All things digital from the top experts in the business today.
Calgary Int'l Auto & Truck Show
Mar. 7-10, 2024
Expecting 25 brands to be represented.
Svc. Advisor Training
Mar. 12, 2024
Mar. 12, 2024
Keys to Communication
Time Mgmt Training
Mar. 26, 2024
The Auto Experience
Apr. 4-7, 2024
Reimagining the Auto Show!
unWorkshop 2024 - Part 2
Apr. 18, 2024
All things digital from the top experts in the business today.
Happy holidays to everyone and all the best as we head into another year! It was great news today to see the sales results for November, by province. On the heals of a very strong recovery in inventory, we saw Alberta post a growth of 31.9% over a year ago (2nd to our friends in Saskatchewan) driving our year-to-date number up to 14.1% better than 2022, strongest in the country. Well done everyone, it’s a pretty solid performance as we turn the page on a new year.
In spite of the end of the year looming, our governments have been hard at work making announcements and passing legislation. The biggest announcement was by the federal government relating to the ZEV mandate, or as they now call it, the Federal EV Availability Standard. Unfortunately, there were few changes to the mandate, other than they will allow some Plug-In Hybrids to count toward the required numbers (capped at 20% of the total, per OEM). It was interesting during the press conference that the government played down the charging infrastructure challenge, suggesting that the consumers would simply install chargers at their home, where 80% of the charging would take place. (Hope nobody plans to travel far from home…) The MDA, working with CADA, continues to speak with all levels of government to ensure the challenges are brought to their attention. I’m sure there will be more development on this as we work our way through 2024.
I had the honor of attending a number of functions this month and would like to thank the Calgary Motor Dealers Association for the invitation to their AGM & Christmas Dinner – the turnout was outstanding, and it was great to see everyone that evening. Last week, I attended the Wood Automotive Group’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. Congratulation to Gerry and Elaine Wood – it’s been quite a ride from a small GM store in Vulcan to the organization that exists today.
Finally, I was invited this week to attend a cheque presentation by the Mid-Southern Alberta Toyota Dealers, who donated $1 million to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of CAR-T Cell Therapy. The presentation took place at the new Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Hospital (opening in October 2024) in Calgary, where, in addition to patient care, a substantial amount of research around this type of cancer treatment will take place. I hope none of you ever have to make use of this facility, but if it happens, take comfort in the fact that you have a state-of-the-art operation at your disposal. Congratulations to each of the participating dealers.
In closing, Denise and I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past year and we wish each of you all the best in 2024.
CADA National Workforce Study
Enrollment for the Workforce Study is Now Open
The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) is pleased to be conducting the national Workforce Study for all CADA members in 2024! Participating dealers will receive a wealth of valuable data and specific comparison reports on various components related to employment at your dealership.
Please visit cadaworkforcestudy.com to enroll your dealership and to be able to participate in January. By completing the survey between January and April, CADA members will receive access to specific comparison reports to other dealers in their province. These reports will include data on various workforce metrics such as hours of operation and work schedules, compensation, paid time off, retention & turnover and employee benefits. You can review a sample report on the website.
CADA is pleased to welcome MNP as the exclusive sponsor of our 2024 CADA Workforce Study. Their invaluable support will help us gather and analyze key employment and labour force data from dealerships across Canada. MNP is one of Canada’s leading professional services firms — proudly serving individuals, businesses, and organizations in the areas of accounting, consulting, tax and digital services.
Securing a Safe Start in 2024: Navigating New Year's Risks and Protecting Your Assets
As we kick off the new year, it's crucial for us to stay abreast of the challenges facing our industry. Recent reports from the Alberta Motor Association have sounded an alarming note—vehicle thefts in our province have surged by 17%, with an average of 57 vehicles disappearing daily. This statistic should serve as a stark reminder of the need for heightened security measures at our dealerships.
