Serving the interest of Ontario New Car and Truck Dealerships for over 100 years
Doug Sullivan Editorials
TADA President 2015 - 2016
04/09/2016 TADA PRESIDENT SIGNS OFF AFTER SUCCESSFUL YEAR This is my last Toronto Star Wheels column as President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA). It’s been an honour and a privilege serving and representing our 1,100 member dealers across Ontario.
Serving as President has given me an opportunity to meet many industry colleagues and to connect with Wheels readers. It’s also opened my eyes to the countless ways that our association works on behalf of dealers and consumers throughout the province. Here are some Highlights
04/02/2016 WE’RE IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE AUTOMOBILE This is my second last Toronto Star Wheels column as president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and I want to weigh in on some of the developments occurring in the automobile industry.
It could be argued that we are living in a golden age of the automobile, based on the incredible advancements in auto technology, design, performance and safety. Today, car shoppers are faced with a diverse array of options — dozens of brands and hundreds of models and the parity among brands has never been higher.
03/26/2016 WEBSITES REFLECT A NEW AGE OF RETAILING In February, our Ford dealership launched a new website, which includes an array of new features, functions and branding elements.
Our updated website got me thinking about how far dealership websites have come in the last 20 years. In the mid-1990s, with the advent of the Internet, most websites were little more than glorified brochures with static images and no interactive capabilities.
03/19/2016 MILLENNIAL CAR SHOPPER HAS OWN SET OF DEMANDS For the past few years, there’s a debate among car manufacturers, auto analysts, government agencies, and automotive journalists about the car-buying trends of the millennial generation.
In 2014, a U.S.-based advocacy group PIRG reported that younger drivers are “driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, not a necessity.”
03/05/2016 AUTO SHOW A ROARING SUCCESS The 2016 Canadian International Auto Show, a.k.a. the Toronto auto show presented by the Toronto Star and Wheels.ca., is now in the books and I’m delighted to report that it was a resounding success.
02/27/2016 BRANDING AT THE DEALERSHIP LEVEL The 2016 Canadian International Auto Show wrapped up last weekend, and now automakers will be evaluating public and media feedback on the vehicles on display at the show.
Auto shows provide manufacturers with an ideal opportunity to showcase their products and promote their brands. In the past few decades, as competition has intensified, the importance of branding has become a mini industry.
02/20/2016 WELCOME TO THE CONNECTED CAR ERA My first car was a new 1976 Pontiac Firebird, equipped with radial tuned suspension, electronic ignition and an 8-track stereo tape player.
Forty years later, those features seem quaint compared to the powerful electronic systems and gadgetry available on today's models
02/13/2016 TADA AUTO SHOW FOCUS IS ON EDUCATION AND CAREERS
TADA AUTO SHOW FOCUS IS ON EDUCATION AND CAREERS
Doug Sullivan - TADA President
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The 2016 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star, is now in full swing at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Last year at the Auto Show, there was tremendous public appetite for automotive education at the post-secondary school level. In response to this growing appetite, and the importance of the automobile industry to Ontario's economy, the TADA has expanded its footprint at this year's show with two exciting booths to highlight education and careers.
02/06/2016 DEALER’S VOICE: 2016 auto show opens next Friday The 2016 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star and wheels.ca, will open to the public next Friday.
Whether you are looking to buy a car, are passionate about cars, or just want to view the latest vehicles and accessories in a dynamic environment, the Auto Show — being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — is for you.
01/30/2016 Dealer's Voice: Steering toward a driverless future A few years ago, the idea of drivers sharing the road with autonomous cars was a curiosity among automakers, car buyers and the public.
Today, interest in autonomous vehicles has risen and the concept of driverless cars is moving closer to reality. Automakers and suppliers are aggressively pursuing research and development in this burgeoning field.
01/23/2016 HOW TO PAY FOR YOUR NEW WHEELS AS IMPORTANT AS DECIDING WHAT TO BUY Many consumers who are in the market for a new vehicle will be attending the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show (Feb. 12 - 21, autoshow.ca) to evaluate the latest makes and models.
Choosing the right vehicle for your driving needs is important, and so is figuring out how to pay for the vehicle. It's estimated that 85 per cent of buyers finance or lease their vehicles (as opposed to paying cash), according to a 2013 Consumer Reports survey.
