Sandy Liguori - Tada President 2011-2012
Nov 18, 2011
Frequently in this column, I make reference to the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association (TADA), of which I am current president.
TADA is an association that represents, promotes and supports a network of 340 new car dealers across the GTA and beyond, representing all automobile brands and franchises.
But there is a lot more to TADA than meets the eye. For starters, TADA has been around for 103 years, earning it the distinction as one of Canada’s longest serving business associations.
TADA was originally conceived by a group of dealers to repeal a decision that required vehicles in the Orange Day Parade to be transported on horse-drawn wagons. (That was meant to avoid the noise and fumes of the early automobiles.)
Since those early days, TADA has been an advocate for many progressive and innovative initiatives for dealers and consumers, including fair government legislation and business practices, consumer awareness issues and advertising standards.
Passenger safety has long been a priority with TADA. In the early 1950s, TADA sponsored a five-day “Drive for Safety” campaign to increase people’s confidence in their driving abilities. Today, we work with driving safety expert Ian Law, and consumers and dealer staff have opportunities to improve their defensive driving skills.
In the modern era, TADA has expanded its role among dealers and consumers. In the early 1970s, we began producing the Toronto Auto Show, and in 1991, it earned international designation and was renamed the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS). CIAS has grown into one of North America’s more prestigious and popular auto shows.
In the late 1990s, TADA worked with the provincial government and consumer groups to create the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) to self-manage the retail car industry (the first business sector to become self-managed).
OMVIC administers Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and handles the licensing of salespeople and managers; dealership training programs; advertising business practices; consumer complaints and protections; and ethics and standard business practices.
TADA also provides important resources for consumers to enhance their car ownership experience. Our website, tada.ca is a rich source of information, with consumer articles, employment opportunities at new car dealerships, pre-owned vehicle listings, safety tips and automotive links.
We also support the Canadian Safe School Network and work closely with the Canadian Automotive Institute at Georgian College in Barrie and Centennial College in Toronto, and provide numerous scholarships for the auto industry.
Throughout its history, TADA has maintained a proud tradition of philanthropy as well. Over the years, new car dealers have been generous supporters of the communities in which they serve, donating money, vehicles, facilities and other resources.
In 2009, the TAD Foundation (the charitable arm of TADA) pledged $2 million to Ronald McDonald House Toronto (RMHT) to build a new house to accommodate out-of-town families with seriously ill children.
On Nov. 18, the TADA-sponsored TADA Gift of Life Wing officially opened at RMHT, making this Ronald McDonald House the largest in the world. All TADA new car dealers and their staff can feel proud of this contribution to such a worthy cause.
I was at the grand opening of the TADA Gift of Life Wing, along with Ron Loveys, a past TADA president and the current chair of the TAD Foundation. There were also representatives from RMHT and other dignitaries.
It’s hard to describe the emotions I felt, as the new wing was unveiled. It was a proud moment for me and TADA, knowing that our contribution will make a difference in the lives of families in need.
Indeed, TADA has come a long way in 103 years.