a ray of Light in a Land of Turmoil



a ray of Light in a Land of Turmoil
PM 40014105
C a n a d a ’ s
P r e m i e r
D e a l e r
M a g a z i n e
April 2012 – $3.95
Mazda CX-5
Certified Pre-Owned
Seeing Beyond a CPO Sale
South America,
a Fast Growing
Automobile World
Geneva Auto Show
A Ray of Light in a Land of Turmoil
Among the more than 700 brands seen at the show, including some of the most prestigious in the world, there were
some quite interesting new vehicles unveiled, albeit few of them bound for the North American market.
More details on this story page 12
AutoJournal Visits... Downtown Porsche
Investing in Your Employees
Whether it’s called professional development,
continuing education or lifelong learning, today’s
businesses need to invest in some form of ongoing
training for their employees.
Page 14
Providing top-notch service to a
demanding clientele is all in a day’s
work for this dealership.
More details and pictures page 22
6200 Tomken Road
140 McLevin Ave., Unit 6-7
Mississauga, ON
Scarborough, ON
L5T 1X7
M1B 3V1
Tel. 905 670-9791
Tel. 416 292-8202
[email protected]
Vol. 1 No 3 – April 2012
Personal Attention
have the utmost respect for those of you on the
front lines - the men and women who sell vehicles
today. Whether you’re selling to individual customers, or to f leets, you have a truly tough job.
T here used to be a t i me when t he d i f ference
b e t we e n “n ic e” ve h ic le s , a nd t he “s t ay-aw ayf rom” c rowd wa s c le a r. C on su mer s k ne w t hat
if you wa nted a reliable vehicle t hey had to buy
“Brand A.” If they wanted a work truck, the only
choice was “Brand B or C.” If they couldn’t afford
either, then “Brand C or D” was the only choice for
them... but they knew to expect major repair bills
down the road.
Today, t he play i ng f ield ha s leveled out d ramatically. Quality has shot up, safety is a concern
for a l l ma nu fac t u rers, de sig n a nd st yl i ng have
improved dra matica l ly, and a lmost ever y manufacturer is selling either power, fuel-economy, or
a combination of both.
While this is good news for consumers, it leaves
those of you on the front lines with a tough job - to
differentiate yourself from the pack and give your
prospects a good reason to buy from you.
If t hat weren’t enoug h, as a f ra nchised dea ler
you also have to worr y about differentiating yourself from other dealers who carr y the same brand.
As I said, I truly have the utmost respect for you.
Dealership World
Modern Consumers
Dealers of Distinction
AutoJournal recently spoke with a dealer principal I
believe has what it takes to set her dealership apart
from the pack. I don’t want to give away too much
because we will be profiling her shortly in an upcoming issue of AutoJournal, but suffice it to say that
she understands what the modern consumer is thinking, as well as how today’s car shoppers make buying
While much can be said about her approach, it all
boils down to quality service and personal attention.
Consumers today know a great deal about the options
out there, and they often know what they want long
before they step into your showroom. All that information is on the Internet. But what they can’t get from
the Internet is quality service and personal attention.
So whether you’re trying to win over a customer
to your brand, or to your dealership, you’re likely to
go far if you show your prospects that you truly care
about them and that you are really there to offer a
service - as opposed to sell them a new car.
Intrigued? Stay tuned for details in the next issue
of AutoJournal.
Don’t hesitate to send me your
comments and suggestions!
[email protected]
EV 2012 VÉ
Alberni Toyota Receives
Women’s Choice Award
2013 Mazda CX-5 is a
‘No Compromise’ CUV
A Compact Crossover for Drivers
Certified Pre-Owned
Seeing Beyond a CPO Sale
Remarketing News
The Used Vehicle Market
A Second Chance for the Second-Hand in Canada
Geneva Auto Show
A Ray of Light in a Land of Turmoil
Professional Development
The Ford EcoSport, a 1.0 litre SUV! No Call Out
hen t hin k ing spor t-ut i lit y vehicles, we usually picture a cumbersome, emission-spewing
behemot h. Think again. The Ford EcoSpor t newest version is powered by a 1.0 litre engine !
Bu i lt i n Br a z i l s i nc e 2 0 03, t h e d i m i nut i ve
E c o Sp or t i s a hu ge suc c e s s i n S out h A mer ic a .
It i s of fered i n eit her a 1.0 l it re 3 c y l i nder, or
one of t wo 1.6 l it re s or 2 .0 l it re 4 c yl i nder ga s
powered versions, or a 1.4 litre diesel. Most Ford
EcoSpor t product ion is of t he f ront-wheel drive
variet y, a lthough a lu xur y a ll-wheel drive version
is available.
Ford introduced t he nex t-generation EcoSpor t
at t he 2012 New Del hi Auto Show i n Ja nua r y. It
w il l be built at t he Ford plant in Chennai, India
and will be powered by a 1.0 litre, 123 horsepower
3 c y l i nder E coBoost eng i ne. A 177 horsepower
engine is a lso in t he works…
Frédéric Laporte
455 Notre-Dame East, Suite 311
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1C9
Tel. : 514 289-0888 or 1 877 989-0888
Fax : 514 289-5151
The new EcoSport was introduced at the New
Delhi Auto Show by none other than
Joe Hinrichs, former Ford
of Canada President.
People & Places
Women in Dealerships
An Exciting Merger of Two Dynamic Forces
F&I News
How Are Your Digital Skills ?
Contracts Going Paperless
Dealer Services Corp.
Purchased by Manheim
Desjardin’s Ready-to-Drive
Steve Carey 905 497-7590
[email protected]
President : Jean-Luc Rousseau
AutoJournal is published 10 times per year and 7 200 copies are
distributed per subscriber for all automobile merchants new and
used of Quebec and Canada.
Vox Pop
Material in AutoJounal may not be reproduced in any form without
written consent from Rousseau Automotive Communication.
Shirley Brown, Ernie Bugalli, Éric Descarries, Jack
Kazmierski, Joe Knycha, Krystyna Lagoski, Françis Lalonde,
Frédéric Laporte, Jil McIntosh, Tim Pawsey
Réjean A. Rousseau 450 649-9007
[email protected]
Subscription : Price with taxes included is $39,50
for 1-year (10 numbers), the price per copy is $3,95.
Françoise Poynee 514 289-0888, x 28
[email protected]
Change of address : Send us your new and old address, your
phone number or the subscriber number which appears
on the address sticker on the front of magazine. Please
give us four to five weeks for the change to be made.
PM 40014105
ISSN no. 1927-7083
Nancy Belleville 514 289-0888, x 25
[email protected]
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association
Esther Twells 514 289-0888, x 26
[email protected]
Alain P. Gariépy 514 984-2269
[email protected]
Human Resources
Jean Boutzis 416 473-2915
[email protected]
Luc Champagne 514 945-1299
[email protected]
A Sign of Evolution
Business Talks
Stéphanie Massé 514 476-1171
[email protected]
Marie-Hélène Côté 514 289-0888, x 23
[email protected]
Investing in your Employees
Personnel Expenses… I think not!
Isabelle Courteau
Kevin Foster and Virginie Gilbert-Hébert
Health and Safety at Work: How Important is It?
A Word from Dennis20
Social Media: The Link Between Young Drivers
Automobile Statistics21
South America, A Fast Growing Automobile World
AutoJournal Visits ...22
Downtown Porsche
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Dealers of Distinction
azda Canada recently
a n nou nc e d it s “D e a le r of
Distinction” awards for 2012. This
award recognizes dealerships that
have excelled in all areas, including sales, parts, service, administration, facilities and customer
The winners will be recognized
through advertisements in national publications, as well as unique
representation on Mazda.ca and
on social networking sites. They
will also receive a commemorative plaque for display in t heir
For 2012, the Dealer of Distinction
awards go to:
Pacific Region: - Freeway Mazda, Surrey, BC - Metrotown Mazda, Burnaby, BC - V.I.P. Mazda, Abbotsford, BC - Wolfe’s Langley Mazda,
Surrey, BC
Prairie Region: - Kramer Mazda, Calgary, AB - Mainway Mazda, Saskatoon, SK - Milestone Mazda, Lethbridge, AB - Regina Mazda, Regina, SK
Central Region: - Ajax Mazda, Ajax, ON - Bank Street Mazda, Ottawa, ON - Dave Wood Mazda,
Newmarket, ON - Forbes Waterloo Mazda,
Waterloo, ON - Hawkesbury Mazda,
Hawkesbury, ON - K ieswetter Motors,
Kitchener, ON - Mazda of Brampton,
Brampton, ON - Moffatt’s Northwood Mazda,
Barrie, ON - Performance Mazda,
Orleans, ON - Probart Mazda, London, ON Quebec Region: - Albi Mazda, Mascouche, QC - Beauchesne Mazda,
Rivière-du-Loup, QC - Beauport Mazda,
Beauport, QC - Formule Mazda, Rimouski, QC - L’Ami Junior, Chicoutimi, QC - Mazda de Laval, Laval, QC - Mazda du Boulevard,
St-Hyacinthe, QC - Mazda Président, Anjou, QC - Metro Mazda, Montreal, QC - Planete Mazda, Mirabel, QC - Sept-Îles Mazda, Sept-Îles, QC
Atlantic Region: - Atlantic Mazda, Dieppe, NB - Bayside Mazda, Beresford, NB - Western Mazda,
Corner Brook, NL
Health and Safety at Work: Just How Important Is It?
iven the complexity of automotive retailing, not only in terms of
business but also the physical aspect,
such as facilities, people and equipment, it’s fair to say that maintaining
a rigorous Health and Safety program
is critical to ensure staff operate in
clean, pleasant and relatively safe
conditions. However, with the average dealership incorporating many
different operational aspects, ranging
from service and parts, to sales, maintenance and administration, there
are many variables for owners and
general managers to consider when it
comes to adopting and utilizing effective Health and Safety practices. In
this month’s Vox Pop, we ask several
dealers about their view on the subject and why it’s so important.
