03/28/2015 Students display their passion for all things automotive Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Students Awards Night at Centennial College in Toronto. This was a two-day event, where students and teaching staff celebrated the achievements and successes of its students and thanked donors for their generosity.
03/21/2015 How airplane technology has influenced automobiles My curiosity about automobile technology goes back to when I was apprenticing to become an automotive technician. I would ask teachers and instructors where the latest technologies came from, and they'd often reply, "the aviation industry."
03/14/2015 New technologies have defined automobiles for more than a century One of the joys of working in the retail auto industry is witnessing the stream of new technologies that are introduced into vehicles.
For over a hundred years, technological breakthroughs have defined the auto industry and have contributed to ongoing improvement in speed, safety, reliability, visual appeal and sheer driving pleasure.
02/21/2015 Take advantage of great AutoShow deals now Now that the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow is almost over, this is a great time to buy (or lease) that dream car or truck.
During the AutoShow, many automakers introduce aggressive lease and finance incentives on select models, and many of those incentives have been carried over for a limited time, for shoppers who are prepared to buy now.
02/14/2015 Something for everyone at the 2015 AutoShow The 2015 Canadian International AutoShow, presented by the Toronto Star and wheels.ca, is now in full swing at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. Car enthusiasts are in for plenty of surprises and thrills this year.
01/24/2015 Marketing manager is a driving force within a dealership This column is part of a continuing series about career opportunities in the retail car industry.
Today, I want to talk about the marketing manager and the business development manager. The role of the marketing manager has evolved significantly over the past decade, and much of that change has been driven by digital/mobile marketing and social media.
01/17/2015 Office management and administration careers within a dealership This column is part of a continuing series about career opportunities in the retail auto industry.
Today, I want to focus on human resources manager, business analyst, accounting staff, controller, fixed operations and business manager, all of which fall under the business management and administration categories.
01/10/2015 Canadian Foreign Worker Program isn't working Canada has a serious shortage of skilled workers and many dealerships are looking overseas to recruit for vacant positions.
The Canadian government is eager to roll out the red carpet in welcoming skilled foreign workers, but once these workers are here, the red tape involved in keeping them working here is a logistical nightmare.
01/03/2015 Some thoughts on gasolines and gas prices Motorists and consumers are no doubt thrilled that gas prices have fallen to their lower level in four years (the 80¢-90¢/litre range) and prices could stay low for months.
They also want to know what lower gas prices will mean for them? Will it affect my car purchasing decisions? Why aren't diesel prices falling in tandem with regular gas?
12/13/2014 Need a stocking stuffer? Why not visit a dealership We all hear a familiar refrain from last-minute shoppers at this time of year: The malls are too crowded and I can't find a parking spot.
For those aggrieved souls, I have a solution: Head over to your local new car dealership for those last-minute stocking stuffers.
11/29/2014 Financial costs of DUIs are staggering During the holiday season, we hear warnings about the risks of injury and death that could result from driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.What we don't hear are the staggering financial costs associated with this type of driving offence. For the purpose of this column, I'll focus on first time impaired driving convictions, where a person's blood alcohol level is above 0.08.
11/15/2014 Examining the sales side of the auto business Today's column will be the first of several that explore the how and why people get into the retail car industry. The first area I want to discuss is automotive sales, a sometimes maligned profession that is a key part of a dealership operations.
10/25/2014 Scary deals for Halloween Next Friday is Halloween, and in the spirit of that ghostly occasion I want to share some scary deals (or scenarios) that I've witnessed in the retail automotive industry.
10/04/2014 The importance of installing winter tires To get an idea of how critical tires are, imagine four fingers and the palm of your hand - that's how much tread on each tire actually touches the pavement. Those four fingers and the palm of your hand worth of surface space will determine how safely your 4,000 - 6,000 lb. vehicle travels on the road at any given time.
09/27/2014 People and teamwork are key to auto retailing success The word boss is outdated and suggests an "us" versus "them" relationship between management and staff, which is not at all reflective of our organization. A more apt title would be manager or, as my business card says, "Sheriff," which implies the idea of a peacemaker rather than an overlord.
09/06/2014 Eight conditions for selling cars to Millennials The auto industry has been fretting over declining sales to the Millennial generation (those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s). Some sources estimate that up to 30 per cent fewer younger people are bothering to get their driver's license and buy cars, compared to previous generations.
08/23/2014 Driverless cars? No thanks Let me set the record straight: I am not an anti-technology puritan who pines for the pre-smartphone era. I love my electronic gadgets and derive much pleasure and enjoyment from them. But when technology threatens the make the act of driving redundant, I must put my foot down.
08/16/2014 Back to School means addressing auto needs, too August is a time when many Canadians are thinking 'back to school.' Parents are buying their kids new clothes, cleaning behind their ears, arranging their schedules, and so on.
But what about transportation needs? College- or university-bound children often need a vehicle, and now is the perfect time to shop for one.
07/26/2014 Manufacturer-dealership relationships have evolved Throughout my career, I've maintained good relationships with the two automotive manufacturers that I represent - Volkswagen and Audi.
Those relationships are different today than they were in the 1970s, when automotive franchisees ran their businesses with a fair degree of autonomy, and with less structure and formality.
07/12/2014 Beware the potential dangers of wildlife on the road Safe driving advocates are quick to point out the dangers of distracted driving, excessive speeding and driving while intoxicated.
While these messages are important and need to be reinforced, a safe driving message that rarely gets discussed is the risk that wildlife poses to drivers on our roadways.
07/05/2014 Seven Easy Fixes to ease traffic gridlock Gridlock alone within the GTA is costing the economy up to $11 billion annually, according to the C.D. Howe Institute (not to mention the $11 million that the Ontario government rakes annually from the Drive Clean program, which is supposed to be revenue neutral). Statistics Canada reports that commute times to and from work nationwide have jumped from 54 minutes in 1992 to 63 minutes in 2005.
06/07/2014 Reputations are the lifeblood of dealerships In the course of an average working day at our dealerships and collision centre, our staff has interactions with hundreds of customers and prospects.
Each point of contact - whether it's answering a phone call or delivering a vehicle - represents an opportunity for us to impress customers. Our aim is to make every experience the best it can be for each customer.
05/31/2014 We all have a civic duty to understand the issues and vote The 2011 Ontario election recorded the lowest ever voter turnout with a dismal 49.2 per cent of eligible voters filling out ballots.
Voter turnout has been dropping steadily over the past two decades, which is a sad commentary on the politicians, the political process and the eligible electorate.
05/17/2014 Mentoring plays a critical role in achieving success Mentoring isn't often discussed in our industry, but it's a powerful reality nonetheless. If dealer principals and managers were polled about their early influences, I'm convinced that most would admit to having worked with mentors at various stages in their careers.
04/26/2014 Verwey: New TADA President 2014 My name is Bob Verwey and I am the new President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, which represents 1,100 new car dealers across Ontario. I am also the President of Whitby-based Owsasco Inc., which includes several new car franchises, a collision center, an RV Dealership and an RV rental station in Durham.
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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.