Two more 2014 models, the new Toyota Tundra and Ford Fiesta, have arrived at local dealerships with new body styles and more standard features.
The Fiesta, which arrived at local Ford dealerships in mid-September, now includes cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod interface and seven airbags. Among the options are heated front seats, leather upholstery, keyless ignition and the MyFord Touch touchscreen control interface (with or without a navigation system).
"The Fiesta is a very popular model for us," said Birchwood Keystone Ford sales rep Zane Puhach, who noted that the subcompact is available in a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. Both are available in S, SE and Titanium trim levels, while the high-performance ST model is available only as a hatchback.
Base price of the Fiesta is $19,900 plus freight and pdi.
Nelson Gaspar, fleet and lease manager at Woodhaven Toyota, said the new Tundra has a more aggressive, masculine style. The new look features squared-off lines, a higher hood, a larger, brighter grille out front and a large "Tundra" badge stamped into the tailgate.
Inside, the radio and climate controls have been moved closer to the driver, and Toyota has added its Entune suite of smartphone-connected services. A new standard feature is a rearview camera, while a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts is a new option.
The 2014 Toyota Tundra is offered in three body styles -- two-door regular cab, extended four-door double cab and the four-door crew cab, called the CrewMax. These body styles are mixed among two wheelbases and three bed lengths -- a 5.5-foot short bed, 6.5-foot standard bed and 8.1-foot long bed. Double cabs and CrewMaxes seat five or six, depending on how you equip them.
There are also five trim levels -- the base Tundra SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition.
"The 1794 model brings a new level of luxury to the Tundra," Gaspar said, noting the model is named after the founding year of the Texas ranch where the Toyota factory that builds the Tundras is located.
"It's like Ford's King Ranch limited edition. The 1794's interior and exterior are both unique. They're cool."
Available only as a CrewMax, the 1794 has silver exterior details, with saddle-brown leather upholstery with ultra-suede trim for the front seats and matching soft-touch materials for the shift console, door trim and instrument panel.
"Our customers really like the new design," Gaspar said. "We've sold quite a few already, including one 1794 model."
The base price for the 2014 Tundra is $26,750 plus freight and pdi. The 1794 sells for a base price of $54,000 plus freight and pdi.
Gaspar adds that the Tundra is the only half-ton pickup so far that adheres to the new SAEJ2807 towing standard.
GM's kart racing sons make dad proud
Woodhaven Lexus Toyota general manager Jeff Bachalo literally took a back seat to his sons, Stephen and Brad, during the recent kart-racing season, and the 2012 Manitoba Karting Association Driver of the Year couldn't be happier.
Stephen Bachalo, 13, just completed his sixth season of racing. He won the Manitoba Rotax Minimax championship and finished in the top five nationally for the third year in a row.
Brad, at seven years old, was rookie of the year last year and is continuing the family run of championship rides. "Brad is making tremendous progress," said his dad. "He's even surprising me by how well he is doing."
Brad was the Manitoba Champion in the Junior 1 Briggs Class. His father describes an exciting last race. Brad was in the lead half way through when he developed a mechanical hiccup -- a pine cone got caught in the kart and slowed him down. He fell behind but was able to get the pine cone out and win in a near-photo finish.
This year, Brad Bachalo is the Manitoba Karting Association Driver of the Year. This is the first time that the award has been won by both a father and son, his dad said.
"I was the oldest person to have won and Brad is the youngest," he noted.
Jeff Bachalo took up go kart racing somewhat later in life. He raced for seven seasons before taking some time off to support his sons this year.
"I will probably get back into it," he said. "After winning driver of the year, it seemed to be a good time to take a break."
Long-time sales star joins Chudds Chrysler
Don Bales has had an outstanding record in auto sales. Hales left the family farm in 1986 to sell cars for Craig Dunn Motor City in Portage La Prairie. Over a 26-year career there, he ranked among Canada's top GM sales reps, inducted into GM's Sales Guild, more than 20 times.
About 15 months ago, he left the Portage GM store to pursue an opportunity in management at Portage Chrysler Dodge Jeep. While there, he got to know fellow Chrysler dealer Kim Chudd in Gimli.
"Kim and I established a good working relationship," Hales said. "She needed some management help. Chudds is an old-line dealership with a huge local following and I like the way they look after their customers. I decided to move here (as of the beginning of October). So far, it is going very well."