Fredericton – “We’ve
seen tremendous progress in Health and
Safety, compared to
when I started working in this industry. With the advent
of standards like WHMIS (Canada’s
national Workplace Hazardous
Materials Information System),
improvements in technology and
equipment, dealerships have arguably
never been safer environments to
work in than they are today. That said;
there’s always room for improvement.
As dealers we have a responsibility to
ensure our staff receive the best training possible. At Wood Motors, we
encourage out-of-the-box thinking in
all aspects of operations and having
first aid experience or taking an active
roll in health and safety in the work
place which benefits all of us.”
Bill Johnson, Wood Motors Ford,
Fredericton, NB
Markham – “There’s
no question this is
a people business.
Our core mission is
about providing the
best products and services we can
to our customers as well as giving
our associates the tools they need
to do the best job they can. That
includes having an effective Health
and Safety program. In our location, because we deal with people
from many different backgrounds,
we tend to hire associates that
can connect with others in their
loca l communit ies. Now whi le
that might seem to present challenges, when it comes to having
a safe work environment, there is
only one single standard. Taking
precautionary steps to minimize
the risk of on-the-job accidents
is something we’ve always strived
to achieve, not only by providing
clean, functional and safe facilities,
but ensuring our employees are in
a position to handle potential dangers. At the end of the day there is
no substitute for good health and
safety training.”
Cynthia Cochrane, Town+Country
BMW, Markham, ON
Port Hawkesbury “Although we’re a
sma l l de a lersh ip,
serving a (relatively)
small community,
on the job safety is just as important,
even if we have fewer staff members
than a big city store might. At Canso
Ford, all of us, including myself,
wear many different hats, which
also means we’re performing many
different tasks during the course of
any one day or week. That means we
can be working in sales, dealing with
administrative issues or working with
our service managers and technicians, therefore dealing with a number of potential hazards. Although
when it comes to Health and Safety at
the dealership level, most people tend
to focus on perhaps the more obvious,
namely service bays, vehicle components and fluids, but dangers are also
present in less obvious areas too, such
as slippery steps or walkways or parking lots during the winter months.
For those dealing with hazardous
conditions, WHMIS, which came
into effect in 1988, was a big step in
helping to improve health and safety
at work since it established a standard
across the country for safety, reducing inefficiency and duplication.
Still, there’s no substitute for good
H&S training or personal accountability, which is why it should be a key
part of any dealership’s operations.”
Wayne McKay, Canso Ford, Port
Hawkesbury, NS
Va nc ou v er - “ Tr a i n i ng i s a n
essentia l par t of any successf ul
business… whether it relates to
tech n ic a l sk i l l s, t he abi l it y to
foster new ideas, tea mwork, or
hea lt h a nd safet y. At t he Open
Road Group, we’ve made g reat
s t r ide s to b e c ome one of t he
m o s t pr o g r e s s i v e au t om o t i v e
retail groups in Canada and are
proud to have been recog nized
as one of t he top 10 employers
on Aon Hew it t ’s l ist for 2012 .
From a Health and Safety stand
point, we ta ke t he ut most ca re
to ensu re ou r employees work
in the cleanest, safest and most
comfor table env i ron ment possible and with each new store we
open, an integral part of the plan
is taking that concept a stage further. Ensuring each building not
only meets but exceeds regulation
Fire and Safety codes is essential,
while employing features such as
in-ground service hoists and keeping the f loor clear of air lines
(v ia roof mou nted reel s) have
gone a long way to reduce t he
risk of on-the-job accidents. That
said, any thing can happen; anytime, any where, so we encourage
staff to take first aid courses. At
the end of the day, this is a people
business and we can only be successf u l by ensu r i ng t he hea lt h
and happiness of our associates.”
Sharon Rupal, Open Road Group,
Vancouver, BC
April 2012 • AutoJournal
EV 2012 VÉ
The Business of Going EV
‘T he Bu si ne s s of G oi ng EV ’ i s
the theme of EV2012VÉ , Electric
M o b i l i t y C a n a d a ’s f o u r t h
a n nu a l c on f e r e n c e a n d t r a d e
show taking place in Montreal ’s
Palais des Congrès from October
23 to 26, 2012. Over 500 delegates a re ex pec ted f rom across
Canada and elsewhere represent i ng i ndu st r y, f lee t ma na gers ,
government agencies, researchers
and others. Special emphasis on
at tenda nce by f leet s a nd automobi le dea lers ha s been added
t his yea r. The Conference a nd
Trade Show committees are busy
turning this t heme i nto prac t ica l busi ness sessions a nd ot her
opp or t u n it ie s of u npa r a l le le d
va lue i n C a nad a for ma nu fact u rers a nd ret a i lers of veh icles
w it h a l l for ms of elec t r ic t ract ion for on-road a nd of f-road
E le c t r ic Mobi l it y C a nad a i s
a n at ion a l me m b e r s h ip -b a s e d
not-for-prof it or g a n i z at ion
ded ic ated to t he promot ion of
elec t r ic mobi l it y a s a solut ion
to t he e c onom ic a nd env i ronmental issues in Canada’s transpor tation sector.
Alberni Toyota Receives Women’s Choice Award
A Spa for You and Your Car
on Vancouver Island
Central Vancouver Island dealer Alberni Toyota has been honoured with
a “Women’s Choice Award” for “Excellence in Customer Experience.”
Alberni Auto Group general manager, Jim Pelk says the company was
approached by womencertified.com last December for a series of interviews based on customer responses.
“Apparently, we qualified,” says Pelk, who notes that, with a number of
automotive related businesses, the group is well known in the community.
“We always been very strong on ethics,” notes the general manager, who
also suggests that Alberni Toyota’s brand new dealership likely played a
role in the recognition. In addition to a deli-café, the ultra-modern facility also boasts an on-premise hair salon. The only Toyota dealership in
Canada that has one, the salon is located between the customer lounge and
the service department and boasts a full time hair stylist.
“We also have an auto spa on site, so as the word gets out we’re finding that customers are finding it quite convenient to schedule combined
appointments,” adds Pelk. “People like it: they can book their car into the
spa and themselves into the salon.” –T.P.
North Toronto Auction
Remarketer Optimistic for 2012
At North Toronto Auction, they’re seeing indications that the economy is starting to improve, and that automotive purchases will be on the rise. Already, dealer-only
auctions have increased attendance.
lthough retail activity has been
slow since last year, Stu Ralph,
owner/partner of North Toronto
Auction remarketers in Toronto, says
the worst may be finally over.
North Toronto holds dealer-only
wholesale auctions every other Friday
from their location in Innisfil, just
north of Toronto, as well as public
auctions. They specialize in auctioning vehicles, equipment, and recreational assets from all levels of government, manufacturers, financial
institutions and registered dealers.
“With the spring market on our
doorstep, I think activity is going to
increase and remain active for the
balance of the year,” says Ralph. He
notes that dealers can expect to see
an exceptional selection of vehicles
available at North Toronto Auction,
since they are working with new
accounts that are bringing in newer,
lower-kilometre vehicles for the
independent used car dealers as well
as the franchises.
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Always changing
Vehicle remarketing is a constantly
evolving industry, and Ralph says
their organization is no exception.
“We’re in perpetual motion, always
changing,” he notes.
North Toronto was incorporated
in 2003, and opened its doors to great
success. In a few short years, they
expanded their location to 24 acres
with 15 additional acres to accommodate expansion.
An online presence
Now, North Toronto has established
online partnerships with Open
Lane, OVE and Smart Auction to
enhance their own internet solution,
AutoGavel. As the first truly hybrid
remarketing facility, (Incorporating
Public Auctions, Dealer Auctions
and Web Based Remarketing)North
Toronto has vehicles for sale every day.
“We’re embracing the social media
aspect of marketing, as well as being
aggressive in developing new clients,
our focus is to build consignment to
ensure there are good, saleable cars,
that are priced appropriately,” says
Ralph. “With all of these positive
factors on our side, we’re looking
forward to 2012.”
For more information, visit :
Krystyna Lagowski
"Our new clients and
the strength of our consignment
have improved our attendance."
Stu Ralph, owner/
partner, North Toronto
2013 Mazda CX-5 is a ‘no compromise’ CUV
A Compact Crossover for Drivers
As a stand-alone vehicle in the company lineup, it doesn’t share its chassis with any other model, making the CX-5 a costly undertaking for Japan’s fourth-largest
automaker, from which future Mazdas – all of which will get the full Skyactive treatment – will surely borrow.
With its longish nose, steeply raked windshield, “tight” roofline and long rear spoiler, CX-5 designers strived to attain a “dynamic, lunging quality” to the vehicle’s looks.
ONTEREY, California – Why
build a compact crossoverutility vehicle that handles
better than many so-called sports
cars, yet offers up to five riders the
comfort, convenience and versatility
of a sport-utility or a wagon?
In the case of the 2013 Mazda
CX-5, the correct answer is: “Not
everyone with kids who play soccer
hates driving.”
Feedback informs drivers
And because, says Mazda Canada
execut ive v ice-president Kor y
Koreeda, vehicles that provide good
feedback to the driver – which the
CX-5 does commendably – “are safer
cars to drive.”
First with full Skyactiv
As the first-ever Mazda to employ the
company’s full array of energy saving
Skyactiv technologies, the CX-5 needed to be special.
The crossover segment is large and
dynamic, Koreeda said; growing 27
percent over the past two years, it now
represents 17 percent of the industry
in Canada and accounts for 31 percent
of all light-duty truck sales.
Crowded segment
He projects that the segment will reach
300,000 units in Canada by 2015.
The CX-5 needed to stand apart
from a growing gaggle of crossover
competitors, he said. And it needed to
reflect and build upon Mazda’s longnurtured “Zoom-Zoom” slogan.
Skyactiv for all models
A s a sta nd-a lone vehicle in t he
company lineup, it doesn’t share
its chassis with any other model,
making the CX-5 a costly undertaking for Japan’s fourth-largest
automa ker, f rom wh ich f ut u re
Ma zda s – a l l of wh ich w i l l get
t he f u l l Sk yac t ive t reat ment –
will surely borrow.