Especially in cold weather, the risk is heightened as motorists inadvertently leave keys in unlocked, idling vehicles. Shockingly, approximately 50% of all stolen vehicles in Alberta are taken with the keys left inside. The implications of vehicle theft extend beyond mere inconvenience; stolen vehicles are often employed in more serious crimes such as break-ins and robberies. To safeguard our communities, we must collectively take action to curb auto theft.
Here are five practical Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies to fortify your dealership:
Car Placement: Strategically position cars to deter theft and make towing more challenging.
Lot Protection: Well-lit lots with proper fencing act as deterrents, making thieves less likely to operate in exposed areas.
Inventory System: Implement a strict inventory system, limiting access and tracking movement through an in/out log.
Secure the Service Department: Protect keys and fobs by storing them securely, reducing opportunities for opportunistic theft.
In synergy with these strategies, explore our Redhanded™ remote guarding security, supported by a 24/7 5-star monitoring station, offering a subtle yet powerful layer of security. Unlike conventional surveillance systems, our approach allows us to proactively intervene in real-time, providing a nuanced advantage in preventing incidents before they occur. This significantly reduces the likelihood of permanent damage to your property and the loss of assets for good.
Mid-Southern Toyota Dealers Donation
$1 Million to Alberta Cancer Foundation to support CAR-T Cell Therapy Research
On Tuesday morning, the Mid-Southern Alberta Toyota dealers gathered at the Arthur JE Child Comprehensive Cancer Hospital in Calgary for an exciting announcement. The group of dealers are contributing $1 million to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, in support of CAR-T Cell Therapy Research.
The announcement was made at the new hospital that is located at the Foothills Medical Centre, considered one of Canada's largest hospitals. This new state of the art facility is scheduled to open in October of 2024.
Participating dealerships are: Canyon Creek Toyota, Charlesglen Toyota, Cochrane Toyota, Country Hills Toyota, Heninger Toyota, High River Toyota, Red Deer Toyota, South Pointe Toyota, and Stampede Toyota.
AMVIC Quick Hits
Sales Consultant Registration & Renewal
It was surprising (and concerning) at the failure volume during the last wave of inspections, for Registered Salespeople. The law in Alberta is very clear that you must hold an AMVIC Registration and keep it current, to sell vehicles in this province.
If there are delays in receiving a confirmed registration, that salesperson is not allowed to sell vehicles until all requirements are satisfied. This includes a background check and completion of the Salesperson Registration Course. It is also important to note that you have 30 days to complete the registration process from the time you submit your initial application.
Renewals are the responsibility of the salesperson, but it is a best practice for dealerships to have a follow up process as well to minimize violations. A salesperson will be notified by email when a registration is due for renewal. This means it is critical to keep your contact information current.
It is critical to understand that violation of any of these registration requirements are chargeable offences and could result in legal issues.
We are delighted to introduce a Laureate Dealer Panel at CADA Summit, featuring three exemplary industry leaders: Peter MacDonald, Andrew Ojamae, and Hugues Carle, all esteemed winners of the prestigious CADA Laureate award for 2023. Moderated by Niel Hiscox, this panel will delve into pivotal topics shaping the automotive landscape. These Laureates will share their invaluable insights on evolving business models, navigating the transition to selling and servicing electric vehicles, building high-performing dealership teams, and adapting to the changing customer experience.
Don't miss out, space at the event and the hotel are booking up fast. Follow the CADA Summit link on https://cada.ca.
Federal ZEV Mandate Announcement
Program now called "EV Availability Standard"
Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, officially presented the EV Availability Standard, focused on increasing the supply of clean, zero-emission vehicles to Canadians. While most of the regulation was similar to prior announcements, there was the inclusion of certain plug-in hybrids (range of at least 80 kms) to remain eligible throughout the mandate.
The targets remain at the same levels previously announced: minimum 20% EV sales by 2026, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
The government has taken the position that charging infrastructure is a provincial responsibility but did comment that they expect 80% of Canadians to charge their vehicles at home, minimizing the requirement for public charging stations. When asked about current challenges with multi-family dwellings and condominiums, the government did not provide an answer.
