Trillium Automobile Dealers Association

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Canadian Automotive Institute celebrates 25 years

Created on Friday, 17 September 2010

Next weekend will be a special occasion for the Canadian Automotive Institute (CAI) at Georgian College in Barrie.

The CAI will celebrate its 25th anniversary at its annual Auto Show (Sept. 24-26). This popular event is the largest outdoor, student-run auto show in Canada and draws more than 20,000 visitors each year.

It's located at the Barrie campus, at exit 102 and Highway 400. This show makes for a great weekend day trip for the entire family.

The CAI Auto Show is a showcase for the latest automobiles and auto accessories, as well as for the skills of 300-plus students enrolled at CAI.

The auto show committee, consisting of five CAI students and five Georgian College staff, work an entire year to organize the Auto Show, handling everything from recruitment and finance to security and marketing.

The first-year students are the customer-service reps for the various manufacturers.

These young people are the ambassadors of our industry and they should be commended for an outstanding performance, year after year.

The entire auto sector, too, deserves recognition for helping to make this annual Auto exhibition a huge success. The new car dealers of Greater Toronto, along with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), manufacturers, aftermarket suppliers, exhibitors and vendors have demonstrated their desire to support the efforts of these hard-working students.

The auto industry awarded $150,000 in scholarships to deserving CAI students this year alone.

At the Georgian College Auto Show, 20 major automakers will be represented. The manufacturers get public feedback on the latest models. Students serve as customer-service reps and provide information on the latest cars and light duty trucks.

But they do not sell; this is a relaxed, sales-free environment.

In addition to new vehicles, this year's Auto Show will also feature car-care clinics, a special 25th anniversary exhibit, a Corvette display, a classic car display, a Porsche autocross track, live musical performances and a live auction on Sunday with all proceeds going towards automotive student scholarships.

Food and refreshments will be available, as well.

Admission is $7, and kids under 12 are free. Car enthusiasts of all ages are welcome. For a complete schedule of events and other information, visit www.georgianc.on.ca/autoshow/ or call 705-722-5161.

The celebrate the 25th anniversary, organizers are planning some added features this year, including a gala dinner for alumni, CAI staff, faculty and the auto industry next Friday.

The CAI was established in 1985 to prepare students to take on leadership roles within the automotive industry in Canada. The Toronto and Canadian automobile dealers Associationsalong with the corporate manufacturers, retailers, aftermarket sectors and Georgian College, were instrumental in launching CAI.

Between 80 and100 first-year students enroll at CAI every year, 70 per cent of whom are from Ontario. Since 1985, CAI has boasted more than a 90 per cent placement rate among graduates, many of them with new car dealers in the GTA.

The CAI offers two unique programs – a Business Administration Automotive Marketing diploma program, and a Bachelor of Business Automotive Management degree program (the only one in Canada). Both programs include three paid co-op work terms in the auto industry.

Graduates of these programs pursue careers at the corporate level in marketing, finance, customer service, e-commerce, fleet leasing and operations, event management and managerial positions at dealerships and in the aftermarket sector.

For anyone interested in a career in the auto sector, the CAI at Georgian College in Barrie is an excellent place to start. For more information about CAI, visit www.thecai.ca.

On behalf of TADA, I applaud the efforts of CAI students, staff, and faculty for their commitment to this event and for their passion for our industry.

Go back to Cohen Editorials 2010 »

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