Sk yact iv components a re
desig ned f rom t he outset to be
env ironmenta lly k inder by saving materials and weight, and by
using clean-burn methods while
increasing performa nce a nd
T he 2 .0 -l it re i n l i ne fou rcylinder engine driving the front
or a l l wheels ma kes 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft
of torque at 4,000 rpm on regular
ga sol i ne, del iver i ng combi ned
highway/cit y f uel mileage up to
7.0 L/100 km.
No compromises necessary
T he c ompac t SU V s e g ment i s
of ten categor i zed by what it is
not, sa id Koreeda : not a s spacious, not as sport y, not as f uel
ef f icient, not as innovative and
overa l l “not a n a lter nat ive” to
la rge SU Vs. It h istor ic a l ly ha s
been “a category of compromise.”
A Mazda from all angles
Easy in and out
Approach the CX-5 from any angle
and it’s quickly identifiable as a
Mazda. From the signature five-point
grille on the nose, on back, Mazda’s
own Kodo (Soul of Motion) design
language speaks to proportion.
Koreeda described the CX-5 design
as having a “dynamic, lunging quality ... that doesn’t look ‘tippy’ from
any angle.”
The rear seat gets a ski pass-through
and is split 40/20/40, adding versatility. The three-place seatbacks fold
flat to increase cargo space to 1,852
litres, from 966 with the seatbacks
upright (bettering the Kia Sportage
and Chevy Equinox, but not the
Honda CR-V). Doors open wide for
easy entry and exit and the rear door
swings up high enough that even tall
people won’t bump into it.
An obsessive attention to detail
in cutting unnecessary weight from
every component of the vehicle brings
the CX-5 in at an almost featherweight
1459 kilograms for the 2WD six-speed
manual, and 1555 kg for the AWD sixspeed automatic; notably less than its
competitors, and 37 kg less than the
previous lightweight leader, the base
Ford Escape.
Design aids handline
Its “cab rearward” style features a longish nose and pushed back A-pillar
that improves visibility. Moving the
C-pillar forward added “tension” to
the roofline, and “moves the load (area)
to between the front and rear wheels,
enhancing both handling and ride.”
Higher seating position
Inside, it has the higher seating position favoured by many Canadians,
with all instruments and controls
keyed towards t he driver. The
front bucket seats feature standard
manual adjustment, though powered seats are available. Moderate
bolsters keep the driver and front
seat passenger firmly in place when
the roads get twisty.
The cabin is quiet inside, even over
badly granulated and broken roads. Fit
and finish throughout the cabin was
consistently uniform with a minimum
of bright work judiciously applied to
accent the instrument panel.
Competitively priced
In showrooms now, the CX-5 is
available in three trim levels: base GX
with FWD starting at $22,995, GS with
standard AWD starting at $27,895 and
GT starting at $32,495. The GS, said
Koreeda, is so well equipped that its
only option is AWD, “and it still comes
in under $25,000.”
Canadian Black Book’s future
value outlook predicts that a base
GS with FWD will still be worth
$10,200 in five years time ; with
AWD, $11,000.
Joe Knycha
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Special finance
solutions are
our specialty.
At Scotia Dealer Advantage, we’ll use our expertise and work closely with you, doing our best to structure a deal that
meets your customer’s special finance needs. Making it possible for more new customers to sign on the dotted line.
To find out how you can close more deals with Scotiabank Dealer Advantage contact your Regional Sales Manager:
Atlantic & Quebec
Alain Légaré
Jim Dyas
Western Canada
Darren Kiley
® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia. Scotia Dealer Advantage Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under license.
Certified Pre-Owned
Seeing Beyond a CPO Sale
If you’re not excited about selling CPO vehicles, then you’re not seeing the whole picture.
hen you sel l a c er t i f ied
pre-owned (CPO) vehicle,
you’re doi ng more t ha n
simply offering peace-of-mind to
the customer. A CPO sale translates into business for your parts
and service departments, as well
as a possible sa le of a new ca r
dow n the road. There’s more to
CPO than meets the eye.
During the Remarketing
Forum, which took place late last
year in Niagara Fa l ls, Ontario,
a p a n e l o f i n du s t r y i n s i d e r s
ex pla i ned t he adva ntages of
CPO, the reasons their companies started their CPO programs,
a s wel l a s t he tech n ique s a nd
training necessary to successfully
market CPO vehicles, as well as
to translate those sales into additional dollars down the road for
the dealership.
Luc Grenier, Senior Consultant
& C e r t i f i e d U s e d Ve h i c l e
Spec ia l i st, CPO sa le s t ra i n i ng
Toyot a C a nad a I nc . ex pla i ned
how Toyota Canada’s CPO program was launched in 1996, being
highly modeled at the time on the
A mer ic a n prog ra m, which wa s
started at the same time.
Toyota doesn’t use t he CPO
moniker. Instead, they call their
c e r t i f ie d pre - ow ne d pro g r a m
TCU V (Toyot a C er t i f ied Used
Veh ic le s) . “A lt hou g h it ’s t r ue
that our program was originally
modeled on the one in the States,”
Grenier said, “it has since taken
on its own identity. We now have
our own version, our own inspect ion sheet s, a nd ever y t h i ng i s
purely Canadian.”
To y o t a ’s T C U V p r o g r a m
w a s rel au nche d i n 2010 w hen
t he compa ny introduced a new
a nd i mproved pla n, wh ich ha s
resulted in higher sales numbers.
Bruce Lindsay, Manager, Fleet
and Corporate Sales, Volkswagen
Canada said V W Canada
launched their CPO program in
19 98, “w hen V W C a nad a a nd
V W USA were bolted toget her.
Our program ran in parallel until
2010 when we rebranded our program and relaunched it.”
A lex Joh nston, Rema rket i ng
Ma nager for Hy u nda i Auto
Canada, admitted that Hyundai’s
CPO program is rather new - only
about seven years old.
Program details
Hy undai may have been one of
t he last ma nufacturers to of fer
CPO, but Johnston said this was
an advantage since it allowed the
compa ny to ta ke a closer look
at what’s out t here, “a nd t hen
improve on it.”
To encou rage consu mers to
buy CPO, Hyundai offers incent ive s l i ke a n e xcha nge pr iv i lege, a nd a f ree oi l cha nge, but
Joh n ston s a id t hat what t r u ly
ma kes t he program work is t he
consumer confidence.
“People buy CPO because they
wa nt peace-of-m i nd,” he sa id.
“W hat t hey ’re look i ng for is a
complete inspec t ion, cer t if ication of the vehicle, a factory warranty, and they want to know the
DNA of the vehicle. That’s why we
provide a CarProof report. These
are the key ingredients and the
things that make a customer want
to buy a CPO vehicle.”
Bruce Lindsay said Volkswagen
accept s veh icles t hat a re up to
five-years-old with up to 120,000
km into their CPO program. “We
of fer a 2-year 40,000 k m manufac t u rer-bac ked wa r r a nt y,” he
adde d . “It ’s not a t h i rd-pa r t y
warranty, although you can purcha se ot her wa r ra nt ie s on top
of ours. Our CPO vehicles a lso
c ome w it h a C a rP roof re por t,
and a complete inspection.”
Li nd say ex pla i ned how on ly
vehicles that were reconditioned
w it h origina l V W par ts qua lif y
for CPO s t at u s . Veh ic le s w it h
a f ter ma rket pa r t s a re not permitted into V W’s CPO program
- a sta nda rd t hat’s not u ncommon today.
Hy undai Canada w ill cer tif y
vehicles that are up to six model
years old, with up to 140,000 km
on t he odome ter. A t horoug h
inspection is par for the course,
“and the tires and brakes must be
a minimum of 50 % ,” added Luc
Grenier. “Anything less, and they
have to be replaced. Vehicles have
to be completely inspected and
recond it ioned pr ior to h it t i ng
the lot. We offer a 1-year 20,000
“When you can get someone into the
brand and into a CPO vehicle as an entrylevel point, there’s a high probability, if
you do things right, to convert them into
a new car purchaser down the road.”
– Bruce Lindsay
km powertrain warranty, 1-year
roadside assistance, and we also
have an in-house extended warranty which can be up-sold.”
Benefits of CPO
Customers are attracted to CPO
vehicles because t hey wa nt t he
peace-of-mind that comes from
buying a vehicle that’s been thoroughly inspected, comes with a
warranty, and has the manufacturer’s backing.
Dealers should be attracted to
CPO because it builds customer
loyalty while drumming up business for both the parts and service departments.
“T hroug h ou r t ra i ni ng programs,” said VW’s Bruce Lindsay,
“we’re creating awareness in our
dea lers about t he prof it abi l it y
t hat CPO veh icles of fer. We’re
also raising awareness about the
loyalty generated through a CPO
vehicle - it’s equal to the loyalty
factor you have w it h a new car
c u s tome r. W he n you c a n ge t
someone into the brand and into
a CPO vehicle as an entr y-level
point, there’s a high probability,
if you do things right, to convert
t hem into a new ca r purchaser
down the road.”
CPO a lso generates busi ness
for ot he r de pa r t me nt s w it h i n
a dea lership. “The dea lers who
are committed to the program,”
a d d e d To y o t a’s L u c G r e n i e r,
“ have seen t he benef its and t he
advantage in the service and the
parts departments.”
ning. A ll t he manufacturers on
the CPO panel at the Remarketing
Forum placed a strong emphasis
on training.
“Wit h ou r i n it ia l t ra i n i ng,”
sa id Hy u nda i ’s A lex Joh nston,
“we we nt c o a s t-to - c o a s t w it h
training seminars for the dealer
principa l. We showed t hem t he
potent ia l t hey had to i ncrea se
t hei r prof it s, not on ly i n used
cars but in parts and service, and
To see the benef its, you have to
do the job right, and the only way
to get it right is with proper traiApril 2012 • AutoJournal
in new car sales as well.”
Volkswagen had all their dealers
come up with a game plan. “The
training was very serious,” admitted Bruce Lindsay. “Every dealer
was required to establish an action
plan which identified the areas of
opportunity, areas of weakness,
and timelines.”
Each V W dea lership was
monitored very closely with indea lersh ip fol low-up appoi ntments. “Ever yone that attended
our training sessions spent two
days developing a plan that they
then took back with them to their
d e a le r s h ip s ,” L i nd s a y a d d e d .