Of concern was the government's acknowledgment that EV prices were not expected to gain parity with ICE vehicles for some time, raising affordability concerns for all Canadians.
Industry representatives have all weighed in on the new rules with most expressing concern with the lack of flexibility and speed of adoption.
Happy Holiday Season from Federated
Thank You for Trusting us with your Insurance Needs.
At Federated, we believe it’s important to support not only our customers and partners, but also to give back to the communities we serve. That’s why in addition to the donation matching program we have with our association partners, we’ve donated a further $100,000 to various charitable organizations to make an even greater impact this year.
Best wishes to you and yours from everyone at Federated Insurance. Have a safe and happy holiday season!
MDA Education Foundation
Leveraging Available Scholarships
One of the MDA's main priorities is to promote and highlight the numerous career options in a franchised new vehicle dealership. A key to this endeavor is the many scholarships supported by our Foundation, both for new entrants to our industry as well as current staff who are working to complete apprenticeships or Automotive Management Certificates.
The following scholarships are available on an annual basis:
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
Five (5) - $1,000 awards for apprentices in Automotive Service Technician, Parts Technician, or Auto Body Technician
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
Three (3) - $1,000 awards for apprentices in Automotive Service Technician, Parts Technician, or Auto Body Technician.
Eight (8) - $1,000 awards for students in various years of Business Administration - Automotive Management Program.
Georgian College (Automotive Business School of Canada)
One (1) - $1,000 award for an Alberta based student in Automotive Business Diploma or Degree.
MDA Education Foundation Direct Awards
The MDA Education Foundation awards several scholarships, twice per year, to member's staff who are working toward their apprenticeships in Automotive Service, Parts, and Body Technicians. Applicants who study in the Heavy Duty and Automotive Management Diploma streams are also eligible.
Eligible institutions include: Northwestern Polytechnic, Lakeland College, Lethbridge College, Medicine Hat College, Red Deer Polytechnic, NAIT and SAIT.
Apprentice technicians are eligible after each session and can submit applications directly to the Foundation at the following link: Scholarship Application
Please ensure all member staff are aware of these programs and encourage them to apply!
MDA Training Programs - 2024 Pricing
Subscription based offerings for unWorkshops
We have an outstanding line-up of training programs for you in the coming year. Formal registrations and details will be published as we get closer to the dates but reserve space on your calendar for the following programs:
Receptionist Training - Keys to Communication
Dates: March 12th & October 22nd
Service Advisor Training - Effective Communication
Dates: March 12th & October 8th
NEW: Time Management
Date: March 26th
All of these courses are virtual and are priced as follows:
First Attendee: $200; Subsequent Attendees: $175
2024 unWorkshop Series
Dates: February 15th, April 18th, June 13th, and October 10th
Season’s Greetings from DealerPILOT HR Automation!
As we take the time this holiday season to look back on 2023, this is the perfect time to reflect on our business operations and people. Taking the time now to get our “ducks in a row” for 2024 can add a great deal of value to the productivity of everyone.
Here are a few critical areas to ensure are completed, accurate and ready for a reset:
If you are on a vacation calendar year, now is the time to ensure that their full entitlement has been taken/planned and to assign vacation days so that you are not trying to manage payouts and carryover.
Do you have all the resources in place to get T4’s completed within the required time frame?
If you have had departures and leaves from the dealership, ensure that they have been issued ROE’s and that there were no changes that require amendments.
Are your vacation, payroll and stat holiday planners, calendars and automation set ups ready for 2024?
Are you ready to issue mandatory training and policy review for the new year?
Do you have accurate coverage in all areas for the holiday season and no vacation conflicts that need to be resolved?
Additionally, if you are still managing any of these processes manually, we can help streamline and improve your productivity so that you can focus on what truly matters in the dealership. If you would like to know more about any of these activities, or about how to increase efficiency in managing them, #letstalk.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the MDA’s Monthly E-Newsletter.
We appreciate your comments, concerns or feedback.
If you would like to sign-up additional staff from your store to receive this publication, please provide their names, positions and email addresses to email@example.com.