.

DriveNation Abbotsford Team

BC Bound, DriveNation Continues its Expansion Across Western Canada

SASKATOON, SK, JULY 12, 2018 – The economic climate has created a lot of uncertainty in the automotive sector as of late, but one point of consistency is the continued growth of DriveNation, one of Canada’s fastest growing automotive dealerships.

Solely focused on used cars, DriveNation’s humble beginnings in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan are a distant memory, as they have announced they are opening their eighth location, DriveNation Abbotsford, their first in the province of British Columbia.

“People weren’t created to stay in one place,” says Neil Irvine, Vice President of Operations for DriveNation. “Regardless of the economy, your credit situation, or frankly your background, we help get people into a quality vehicle that they can trust will get them to their next destination. We do this by providing a set of benefits that alleviate any concern of buying a dud, something most people fear when looking at a used vehicle.”

DriveNation was established in 2012 to fill an unmet need in the automotive market. Delivering a used car buying experience that puts customers at ease and provides access to credit in minutes, regardless of financial situation. With the biggest used vehicle sourcing network in Canada, backed by quality standards such as free history reports, 90 day/3,000 kilometer warranty and 7-day exchange, they are confident in supplying the best used vehicles on the market. It’s this reason DriveNation has become the go-to place for cars and credit in Saskatchewan in just a few short years and has since branched out to Alberta and now BC, bringing even more people closer to acquiring the vehicle of their dreams.

Moving back to her home province of B.C. has always been the dream for Amber Seguin, the General Manager for DriveNation’s new location in Abbotsford. “I’ve been with DriveNation since their inception,” notes Seguin. “The experience in buying a vehicle with us is so much different than other dealerships. We don’t have commission sales staff, so we don’t have that extreme high-pressure atmosphere. It allows the process to be much more comfortable for both the customer and our sales team, who can actually focus on getting the right vehicle for you, not the one that will pay them the most.”

Soft opening its doors on July 7th the Abbotsford dealership is situated across from the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre at 32835 S Fraser Way. Open Monday through Sunday, the store features ample parking onsite, a large showroom entrance and will soon facilitate its own parts and service area. Coupled with a strong online presence, DriveNation allows its customers to shop in comfort, and at their own pace throughout the buying process, culminating in that visit to see the 60 plus vehicles on the lot.

“Our business model works and scales so easily because it’s all about doing right by our customers,” says Irvine. “I’ve seen firsthand the difference we’ve made in people’s lives that never thought they could afford a vehicle. Our competitively-priced, low mileage vehicles, combined with our quick and simple online retail process will be a great new alternative for car buyers in Abbotsford and surrounding area.”

DriveNation has put over 10,000 Canadians behind the wheel of their new car, truck, van or SUV. With programs dedicated to those new to Canada, with no credit and those who need their credit rebuilt, they have become Canada’s most trusted used car dealership.

“I missed the beautiful scenery and people of this province but being a part of a group that is changing the way people think about used automotive dealerships has given me the opportunity to come back here and truly make a difference,” adds Seguin. “We’re going to have a lot of fun and bring out a ton of smiles in this community. I’m really excited to get started.”

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About DriveNation

Since 2012, DriveNation has been building Canada’s largest used car dealership network. Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, DriveNation operates eight dealerships nationwide. Built around a strong core of amazing benefits, their goal is to get customers in the exact used car, truck, van or SUV that fits their needs, regardless of credit situation. Experts in used car loans, DriveNation has financed tens of thousands of people across the country. With flexible finance options, approvals in minutes and a selection of hundreds of vehicles to choose from, they deliver the easiest vehicle buying experience available today. Don’t settle for anything less than full transparency, great service and a vehicle you can count on. DriveNation. The Best Way to Buy a Used Car. Ever. DriveNation is a division of the FFUN Group, one of the country’s fastest growing and Canada’s Best Managed companies. To learn more about them, visit www.drivenation.ca.