“Then, we went into each dealersh ip for a f u l l d ay, a nd went
through an assessment of what
actions were taken, what areas of
weakness still existed, and how
things could still improve.”
Toyota also takes training very
seriously. “We have a department
ca l led Toyota Universit y,” Luc
Grenier explained. “ We have done
two-day training programs with
sales managers, general managers,
and the dealer principal.”
Toyota ha s a lso i nvested i n
online training courses, including
a serious of podcasts. These are
sent out regularly to dealerships,
and they cover every thing from
product demonstrations to delivery
- everything to do with the sales
process and the CPO program. “It’s
been very successful,” Grenier said.
Advertising is key, and doing it
right is critical. You may have CPO
vehicles on your lot, but if nobody
knows about them, then nobody
will come to you for their peaceof-mind used vehicle needs.
“One of the things that’s different about a new car customer vs. a
used car customer is that when a
used car customer comes in they
have a lready used t he Internet
to source out the vehicle they’re
look i ng for,” ex pla i ned Br uc e
Lindsay. “They know exactly what
car they want. They’re not at your
dea lerships to look at any used
V W - they’re there to look at a
specific vehicle.”
Since CPO buyers are already
u si ng t he I nter net to look for
vehicles, it only makes sense for
dealerships to use the Internet to
promote CPO vehicles. “Socia l
media is something we are trying
to get our dealers on board with,”
Lindsay added. “But it takes a different way of thinking to succeed
on t he I nter ne t . For ex a mple,
people want a response or a quote
within an hour. If they’re searching for a vehicle, you can’t wait
till the next business day. People
want a ver y quick response, and
if you don’t offer it then they will
move on.”
Toyota is doing very well online.
“We found t hat adver tising on
radio or in papers didn’t work so
we moved everything onto the web
and the results are phenomenal,”
Grenier said. “We deal strictly with
the web now. We decided to do that
in 2006, and we have not regretted
it. Our certified Toyota website is
dedicated to TCUV, we have cars
on Kijiji, and we have dealers using
all sorts of third parties to advertise their vehicles.”
Gren ier k nows t hat Inter net
c u s tomer s a ren’t a s pat ient a s
t he “c onve nt ion a l ” c on s u m e r
w ho w a l k s i nt o a d e a l e r s h ip.
“W he n a c u s tome r s e nd s i n a
r e q u e s t f or i n f or m a t i on , t w o
hou rs doe sn’t c ut it,” he s a id .
“Actua l ly, one hour doesn’t cut
it. It needs to be fast and precise
a nd a n s were d e x ac t ly t he w ay
t he customer ex pects.”
Facing challenges
CPO is such a good idea that ever yone seems to be jumping on
the CPO wagon - whether they
sell a f ranchised brand or not.
Consumers need to understand
the difference. “Everyone is adver-
tising CPO today,” Lindsay said.
“So our first step is to help them
recognize that [ours is] a manufacturer-backed CPO program.”
One of the challenges Lindsay
spoke about is making sure that
only V W dea lers sel l V W used
vehicles. “Somet i mes we a l low
our vehicles to slip between our
f i nger t ips a nd out of ou r network,” he admitted.
How does that happen ? “We
have two stages of vehicle sales
where we sel l to [V W] dea lers
exclusively before the third step
where the sale is open to all dealers,” Li nd say ex pla i ned. “T he
fourth step is auction, and they get
gobbled up quickly at the auction.”
While controlling the f low of
used vehicles in the marketplace
may be next to impossible, making the most of CPO sales within
your dea lership cer tainly isn’t.
With the right training, marketing,
and effort, certif ied pre-owned
vehicles could earn you top dollar
on the sales f loor, while increasing
sales in other departments within
your dealership. And if you do it
right, you may be able to turn that
CPO sale into a new car sale in the
Clearly, there’s more to CPO
than meets the eye!
Jack Kazmierski
(L-R) Luc Grenier (Toyota), Bruce Lindsay (VW), and Alex Johnston (Hyundai) talk about their CPO programs.
April 2012 • AutoJournal
The Used Vehicle Market
A Second Chance for the Second-Hand in Canada
The economic crisis of 2008-09 had an enormous impact on the manufacturing sector. In North America, the auto industry, namely Chrysler, Ford and General Motors
had to make serious adjustments in order to prevent falling off the proverbial cliff.
ne of these main modifications
occurred at General Motors,
which discontinued its lease
programs through GMAC in July
2008, causing a major disruption
in the supply of low mileage used
automobiles via auctions.
Four years later…
T he a f ter- ef fec t s of t h i s dec ision are increasing ly being felt,
si nce t here cur rent ly is a sca rcit y of used vehicles to be had,
most ly in t he case of Domest ic
Nor t h A mer ic a n bra nded pro ducts. Dema nd now out weights
s uppl y, re s u lt i ng i n a s e l le r’s
market. “Norma lly, the price of
vehicles goes dow n during w inter a nd up around Ma rch. This
year, we did not witness the norma l dec rea se,” notes Stépha ne
St-Hi la i re, president a nd COO
of Adessa Canada.
Ea ster n reg ion at GM Ca nada.
He conf irms : “Before 2008, the
lease ratio for Canada was about
50% of the vehicles marketed by
GM. Now, the figures are around
10% for Canada and 20% for the
Quebec market.” Overa ll, those
f ig ures ex plain t he shor tfa l l in
the used vehicle business.
A new portrait
Stua r t Hask ins, v ice-president
and genera l manager of Dueck
Chev rolet-Hummer-Cadillac in
Vancouver, also noted that, “These
measures have changed the sales
portrait at GM. Although we have
our own car leasing program, we
can feel the effects of that decision
taken by the headquarters. There
has been far less lease returns, thus
creating rarity in the used vehicle
market. This rarity will rise towards
the end of the summer, since the
Detroit’s “big three,” have made
numerous structural changes
and policies, which have had a
major impact in the way all three
manufacture and sell their vehicles.
As of last year, GM is back with
vehicle lease programs. However,
this time, the approach is quite
different whether for individual
vehicles or large scale f leet orders.
Pierre Guèvremont, account director, Eastern Canada, Genera l
Motors, poi nt s out t hat, si nce
GM’s re s t r uc t u r i ng fol low i ng
bankruptcy protection, the compa ny h a s c omple te l y c h a nge d
i t s w a y of r u n n i n g a s s e m b l y
pla nts, ensu r i ng t hat t he ma rket is not f looded by its products as it was before. According
to Guèvremont, “The shortfall in
the used vehicle f ield is primarily caused by the fact that there
are far less lease programs being
offered through major manufacturers, since the interest rates and
the residual value came back to
more realistic values.” Frederick
R ac i ne i s d i rec tor, Cl ient serv ic e s a nd A f t e r- s a le s for t he
leasing terms were, for the most
part, 48 months, which brings us
to July 2012.”
T he problem of s c a rc e a nd
decreasing lease programs doesn’t
just exist at GM. David Richter,
sa le s ma nager at Cr u ick sha n k
Ford, in Toronto, Ontario, a lso
rema rked about t he reduc t ion
in inventory for auctions, which
pushes up used vehicles prices.
He note s t h at he mu s t s p e nd
far more than ever for his used
vehicles i nventor y a nd t hat he
c a n not nec e s s a r i ly ra i se t hei r
selling price, since it is diff icult
to educate the clients to the new
marketplace realities.
These new factors, added to
the economic sluggishness, have
affected the number and the type
of available vehicles at auction in
Canada. St-Hilaire observed that
there are effectively less American
vehicles offered on their auction
sites at present. Other manufacturers are now taking a bigger chunk
of business, but without filling the
gap created by the 2008 crisis.
The Internet changes
It should be noted, however, that
this situation is not only due to
the economic turmoil, or by the
fact that there are fewer vehicles
to sel l, but a lso because t here
are more and more buyers on the
market. St-Hilaire explains that,
“Thanks to the Internet, international buyers are not limited to
just their own market, thus raising
the demand and, as a result, prices
too.” The present situation favours
sellers, and the situation may still
remain the same for several months. “Sales are resuming slowly in
United States, but it will still take
at least two years before we’re back
to normal in Canada,” according to
Stuart Haskins also sees the
Internet as one of the main factors in transforming the way used
vehicle fleets are managed. “Thanks
to the Internet, we sell our inventory
much more easily. We’re less reluctant to keep ‘other make’ vehicles in
our inventory, since we know that
people are beginning, for the most
part, their shopping process online.
That’s why more than 95% of our
inventory appears on our own website.” The reason for this change can
be explained by the ease with which
potential buyers can browse the
Web to find exactly what they seek.
Thanks to sites like Autotrader.ca, the
client can find any make of vehicle,
at any retailer. He/she doesn’t have
to leave home anymore to make the
first steps or limit themselves to their
local market.
Looking to the future
Currently, the situation favours
those who want to sell their vehicle,
but it will not always be the same
in the future. No matter which side
prevails in coming years, there’s no
doubt that the purchase and sale of
used vehicles will be done on the
Internet. The Canadian population
is aging, but we must not forget
that a new generation of buyers will
quietly take the place of the babyboomers. In the coming years, it will
be essential to stay on top of current
trends in the market, and embrace
innovative ideas in order to stand
out from the crowd and attract a new
generation of potential customers.
Francis Lalonde
April 2012 • AutoJournal
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Geneva Auto Show
A Ray of Light in a Land of Turmoil
The Geneva Auto Show could be considered the second most important international auto show (in chronological order) after the North American International Auto
Show held in Detroit this January. But, as Detroit was celebrating the return of a stronger economy, Geneva was almost bracing itself for the opposite.
verproduction, rising prices,
alliances between manufacturers (GM and Peugeot, for
example) and more, cast a shadow
over the 82nd edition of this legendary show held in Switzerland.
Nonetheless, among the more than
700 brands seen at the show, including some of the most prestigious in
the world, there were some quite interesting new vehicles unveiled, albeit
few of them bound for the North
American market. According to the
Show announcements, some 140 new
vehicles were part of a European or
global unveiling.
From A to…V!