01/09/2016 GEARING UP FOR TORONTO’S BIG MOMENT The Detroit auto show, officially called the North American International Auto Show, traditionally kicks off the season on this continent. This year’s event runs from Jan. 11th to the 24th.
Over the past several decades, auto shows have become an important showcase for companies to present the latest passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, concept cars, accessories, and to unveil new models and future plans.
12/19/2015 2015 - a banner year for the automobile As 2015 draws to a close, I want to reflect on some of the highlights of the automobile industry in Ontario and Canada.
A big story of 2015 actually began in mid-2014 and continues to impact our industry: the dramatic drop in oil and gas prices. Lower oil and gas prices have resulted in Ontario motorists saving hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in filling up their tanks, and it has fueled higher demand for mid-size cars and light duty trucks.
12/12/2015 10 ways to reduce driving costs Most car shoppers are eager to save money when they purchase a new vehicle. After all, a vehicle often represents the second largest expenditure after a home.
Here are 10 ideas to help drivers save money.
12/05/2015 Great time to buy a new car The Christmas and holiday automotive promotions began in mid-November and have been going strong ever since.
If you are in the market for a new vehicle, there's no better time than now to buy. Throughout December, new car dealers and auto manufacturers are aggressively promoting year-end clearance sales, competitive lease and financing rates and other incentives.
11/21/2015 Never ignore dashboard warning lights If you've driven a vehicle for any length of time, odds are a warning light has flashed on on your dashboard.
Some dashboard warning lights are specific to brands and models while others are common to all makes and models.
11/14/2015 Not a good idea to skip test drive One of the most exciting aspects of buying a car is the test drive. At this point, a purchaser has narrowed his choices to a few vehicles and is close to making a buying decision.
The test drive will help to evaluate the features that can’t be fully appreciated by surfing the Internet, reading a brochure or watching a YouTube video. It will provide key indicators to persuade (or dissuade) you from buying a particular model.
11/07/2015 Safety standards certificate Whenever a used vehicle changes ownership in Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) requires that it pass a safety inspection before new license plates can be installed on the car.
That's been the law since 1974 and it applies to any used vehicle sold privately or through a registered car dealership.
10/31/2015 FURTHER THOUGHTS ON WARRANTIES In September, I wrote a column about automobile warranties and today I want to continue the discussion on this important topic.
A common question that dealers are asked about warranties is this: “If I don’t service my vehicle at the dealership, will my warranty be void?”
10/17/2015 THOUGHTS ON RUST PROTECTION Rust protection is a topic that generates much discussion among auto industry professionals and consumers. Today, I want to share some thoughts on rust protection, without endorsing any products or any rust-protection provider.
09/19/2015 FEEDBACK NEEDED AND APPRECIATED In this era of information overload and social media, bad reviews always seem to generate the most attention.
The reality — at least in the retail automobile industry — is that 99 per cent of our business dealings go smoothly and customers are satisfied.
09/12/2015 AUTO DEALERS/INDUSTRY KEY ENGINE OF OUR ECONOMY Living and working in beautiful Huntsville, Ontario, I know how vital the retail automotive industry is to our town and to the community that we serve.
In Huntsville, there are half a dozen new car dealerships, which collectively provide hundreds of well-paying jobs and contribute immensely to the well-being of our community.
08/29/2015 UNDERSTANDING AUTO WARRANTIES As automobiles have continued to improve in styling, safety and performance, so too have automobile warranties improved.
A standard new car warranty on passenger vehicles and light trucks is three years or 60,000 kms, whichever comes first. In recent years, some automakers have introduced enhanced basic warranty coverage of four and five years, and powertrain coverage of four to 10 years.
08/22/2015 TRADE, OR SELL PRIVATELY? BE CAREFUL When car owners decide to buy or lease a new vehicle, they will inevitably have to decide whether to trade in their existing vehicle or to sell it privately.
Most cars owners want to get the best price for their vehicles. If they have the time and patience to sell privately, that is a viable option. But for those who aren't careful, that strategy can backfire.
08/15/2015 MIKE FAIR, A TRUE AUTO INDUSTRY LEADER In February, the retail auto industry lost a true leader, visionary and friend with the passing of Mike Fair, who was President and CEO of Mike Fair Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac in Smiths Falls, Ont.
