In the last week of October, I made a short visit to BMW Canada head office in Richmond Hill, ON. Unlike my regular visits for years to pick up or drop off a test vehicle, the purpose of this visit was a bit different.
Joanne Bon, Media Relations/Press Fleet Coordinator, arranged this meeting even if she could not attend us. Joanne was the person who approved our first loaner. I met Barb Pitblado, Corporate Communications Director, for the photo ceremony. This photo shooting was ceremonial and aimed at celebrating the 10th anniversary of our first press vehicle from BMW Canada. Pleasantly this photo shooting coincided with Barb’s 10th year at BMW Canada. Cassady Louks was kind enough to take the pictures. We wore our masks and kept social distancing during the shoot. I also enjoyed the conversation with Barb about BMW’s design language, upcoming models and design ideas we will see on the market in the near future.
Back to 10 years ago: On October 25th, 2010, I picked up a BMW 535i at Endras, a dealership in Ajax. After driving this car for a week, I published my first official review at the Telve magazine.
I also had the privilege of testing the vehicle at the closed circuit of ILR, Ian Law’s Car Control School. I did not miss the opportunity to complete a day-course on Pro-Active Driving and got my certificate. At this time, our website, www.autoandroad.com, did not exist. We express our thanks to BMW Canada for being the first company in Canada entrusting us with a media vehicle for review.
Since then, in 10 years, I and Dan, my colleague, tested 32 BMW and 11 Mini vehicles and drove a total of 39417 kilometres and proudly without any incidents. This is almost exactly circumnavigating the earth. In some instances, with BMW’s preapproval, we crossed the border to the USA. For example, we went to Detroit with a BMW Z3 in 2013 and at least once to the North American International Motor Show in the middle of winter.
Today we as AutoAndRoad are proud to be accredited by 19 different brands from almost all major manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai-KIA-Genesis.
We enjoyed posing with the new generation 3 and 4 series BMWs with its new grills. We are looking forward to testing other BMW and MINI vehicles in the next year and beyond and will be happy to stay connected with BMW Canada.
Please find below a copy of the review article I published at the Telve Magazine by then:
Article and photos by Varol McKars