Obviously, European brands were
the stars of the Geneva Auto Show.
But, as in Detroit, there were very
few concept vehicles shown for
the first time. On the other hand,
local manufacturers came out with
production-ready introductions of
some of the most extraordinary cars
ever offered.
Cars? There were not only cars in
Geneva. Take for example Bentley,
an iconic British luxury brand (now
owned by Volkswagen) that unveiled
a… SUV! Indeed, the EXP9F is a concept vehicle that is closer to a SUV
than anything else, but will it ever
make it to the production lines?
Though some critics disliked
the EXP9F, it was designed to fight
off other luxury SUVs such as the
Porsche Cayenne (even though the
EXP9F shares some of its components with the Cayenne since both
vehicles are part of the same company!), the upcoming Maserati
Kubang and more!
Speaking of more... Land Rover,
the “official” British SUV maker,
unveiled in Geneva, a convertible
version of its latest Evoque light
truck. Among the other British auto
manufacturers there, Morgan had a
few new original ideas including an
electric version of its world famous
sports car, while BMW-owned Mini
showed off a prototype of a commercial delivery van version of its Mini
Clubman, aptly renamed Clubvan.
German manufacturer, Audi
exhibited prototy pe versions of
the RS4 Avant and the A6 Allroad,
the latter not being aimed at the
A mer ic a n ma rke t . A l so f rom
Germany, BMW unveiled the long
awaited M version of the 135i and
its equivalent in the Series 6, the M6.
Not muc h c a m e f rom t h e
A merica n carma ker Genera l
Motors, except for a European version of its ATS and a station wagon
version of its already very popular
Chevrolet Cruze. Unfortunately,
GM announced that this body style
would not be available in North
America… really?
By the way, the European version of the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel
Ampera, was also voted European
Car of the Year (an announcement
that ironically came at the same
time as the news that GM is shutting down its Volt assembly lines in
America in order to clear the inventory of unsold Volts).
Legendary Italian automaker,
Ferrari astonished the world with
its all-new and very spectacular
F-12, while announcing improvements to its superb Ca lifornia
model. Then, still in the family,
Fiat came out with a larger version
of its already popular 500 small car
- aptly called the 500L. It has to be
bound for America!
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s long-time
competitor Lamborghini pulled the
wraps off its Aventador J, a prototype supercar that might very well
precede an upcoming Spyder version of that famous exotic.
The Ford booth showed off a
concept adaptation of the Europeon ly Tourneo passenger minivan and the prototype of its small
B-Max CUV - another vehicle that
will not make it to North America,
at least not for the moment.
South Korea’s Hyundai unveiled
a new redesigned version of the i30
while its counterpart Kia showed a
concept car known as the Cee’d , a
vehicle that is also reserved for the
European market. Mercedes-Benz
showed its new A-Class car, a compact
vehicle that might come to America.
For us?
Fortunately, some of the Geneva
unveilings are bound for North
America. Take for instance Lexus’
redesigned RX SUV. It has a totally
new front end, similar to that of the
new GS sedan with more aggressive
styling, while the whole interior has
been redone. The RX will still be
available in the 450h hybrid version
plus a new F-Sport version that will
match the vehicle’s new look.
The same goes for the Mitsubishi
Outlander SUV, which is sure to
make it to North America. But in
this case, it will surely have different local specifications.
Japanese manufacturer, Nissan,
was proud to introduce its prototype HiCross - a concept vehicle
that shows the direction Nissan’s
designers are taking their smaller
SU Vs and CU Vs. The manufacturer a lso a nnounced t hat t he
HiCross demonstrates the use of
a hybrid-electric powertrain and
a newly redesigned CVT transmis-
sion. Its Invitation concept car is
strict ly desig ned for Europea n
needs, though it does not necessarily mean we will never get a version
of it in our country (not in Nissan’s
immediate plans).
What’s in Porsche’s immediate
plans is the all-new Boxster that
will soon hit our shores as a base
or S model. L ower, longer a nd
w ider, t he a l l-new Boxster w i l l
still keep its f lat-six engine buried under the car, but with about
15% better fuel economy.
While Suzuki’s G70 concept car
probably has one of the most aerodynamic shapes ever produced by
this small Japanese manufacturer,
it is doubtful it will ever make it as
a production car.
A not her u nusua l concept
vehicle shown in Geneva was the
Toyota FT-Bh, a small four-passenger car powered by a 1.0-litre twocylinder gas engine.
Cha nces a re, t he Vol k swagen
Cros s C oup e T DI w i l l m a ke it
t o C a n a d a i n t h e f u t u r e . We
c a n b e su re , howe ver, t hat t he
conver t ible version of t he GT I
should be sent to North America
where, w it hout a doubt, it w i l l
be a h it.
Volvo unvei led a tota l ly new
V40 in Geneva, but it is unsure
whet her it w i l l ever ma ke it to
our market.
There were ma ny more new
products and concept cars shown
in Geneva, as well as numerous
technical innovations. No doubt,
in the coming months, some of
these vehicles and technical matters will be introduced to us in one
way or the other. We will surely
keep you posted!
Éric Descarries
April 2012 • AutoJournal
///////// GENEVA
This Bentley SUV could be reality in a few years.
The Chevrolet Cruze Wagon will not be available in Canada… yet.
Ferrari unveiled a very powerful car in Geneva, the F-12.
The new RX 350 has an aggressive front end.
Will this Hyundai reach our shores?
Infiniti is looking at new designs with the Emerg-E.
The Class A Mercedes-Benz could be marketed in North America.
This bigger Fiat could very well make it to North America.
With its i-Oniq, Hyundai is exploring new avenues.
This car could very well be the new Aventador Spyder.
The Opel Ampera, Chevy Volt’s German cousin, was voted European Car of the Year.
The Volkswagen Cross Coupe should make it around the world.
Land Rover made a convertible concept out of its Evoque.
The Hi Cross indicates where Nissan’s design is heading.
Nissan’s Invitation concept car is for the European market only.
The Outlander unveiled in Geneva should make it here.
The all-new Porsche Boxster will soon be marketed in our part of the world.
Volvo’s new V40 is not yet confirmed for North America.
Unfortunately, the Cee’d is only for Europe.
Mini is looking at a commercial version of its wagon with this Clubvan concept car.
The Volkswagen GTI Cabriolet was long awaited.
Suzuki’s G70 concept car is just that… a concept car!
April 2012 • AutoJournal
rreatgeinng emp
tion loyee
me exp
d o
appealing to
generation ‘y’
ct k beyon
nowl d
Professional Development
Investing in your Employees
Whether it’s called professional development, continuing education or lifelong learning, today’s businesses need to invest
in some form of ongoing training for their employees. Not only does it show that employers care, but that they require staff
who are more experienced and capable in their roles, resulting in employees that are not only more engaged but happier and
therefore more productive.
n most jurisdict ions across
Canada, it’s mandatory for auto
salespeople to complete a certification process that includes an educational component. But for smart
employers, there are other professional skills, talents – and benefits – to
be developed.
employee retention
At the Automotive Business School of
Canada, Georgian College, there are
a variety of courses available to auto
industry employees. “It’s important to
train employees in a way that not only
recognizes individual needs, but also
ensures everyone is meeting the same
standards,” says Heather Ummels,
manager of continuing education
and workforce development at the
Automotive Business School of Canada.
Ummels says companies invest
in professional development in
order to encourage employees to
be engaged, since it’s often been
show n, t hey ’re more l i kely to
remain committed to both their
job and the company as a result.
“[Professional development] shows
you have an interest and investment
in a person, and that makes them
want to stay,” she says.
Currently, the courses at the school
can be delivered online, which is
very appealing to the auto industry.
“We’re marketing courses outside of
Ontario, since we can customize training based on need,” Ummels says.
“If an auto dealers’ association from
out west asked us to package specific courses for them, we can create a
custom online portal for that group.”
Appealing to Generation ‘Y’
Gerlinde Herrma nn, a huma n
resources consultant who specializes
in retention consulting, says no matter what the sector is, retention issues
tend to be similar.
“Professional development is a
good way to combat turnover, especially if you’re targeting the younger
market,” she asserts. “That’s a group
[which] looks for change, new challenges and new excitement.”
“Often kids go into dealerships
because they don’t know what else to
do,” says Herrmann. “If you’re going
to hire a bright young person who
doesn’t know yet what they really want
to do, wouldn’t it be better to help
them make a decision to stay there?”
she asks. “You want young kids who
are interested and ambitious and eager
to get better – after all they could be
your next generation of managers.”
Driving positive outcomes
“When sales people become certified through our learning solutions, they have the knowledge and
skill to perform more effectively for
consumers,” says Paul McCallum,
group account director at Maritz
C a nad a I nc ., a n orga n i z at ion
specializing in consumer loyalty
marketing, employee engagement
and sales channel performance. “A
certified salesperson sells twice as
many cars as a non-certified salesperson.”
Maritz delivers an annual certification program that involves
quarterly milestones and objectives
throughout the course of the year,
and ultimately, a certification.
“We design and develop programs on behalf of the auto manufacturers, and ta ke input f rom
them as well as the dealers,” says
McC a l lu m. “We l i sten closely
to what the dea lers’ needs and
requirements are, and work with
the manufacturer to align priorities. You can’t do it in isolation.”
The crit ica l bui lding block s
include product knowledge, the
va lue proposition for t he cons u m e r, a n d e f f e c t i v e l y c om municating with them. “We see
considerable increase in overall
customer satisfaction when [such
a process] is delivered by certified
salespeople and service advisers,”
says McCallum.
Going beyond
product knowledge
Vancouver’s OpenRoad Auto Group
dealership was recently named one of
the top 10 best employers in Canada
by Aon Hewitt – for the third year in
a row. OpenRoad has nine locations
in Vancouver, selling Audi, BMW,
Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda,
Mini, Scion and Toyota, which
employ over 500 staff.
Sharon Rupal, director of human
resources at OpenRoad, says the
organization is humbled by the recognition. “It means so much to us
that over 93 percent of our employees
participated in this national survey,
that gauges employee engagement,”
she says.