08/08/2015 Back - to - School Car Shopping: Do's and Don'ts In a few weeks, thousands of Canadian students will return to school, many of whom will require some form of safe and reliable transportation.
Whether you have started car shopping or are about to begin, there are steps you can take as a parent or guardian to ensure that your child finds the right vehicle to meet their transportation needs.
08/01/2015 Mobile Search is Changing the Car Shopping Experience Chances are, if you have searched for a car or a dealership in recent years, you began that search on a mobile device. According to Autoshopper StudySM (2014), “more than one third of automotive Internet users use either a smartphone or tablet while shopping at a dealership, up from 29 per cent in 2013.”
07/25/2015 EV Challenge A chance for Students to Pave Road for the Future This is my third in a series of columns about the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association’s (TADA) involvement in promoting education and careers in the automotive industry.
The EV Challenge is the only race of its kind in Canada. A temporary race course is set up on the parking lots and roadways on the University Of Waterloo’s premises, where the electric cars reach speeds of 30 km/h.
07/18/2015 Auto Industry Going Back To School Over the past 25 years, one of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association’s most consistent methods of promoting education and careers has been through offering scholarships and bursaries to post-secondary schools, including the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College, Centennial College, Algonquin College, Conestoga College and Durham College
07/11/2015 Social Media Doesn't Make a Car Dealer During the past decade, the term “social media” has become a buzz word in our culture. It seems everybody is discussing the merits of this online phenomenon.
Social media is often lumped in with another popular phrase of the age — digital marketing. There are big differences between the two.
06/27/2015 Auto industry broadens its horizons The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association’s (TADA) Education Initiative continues to gather steam across Ontario.
As president of the TADA, I’ve been given an opportunity to see how our various initiatives are taking shape and to gauge the impact they’re having on students, educators, post-secondary schools, member dealers and the general public.
06/20/2015 Plan Ahead For An Enjoyable Road Trip Over the next couple of months, thousands of Canadians will embark on road trips with families and friends.
Summer road trips have become part of our culture and a unique way to discover new landscapes, waterways and places of interest.
06/13/2015 Take Steps to Thwart Car Thieves Greetings from the heart of Muskoka!
In April, the Toronto Star published a story about how car thieves have been targeting posh neighborhoods and high-end vehicles.
One thing that struck me about the article is how thieves are targeting vehicles with the latest, high-tech security systems. They're using sophisticated technology to gain access to electronic devices that can bypass a vehicle's security system.
06/06/2015 Due Diligence a Critical Step in Buying a Car Today I want to talk about why car buyers choose one dealership over another.
For some car buyers, it’s a sense of comfort and familiarity. They’ve purchased from Dealership A before and feel reasonably confident that their expectations will be met (if not exceeded) again.
05/30/2015 Georgian College Auto Show Puts Student's Skills to the Test Thirty years ago, the automotive students at Georgian College hatched an idea to produce an outdoor auto show on the grounds of the college.An auto show had never been attempted at Georgian College before (or at any other post-secondary school in Canada, as far as I’m aware) and the students behind the idea had no experience in putting on such an event.
05/23/2015 Avoid Hasty Decisions After a Collision Here’s a scenario: Several months after you’ve had major collision repairs, your automobile starts to vibrate when you accelerate.
Your new-car dealer insists the problem is accident-related. The independent body shop says it’s a warranty issue. The customer is left in the middle, not knowing who to believe.
05/09/2015 Reports Revolutionized Used Car Marketplace Last week, I wrote about the importance of doing your homework when purchasing a used car. In that column, I mentioned a vehicle history reporting company called CarProof. Today I’d like to discuss what CarProof is all about.
05/02/2015 Looking for a used car? Do your homework. One of the myths about used cars is that you’re buying someone else’s problems. That statement may have been valid decades ago, but today it rarely applies to those who do their homework and plan their purchases.
04/24/2015 Rural Car Dealerships I'm co-owner of a Ford dealership in Huntsville, Ontario, a vibrant community with a population of 18,000, whose official motto is, "Touch the Past, Embrace the Future."
Service Advisor Endras Infiniti is looking for a customer oriented Service Advisor to join our ever busy shop.
BOB REDINGER SIGNS OFF AS TADA PRESIDENTThis is my final Wheels column as president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA).
It has been my pleasure serving as president, and I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed being a Wheels columnist in Canada’s largest circulation newspaper for the past year.