TADA

Trillium Automobile Dealers Association

Serving the interest of Ontario New Car
and Truck Dealerships for over 100 years

Ten things worth celebrating about the auto industry

Published on Friday, 06 April 2012

Sandy Liguori - Tada President 2011-2012

Spring is an exciting time in the retail car industry. It’s usually a time of intense car-buying activity, when thousands of car shoppers visit dealerships in search of a great deal on their next new or used vehicle.

Here are 10 great things worth celebrating about the automobile industry.

  1. Relentless innovation in automobile design, safety and performance continues to drive our industry forward. Passenger vehicles are built to higher standards than ever, which is great news for consumers. In February, J.D. Power and Associates reported historically high levels of vehicle dependability in 2012 (the study measured 2009 model year vehicles and showed an 11 per cent improvement over 2011).
  2. The Canadian International AutoShow achieved a record attendance in February. The success of this year’s show provides a great springboard leading up to the 40th anniversary next year.

  3. New car sales are rising. Industry analysts had suggested a 3 per cent increase in new vehicle sales in 2012 was possible. If present trends continue, auto sales could easily surpass that 3 per cent figure.
  4. Enhanced safety features. Driver assistance systems are helping to minimize the risk of being involved in an accident. Lane departure warning systems, tire pressure monitoring, adaptive cruise control and infrared night vision systems are some of the new technologies that are making driving safer.

  5. Social media continues to influence car buyers. A recent study (Ipsos and Maritz) showed that 16 per cent of consumers relied on YouTube and other social media sites when shopping for a car (it was 11 per cent in 2010, and it’s expected to rise to 20 per cent in 2012). Social media sites are also allowing dealers to connect with customers in new and interesting ways (Facebook, Twitter), which allows for deeper and more meaningful relationships.
  6. Mobile technology. A handful of dealers have developed mobile marketing strategies to connect with their customers. This is the tip of the iceberg, especially when you consider that soon more than 50 per cent of all internet traffic will come from a mobile phone and Google now ranks websites higher if they are linked to a mobile platform.
  7. Ontario auto production. Toyota recently announced that it is increasing capacity at its Woodstock assembly plant, to produce more RAV4 models. The company plans to invest up to $80 million, which will lead to the creation of 400 jobs. In April, Ford of Canada will add a third shift at its Essex engine plant in Windsor for the production of the F150 pickup, creating 100 positions.

  8. In March, the TADA — with others — successfully fought off an attempt by the McGuinty government to bring new regional gas taxes and road tolls to the province. These additional costs were recommended by Don Drummond, the chair of the province’s Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services.
  9. Smaller engines, better fuel economy. There are plenty of hybrids, electric vehicles and diesel-powered models available, but gas engines are still the preferred choice and will be for years. Today’s gas engines are smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, and often more powerful than comparable engines. Gasoline direct injection improves fuel efficiency and offers increased power and lower emissions. These engines are sometimes paired with turbocharging and variable valve technology, which give smaller engines tremendous power.

  10. The FIAT brand arrived in Canada about a year ago, and it has been extremely well received. Look for new brands from India and China to land on Canadian shores in the near future. This is a plus for consumers, who have more brands (and models) to choose from than ever before.

Go back to Editorials 2012 »

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