OpenRoad feels strongly about selfdirected learning, offering educational
subsidies, training and development
within the organization as well as what
Rupal explains, are called “lunch and
“We just launched an overall health
and wellness information session with
a 21 day challenge,” Rupal says. “It’s
about learning and understanding
April 2012 • AutoJournal
“Training that incorporates product
knowledge and customer handling skills
drives results in the marketplace.”
– Paul McCallum, group account director,
Maritz Canada
the benefits of eating right and exercising – for 21 days there are certain
things you can and can’t eat. It’s fun
and really interests people.”
Rupal also notes that there is an
annual awards banquet where employees are awarded for service and other
accomplishments. “This year, we have
55 people who are celebrating a milestone anniversary with us – we’ve had
a couple of employees who’s celebrated
their 30th anniversary with [the Open
Road Auto Group],” she says.
Management training
At the Montreal chapter of the
Corporation des Concessionaires
d’automobiles du Quebec (CCAQ),
dealers across the province are
f locking to a course that’s been
developed in partnership with the
U.S. National Automobile Dealers
Association (NADA). The CCAQ
is a car dealer organization which
offers training programs and continuing education tailored to the
Quebec auto industry.
“We offer four different programs at the management level
which are three days long,” says
Tamar Kantarjim, director of communications. “Our organization
is the only one that can offer this
program in French, which is very
important in Quebec.”
The courses are for vice presidents, financial controllers and
department heads, and have been
adapted for the Quebec market.
“It’s an intensive three day course,
and offers NADA certification,”
observes Kantarjim. “We’ve had an
excellent response to these courses,
and hope to develop more programs
at the management level.”
Meeting consumer
McCallum observes that as cars
have become more complex, today’s
consumers have developed higher
expectations. “These days, a salesperson has to not only explain an increa-
singly complex product and a value
proposition to a customer, but do it
in a way that makes it feel personal
to the customer,” he says.
“In order to do that, you have to
understand your customer, you need
to understand how to utilize the
vehicle as a tool set and resource into
that customer’s life,” he continues.
“It’s a fascinating time to be in this
Krystyna Lagowski
Automotive Business School of Canada
Rebranding Connects to New Generation
On February 17, Georgian College launched a new brand – the Automotive Business School of Canada – at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS).
The new edgy yet classic imagery targets a new student generation.
A strong heritage
G e org i a n C ol le ge’s C a n ad i a n
Automotive Institute (CAI) has a
strong 27 year history, which was
incorporated into the new brand.
“We wanted to keep that nostalg ic connection, so our images
have a classic feel,” says Jennifer
Sheremeto, marketing specialist at
Georgian College.
The intention was not to change
the name, but after working with
ad agency Young and Rubicam and
doing focus groups, it became a
necessity. “There was some confusion since we are a business school,
not a technical school – as some may
have thought,” notes Sheremeto.
“Our students and alumni are very
pleased with the way the re-branding
has drawn on our heritage.”
Unique students
The college is constantly working to
connect with the younger generaApril 2012 • AutoJournal
tion to attract students . “When we
go out to speak to students about
careers, it’s important to understand what excites and motivates
them,” explains Sheremeto.
The program’s typical student
is unique in that he or she loves
cars and loves business, explains
Sheremeto. The rebranding has
a cool tag line, ‘For t he driven’
as well as a creed, or a personal
philosophy, that is featured in the
social media messages, designed
to tap into the imagination of a
young person.
Program grads work in every
aspect of the auto industry across
Canada, from dealerships to f leet
management, marketing and the
aftermarket. “The auto industry
will benefit from our rebranding,
since we’ll be educating more students and they’ll be taking that
knowledge with them to their jobs
in the industry,” Sheremeto notes.
Mix of old and new
Many of the photographs were shot
on the Georgian campus, using real
students. “We used a classic Shelby
Cobra as well as an Audi R8, so that
the feel would be timeless,” says
Sheremeto. “While we wanted to
maintain that nostalgic connection,
we didn’t want to look dated. It’s a
mix of the old and the new.”
She adds that the rebranding is
unlike anything Georgian has ever
done. “We were lucky to work with
an agency like Young and Rubicam,
who had great ideas and a very
collaborative style of working,”
Sheremeto says. “It’s resulted in an
outstanding campaign.”
At the CIAS, she noticed that
the event was packed ever y day.
“It’s a good sign that this is going
to be a good time for our industry – and also a good time for our
Krystyna Lagowski
“This rebranding
will ultimately
benefit the Canadian
auto industry,”
Jennifer Sheremeto,
marketing specialist,
Georgian College
Manda Freyman,
Sales Consultant,
Windsor Infiniti
Nathalie Aumont,
Joliette Toyota
Meredith Morris,
President/General Manager,
Sudbury Hyundai
Women In Dealerships
A Sign of Evolution
These days, it’s not unusual to find women in car dealerships – not only as consumers, but also as salespeople, service
advisers, managers and owners. It’s another way the industry is changing and adapting to the times.
lthough Manda Freyman, sales
consultant at Windsor Infiniti,
comes from an automotive
background, she never thought she
would have a career in cars, despite
the fact her father builds racecar
engines and she’s been around cars
all her life.
“I have a B.A. in sports psychology,” Freyman says. “When I decided
to take a year off school, I was bartending and answered an ad in the
paper, thinking it would be just parttime. Little did I know that selling cars
is not part-time!”
An alternative career path
That was twelve years ago, and
Freyman believes her experience is
typical of women in car sales. “It
becomes an alternative career path
to something else,” she says. “But the
industry is changing, and good female
salespeople can be very successful.”
Tracy Roulston, sales manager at
Whitby’s Marigold Ford, started out
selling radio advertising. “I was let go
because of ownership changes, and
one of the folks I had been calling on
for radio advertising was a car dealership,” she recalls. “He had mentioned
that he was interested in hiring me, so
I thought I’d give it a try – and here I
am, 26 years later.”
Different sales technique
Women generally have a slightly different approach to selling than men,
according to Roulston. “We’re kind of
nurturing,” she observes. “The buying
process is emotional, and I think by
nature, women may be more patient
and understanding. I’ll really hold
the customer’s hand and guide them
to help make the right decision.”
Freyman takes a softer approach,
and says people are more prone to
talk to her about cars – especially men
who are not “gearheads.” “It may be
easier for a guy to talk to a woman who
won’t challenge him or make him feel
uncomfortable with his knowledge
about a vehicle,” she says.
More women customers
As women have climbed the corporate ladder and have become more
financially self-sufficient and independent, they more frequently make
car purchases on their own. “Women
consumers have evolved and they are
very knowledgeable about cars, especially with the Internet,” says Nathalie
Aumont, president of Joliette Toyota.
“And they see the advantage in having
a woman salesperson. They want a
quality car that is stylish and reliable
– another woman will understand
their needs.”
Aumont says that while women
customers may not seek to do business with a woman car salesperson,
they appreciate the opportunity.
Freyman agrees, saying, “Women
don’t walk in and look for a woman
to do business with, but if they bump
into one, they may be more prone to
do business with you more immediately. There’s less of a chase – it’s
easier and quicker doing business
woman to woman.”
Mered it h Mor r is, president
and general manager of Sudbury
Hyundai, says that women tend to
prefer dealing with a female salesperson because they feel less pressure and a higher trust level. “Some
of my female salespeople have more
luck selling to certain men because
they have a hard time saying no to a
woman,” she quips.
A hiring trend
Aumont believes that this is part of a
general trend in typically male-dominated professions. “In my dealership, I
have a woman who is a parts clerk and
also a female service advisor,” she says.
“It’s not just because I wanted to hire
women, but because these were the best
qualified candidates [for the job].”
According to Aumont, product
knowledge is not an issue. “For a
woman in this field, there is very little
margin for error. So one must be very
competent and know the characteristics of each vehicle,” she says.
Morris agrees, saying that you
should know what you’re talking
about when you’re selling something.
“It’s okay to say you’re not sure and
you have to look into it, but you need
to be able to answer questions.” She’ll
recruit people through unique means.
“If I’m out somewhere and I receive
excellent service, I’ll give the person my card and tell them if they’re
looking for a change in career, to give
me a call,” she notes. Currently, her
dealership not only has female service
advisers and sales people, but also a
female lot attendant and apprentice .
An exciting and
challenging field
Roulston loves her job, and says the
auto industry is “awesome.” “You
have f lexibility and a lot of fun –
where else can you meet a different
person every day and build a special rapport with them?” she asks.
“When I’m doing a deal, by the
end of the day, I know where the
customer lives, where they work,
what sports their k ids are into
– and they know the same about
me.” She adds that like any sales
position, it can be difficult at first,
but the key is to be patient and persistent – following the procedures
and learning along the way.
According to Freyman, the key
is to get into the career later in life,
after having a family. “It’s hard to
Tracy Roulston,
Sales Manager,
Marigold Ford
step away for a few years to raise
a family and then rejuvenate your
business. Loyalties don’t run deep,
you have to physically be there,
ot her w ise people forget about
you,” she says.
Freyman adds, “If you have the
drive, you can do it. And that’s what
it takes to be incredibly successful in
this business, whether you’re a man or
a woman.”
Krystyna Lagowski
April 2012 • AutoJournal
ERNIE bugelli
Human Resources
Personnel Expenses… I Think Not!
Are your employees an expense or an investment? The answer to this question is more important than you might think.
Here are the “Ernie Rules” when it comes to Personnel Investment:
Have we figured out why our revenues have declined to the point where we are looking to
cut expense ? Could it be that we have never had enough people ? I know that I have been in
restaurants and retail outlets that clearly are understaffed and it has made it impossible for me
to want to do business with them again.
I don’t appreciate a business that puts their bottom line before my customer experience. I’m giving them my
money... once. If other people feel the way I do, then it would make sense that the revenues in that business
would naturally decline.
We are in the service business and unless we staff to serve, we lose revenue. Investing in people and coaching them to serve is an investment you can quantif y.
Personnel is just another term for humans. Humans are complicated creatures that experience
life-changing events. They get sick, require holidays, get married, have babies, face tragedy and
sometimes just plain burn out if pushed too hard for too long.
