New look, new outlook

February 25, 2022

If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to use my space in this issue to highlight a few things we’ve been up to that I believe you’ll see benefit in.

First off, we relaunched the websites for Canadian auto dealer and Affaires automobiles.

To be blunt, this was long overdue. The previous site builds go back to the launch of Universus in 2010, and while they were good at the time, the world has moved a long way since then. We hope you’ll see a big difference across all the types of devices you visit us on.

What will you see?

Much improved legibility across all devices, with better use of space, new font choices and a better overall architecture to offer a more clear, open and pleasing viewing experience.

Our load times are much faster. After a dozen years of content creation, the sheer volume of articles and columns was really bogging the previous sites down. This is much improved thanks to a revised back end and a new hosting server that greatly improves performance.

We’ve also changed the site structure to better organize the articles, improving the content suggestions that should be of interest based on your reading behaviours.

Improved content sharing will make it easier for you to forward articles across your social media or email channels. We hear often that our readers see great value in sharing our content across different departments in their dealerships. This is now easier.

And finally, the sites provide improved handling of advertising materials. As you know, Canadian auto dealer and Affaires automobiles exist thanks to the support of our advertisers. Our new website improves ad performance, load times and placement options to give our advertisers more value for their investment.

We would like to hear your feedback, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

In our second big announcement, we’re very excited to share that the State of Charge Canadian EV Monitor is almost ready for prime time. Our sister company Clarify Group Inc. will be launching this industry-wide study of EV consumer behaviour very shortly. In fact, Darren Slind highlights some of the preliminary findings in his Road Ahead column on page 20 of this issue.

As Darren details in his column, State of Charge tracks the awareness, attitudes, behaviours, preferences and barriers to EV adoption on a scale and with a speed, frequency, and cost effectiveness that traditional research techniques simply can’t match.

Frankly, a thorough understanding of consumers and their engagement with—and sentiments towards—all aspects of the EV revolution is  critical if the industry and society at large  are going to make that transition successfully.

As we consider where we sit today, there are all kinds of lines drawn in the sand around the end of the internal combustion era.

From the pronouncements from a variety  of OEMs to the federal government’s goal of  100 percent ZEV sales by 2035, there is no shortage of bold targets. What there isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, is a goal to get there.

The missing piece of the puzzle is the consumer. And we believe State of Charge can be the key information source that will help us all understand where consumers are today, and how they evolve.

This will be critically important information for dealers. If we can help you understand consumers’ levels of awareness, engagement and sentiment across all aspects of the EV landscape, we can help equip you to know the EV customer and understand your opportunities.

Look for far more to come on State of Charge in coming issues, and as with our website launch, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, thoughts and ideas.

About Niel Hiscox

Niel Hiscox is the President of Universus Media Group Inc. and the Publisher of Canadian auto dealer magazine. Niel can be reached at 289 338-0166 and

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