Do we consider all of this when we look at the staffing requirements that are geared to serving
the customer? By the way, shouldn’t everything we do be done with the customer in mind since they are
our only source of revenue?
If we staff our stores for the perfect storm and have just enough people to get the job done, aren’t we just
going into it knowing that we can’t consistently provide service to the level our customers expect? And
our customers not only demand good service, they demand it consistently.
For example, if you have demand and capacity for eight service advisors and employ only the eight required, then we already know, just by virtue of holidays, that you are short a person 20 of the 52 weeks of the
year. We haven’t even considered training and all those life events mentioned above which would mean
that number is closer to 40 weeks. I don’t even want to get into the whole “let’s employ just seven and
make them hustle harder” routine, because that just doesn’t make any sense.
What would happen if instead of cutting an expense we make another investment in a ninth advisor? Could
the fact that we were understaffed have contributed to our declining revenues in the first place? If so,
you have the ability to reverse that trend by putting customer experience first and investing accordingly.
Trick yourself and call it “advertising” because these customers will in essence become just that once you
exceed their demands for service.
hroughout my career I have
often heard the expressions
“rightsizing the ship” and
“expensing our way to profitability.” There are obviously
circumstances whereby this is a
necessary evil of operating a business, but are we actually taking
the time to analyze this when it
comes to personnel expense.
First off let’s explore what a
personnel expense really is. In
my mind when it comes to people
costs, an expense is simply an
investment that didn’t work the
way it was intended to, meaning
it did not generate the revenue
necessary to produce a return on
that investment.
People are one component
of an expense review and the
most vital one of all. You can
decide to stop spending money
on advertising and know that
the companies you’re advertising
with will be right where you left
them whenever you are ready to
reinvest with them. People are
much tougher to find and are
more costly to reintroduce into
the expense structure while they
train and ramp up - not to mention the costs associated with
attracting the right ones.
All too often our businesses are
guilty of complaining about the
lack of talent available while we
resort to staff cuts as a knee jerk
first expense cutting measure. I
believe the mentality that dictates
“our sales are down so we must
need less people” is the best way to
ensure that your sales stay that way.
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Involve your tea m in t hese times of trouble. Show t hem t he concer ns you have a nd t he
expenses you face. Show them you want to avoid staff cuts at any expense and explain to them
what revenue levels need to be achieved in order to keep ever yone employed. It is absolutely
amazing how humans will respond if you make them part of the solution as you strive to save
and create jobs. Tr y it!
People are by far our biggest cost and our most important asset. Don’t make decisions about your personnel too lightly and without great honesty and careful consideration. Some other business might be
willing to employ your people, but unlike advertisers, good employees won’t necessarily be there when
you’re ready to hire again.
Ernie Bugelli is a 20-year veteran of the automotive retail sector. During his career, he earned the confidence and respect of his peers in the areas of employee and
customer enthusiasm, and has worked as a consultant. He is currently the Operations Manager for Agincourt Autohaus VW and Audi Midtown Toronto.
Sandy Liguori, acting president,
Trillium Automobile Dealers Association;
Doug Sullivan, president, Ontario
Automobile Dealers Association
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association
An Exciting Merger Of Two Dynamic Forces
On February 16, 2012, members of the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and the Ontario Automobile Dealers Association (OADA) officially joined forces to
form the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association - the largest provincial automobile dealer association in Canada.
fter years of hard work and deliberation, a visionary new provincial organization has been
created that will represent one third
of new car dealers in Canada – 1,191
– as well as their 47,000 employees.
“Our two organizations have
always worked side by side, but it
always works better when there’s
only one,” says Sandy Liguori, acting president, Trillium Automobile
Dealers Association. “There’s strength
in numbers, and now, there will be
only one voice in Ontario representing
all the dealers.”
In the summer of 2011, Liguori
took on the challenge of merging the
two organizations with Doug Sullivan,
who is president of the Ontario
Automobile Dealers Association.
Like a marriage
“This merger had been in progress
for a number of years, but it needed a
different approach to cut through the
red tape,” says Liguori. He compares
the merger to a marriage, in that
there had to be some compromise as
well as give and take on both sides.
“Doug and I work well together,”
notes Liguori, “we’re honest with
each other and we were both committed to making this work.” He also
gives credit to the boards of directors,
who offered support, feedback and
approval throughout the process.
Streamlining operations
There was a certain amount of overlap between the two organizations
that inevitably crossed some lines and
created redundancy.
“For example, we both had separate government relations committees,” recalls Sullivan. “That needed
to become one committee to operate
more efficiently.”
Other issues that need to be
addressed include rules and regulations, advertising legislation,
and environmental issues. “With
environmental issues, there has been
a lot of change, and we’re trying to
go green wherever possible, like with
body shops,” he says. “We want to
stay on top of all government related
issues to create the best possible
awareness for our members.”
Better representation
Another benefit for dealers will be
a more evened out representation.
“We’re going to establish representation in every quarter of Ontario,
which had been a little uneven
between the two associations,”
explains Sullivan.
“More unified representation will
also contribute to our greater strength
and presence, as well as making us
more efficient,” he says.
Both presidents will continue to
serve out their term, and an executive
member will be voted in as president
in accordance with the current structure, in which there are six executives
– the positions are rotated at the end
of the term in June 2012.
Education and services
Lig uor i says he hopes t he new
organization will be able to provide dealers with even more services, education about technical
issues such as social media, and
working with manufacturer-dealer relat ionsh ips. Bot h g roups
have a history of promoting educ at ion, c on s u me r prot e c t ion,
workplace safety and giving back
to the community.
“We want to work on improving
the dealer image, as we’re respectable
members of the community,” he notes.
“We’re your next-door neighbours,
you see us every day.”
Education is a priorit y, part icu la rly i n v iew of t he ag i ng
population and projected declines
in skilled workers. The organization will be working with the
Automotive Business School of
Canada at Georgian College, to
ensure there are ample knowledgeable and educated human resources available in the various sectors
of the auto industry.
Benefits for everyone
The new, stronger organization
w ill deliver benef its across the
board, for not only dealers but
consumers as well. “A high volume
of car dealers doing business with
different associations will allow for
better pricing,” asserts Sullivan.
“When you have a greater volume
– in this case, hundreds of dealers
- you have a huge advantage. That’s
going to apply to dealers and ultimately, consumers.”
A new website is in the works,
which will offer member dealers more
information, and a plethora of consumer resources as well.
B ot h Su l l iv a n a nd L ig uor i
are excited about the new dealer
organization, and look forward to
moving ahead with a promising
new future for the auto industry
in Ontario.
Krystyna Lagowski
April 2012 • AutoJournal
How are your digital skills?
Contracts Going Paperless
We’ve spoken with quite a few ‘people in the know’ about F&I Trends and what they perceive for this year
and into the future. Some of these experts fully believe in the ‘seamless’ trend - others, not so much!
he seamless trend recognizes
that paper contracts are going
to go away… instead people will
be signing contracts on their ‘tablets’.
E-contracts will likely soon become
the norm and paper contracts will be a
thing of the past just like the Model T!
As we understand it, the technology for e-contracting has been
around for years but, ver y few
dealerships make use of it currently
in the United States and probably
even fewer here in Canada. We’re
so used to paper – we still print
out material that doesn’t need to
be printed. Of those we spoke with
about ‘paperless contracts’, only
a few were positive about it. With
all the apps now being provided for
the iPad, the iPhone, etc., surely
e-contracts can’t be far away? It
only makes sense to some experts
at finance companies and banks.
E-contracts are faster
Time is another thing that is so
important today and one of the
main reasons e-contracts will cer-
tainly happen - they’re faster! Once
the client has made the deal with the
dealership, the F&I person takes over
to finish off the sale. If the contract
is done digitally, any corrections
necessary are right in front of the
customers ready to be made, the rest
of the information is taken, the customer signs the tablet and it’s a done
deal! All that digital information can
be sent via the Internet right to the
bank or finance organization. If that’s
the case, then the bank could pay the
dealership in a few hours or maybe
even the same day - sometimes before
it’s due! As Kerry Mueller of OneEighty Corp. in Waterloo, Ontario
said, “The process has been sped up
because everything has been done
‘seamlessly’, the contract has been
validated, it’s mistake free, you get
faster funding and everything can be
put in a digital package!”
Many banks have not yet put the
process in motion to accept electronic contracts with signatures, so
dealerships are hesitating to do the
paperless deal yet. But it’s bound
to come. There are many younger
people purchasing vehicles now that
want the vehicle ‘yesterday’, they
don’t want to wait five or six days to
be able to jump into their new set
of wheels and show it off to their
friends. Very soon it may be necessary here in Canada for banks and
those in the finance business to ‘go
digital’ in their business dealings
with dealerships, etc. who want to
be paid quicker.
Young buyers
It’s a fact that Generation Y – the kids
of the Baby Boomers – are coming
of age and forcing marketers to toss
their old methods and do something
different. They are the ones who will
be purchasing vehicles very soon, and
these young buyers will most likely
be applying for an auto loan via the
Internet, not at the dealership. And
they will be doing this before they
walk onto the showroom floor. This is
a very substantial change than in years
past and illustrates that business simply
isn’t the same any more. These young
people could seriously reshape the loan
practices in the dealerships – they’ve
done their homework ahead of time
and don’t want to have to deal with the
F&I department - they want a direct
loan, something you get from a credit
union or a bank - not the dealership.
So this is what you may be dealing with in the very near future. This
could become the way of business
– seamless, faster, not as much faceto-face contact, Internet automobile
buying and selling. The question is,
are you ready for it? Is your business
ready for it? Major change is in the
air - again! – S.B.
Dealer Services Corp.
Purchased by Manheim
Desjardins Ready-to-Drive
Finance Offer
T he pla n ned pu rcha se of Dea ler Ser v ice C or porat ion (DSC)
ha s been c omple ted by Ma n hei m. DSC prov ide s i nventor yf i na nc i ng solut ion s to de a lersh ip oper at ion s .
“We’re e xc ite d about a l l t he benef it s of t h i s ac qu i sit ion
for customers,” sa id Sa ndy Schwa r t z , president of Ma n hei m.
“M a n he i m i s a lw ay s lo ok i ng for w ay s to e n h a nc e ou r s e rv i c e of f e r i n g s t o c u s t om e r s , a n d a d d i n g t h e D S C l i n e t o
t he e x i st i ng r a nge of Ma n hei m Fi na nc ia l S er v ic e s produc t s
a l low s u s to broaden ou r lend i ng s c ope a nd c u stomer ba s e .
We c a n now g ive dea lers access to broader of fer i ngs of produc t s a nd add it iona l st a f f to ser v ice t hei r i n-la ne a nd on l i ne
ne e d s . We a l s o h ave ac c e s s to s t at e - of-t he -a r t t e c h nolog y
a nd d ig it a l tool s t hat w i l l en ha nc e ou r c u s tomers' e x per ience a nd i mprove Ma n hei m's ef f iciencies a nd oppor t u n it ies
for lend i ng.” – S .B.
Desjardins has come up with a new auto financing offer –
Desjardins Ready-to-Drive Loan – that will make life easier
for members and customers. This offer will apply to personal use and or recreational vehciles that are new or used.
The best part, is that the loan includes all aspects of auto
financing, meaning the loan, life and car insurance plus
roadside assistance.
The buyer will also receive services of life insurance
without additional fees ; a complete refund of the balance in case of death; a refund of the payments in case of
invalidity; free roadside assistance for the first year and
24/7 towing service (for personal use vehicles only).
The Ready-to-Drive loan is available directly through
auto dealers and designated retail outlets. Customers can
save up to $1 600 with this new offer.
For more information about this product, visit:
www.desjardins.com – S.B.
April 2012 • AutoJournal
A Word
From Dennis
Social Media: The Link Between Young Drivers
These new-generation consumers avoid mainstream media, but they may be losing out by not being in touch with the latest and greatest
mainstream cultural offerings.
he fol low i ng i s t he f i rst of
a series of a r t icles ta ken
f rom t he immense body
o f d e t a i l e d r e p o r t s p r o du c e d
b y D e n n i s D e s R o s i e r s . We ’v e
selected a few choice topics t hat
w i l l be t he foc u s of a ser ie s of
in-dept h feature repor ts. In
to d ay ’s fe at u re , we w i l l d e l ve
i nto t he topic of s o c i a l me d i a
a nd its surge in popu la rit y
a m o n g y ou n g c o n s u m e r s a n d
Europea n bra nds, as wel l as
t he lack of u ndersta nd i ng of its
potent ia l a mong ma ny automot ive reta i lers.
Dennis DesRosiers has chosen
h i s ow n s t a f f to i l lu s t r ate t he
ever-w iden i ng gap bet ween
c on s u m e r s a n d s o c i a l m e d i a .
A lot of t he t went y-somet h i ng
sta f f members do not reg u la rly
watch T V or re ad ne wspapers .
They stay in tune with the world
t hrough t he Internet using personal Web pages linked to interactive content.
T h i s mod i f ie s t he way c ompa nies t r y to reach consumer s i n order to c onv i nc e t he m
to bu y t he i r pro duc t s . "A s a n
e x a m p l e , l e t ’s s a y I v i s i t t h e
Ford We b pa ge to pr ic e a ne w
Fo c u s . P u bl ic it y b a n ne r s w i l l
now s how up w he n I re s e a rc h
Goog le, besides Globe a nd Ma i l
a r t ic le s , a nd w i l l pre c e de a ny
Yo uTu b e v i d e o s f o r w e e k s t o
come,” ex pla i ns DesRosiers.
If t hese new-generat ion consumers continua l ly avoid mainst rea m telev ision ads, t hey w i l l
los e out by not bei ng i n touch
with mainstream cultural
of fe r i ng s . "By avoid i ng m a i nstream media for a new targeted
approach, t hese consu mers w i l l
eventua l ly be aba ndoned by
t he s e s a me c or p or at ion s , w ho
depend on t he c reat ion of new
t rends,” adds DesRosiers.
i f you’ve re ad c om me nt s re l ated to a produc t on A ma zon or
Tr ipAdv i sor, you have pa r t ic ipated, in a way, in socia l media.
Even if t hese actions are mainly
at tributed to Facebook a nd
Tw it ter, t he s o c i a l me d i a u n iverse is much la rger t ha n t hese
t wo por t a l s. T he popu la r it y of
t h e s e t w o g i a nt s i s s u c h t h a t
we s hou ld b e p ay i ng a s muc h
at tent ion to t hem a s we shou ld
have 10 0 yea rs ago at t he onset
of rad io,” sug gest s DesRosiers.
DesRosiers condemns t he
fact t hat many decision-ma kers
have delegated t he management
of Tw it ter a nd Facebook to t he
people responsible for Inter net
housing and maintenance. “The
primar y and secondar y interests
mu s t b e mon itore d ac c ord i ng
to brand, and a l l per tinent data
must be gathered and analyzed,”
i n si s t s D e sRo sie r s . T h i s i s a n
i mpor t a nt t a sk t hat shou ld be
undertaken by a dedicated team.
A not her common mista ke
t hat Ca nad ia n auto-ma kers
seem to repeat is t hat of associ-
at i ng a produc t to one pa r t icula r socia l med ia. If t he i nterest
i n such a produc t shou ld wa ne,
it t hen becomes qu ite d i f f icu lt
t o e n g a g e w i t h t h e c on s u m e r
or to ge t t hem to m ig r ate to a
d i f ferent pl at for m. "One c ommon tra it a mong successf u l
s oc i a l me d i a c a mpa ig n s i s t he
com mit ment to Bra nd ident it y above a l l c on sider at ion s ,”
u nderl i nes DesRosiers.
Some win, some lose
DesRosiers admits that the measurements used to qua nt if y t he
suc c e s s of t he d i f ferent S oc ia l
Me d i a s t r at e g ie s auto -m a k e r s
u s e a r e n ot p e r f e c t , t h e d at a
needed bei ng con f ident ia l a nd
not re ad i ly av a i l a ble . I n s pite
of t his, t he DesRosiers tea m
has compared 2011 sa les resu lts
against the number of Facebook
and Tw itter subscribers.
Japanese brands sold 492,000
ve h ic le s w h i le h av i ng 19 9, 0 0 0
subscr ibers for a rate of 40.4 % ,
w h ic h D e sRo sie r s w i l l u s e for
c ompa r i s on. For Kore a n auto -
m a ke r s , t h i s r at e i s at 55. 8 % .
A me r ic a n br a nd s , i n C a n a d a ,
plu nge to a m iserly 13.3 % , but
it must be ment ioned t hat most
S o c i a l Me d i a ef for t s a re i n it iated i n t he U. S . T he Eu rope a n
b r a n d s a r e t h e hu g e w i n n e r s
w i t h a n a v e r a g e o f 3 9 9.1 % ,
w h ic h me a n s t h at t he y ge ne rate way more i nterest t ha n t he
150,0 0 0 veh icles sold la st yea r.
D e s R o s i e r s p oi nt s ou t t h a t
Europea n bra nds have been
enjoy i ng huge success t hese
la st fe w ye a rs , add i ng "It i s
not u n re a l i s t ic to sug ge s t t hat
t he Eu rope a n c a r ma kers have
been more successf u l at bu i lding t heir f uture market t ha n
h a v e t h e i r c o m p e t i t o r s .” H e
concludes, “T hose i n t he bu siness of sel ling vehicles need
to u ndersta nd t he preva lent
s o c i a l c l i m a t e du r i n g ve h i c l e
l au nc h a nd t h e p e rc e p t i on of
t h e i r e f f or t s a s s e e n t h r ou g h
t he consu mers’ eyes.” T h is fac t
is increasing ly impor ta nt as t he
nu mber of consu mer seg ment s
is on t he r ise.
There are many different social media portals on the Internet.
Social media 101
Accord i ng to DesRosiers, most
s o c i a l m e d i a u s e r s we re b or n
a f ter 1965 a nd a re of t he X or Y
generat ions. But, " if you’ve responded to a socia l med ia blog,
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Automobile statistics
South America, A Fast Growing Automobile World
The automotive industry in South America surprises in many respects, primarily because it doesn’t have the same life cycles we witness here in North America.
For example, it hasn’t seen the same drop in demand over the last five last years, due to a different product mix of vehicles.
he average sales of new light
vehicles in South America from
1990‑1999 were approximately
the same as those in Canada, that is
1.64 million of units annually, according to Scotiabank data. However,
during the last decade, annual sales
statistics saw demand increase from
3.7 million units in 2008 to 4.74 million last year. Meanwhile, in Canada,
vehicle sales hovered between1.46
and 1.64 million units.
Brazil, the fifth largest country in
the world, is understandably the largest single vehicle market in South
America with a population exceeding
roughly 200 million people. What is
interesting is the young demographic
of this population; the median age is
roughly 29 years old which for automakers, potentially represents a tremendous opportunity.
Another interesting aspect is that
Brazilians purchase almost three
million new light vehicles a year,
despite what we would consider very
high (and increasing) finance rates.
According to data from Scotiabank,
these rates increased from 22.8%
in 2010 to more than 30% in April
2011! This high acquisition cost of
consumer goods like vehicles is partially offset by the rise in value of raw
materials that the country exports,
mainly to China, the United States
and Argentina.
A fast-growing market
South America’s inhabitants not only
drive vehicles; they also produce their
own models for local needs. In Brazil
for example, Fiat and Volkswagen
will invest $19 billon in local production facilities by 2015, while Chinese
manufacturer Chery plans to have it’s
first local market models on sale in
2013. General Motors produced its
millionth vehicle at the Gravatai complex in 2008 and will have invested
some $2.5 billion in local manufacturing by the end of this year. Even
luxury manufacturers are getting in
on the action; BMW is planning to
set up its own South American automobile plant and announced in May
2011, that it was also teaming up with
Chrysler to assemble small-cylinder
engines for South American vehicles.
These investments are usually proportionate to the market share of each
manufacturer. For example, Fiat SpA
represents about 22% of the market in
Brazil, followed by Volkswagen with
April 2012 • AutoJournal
21% and General Motors with 19%,
according to journalist Ray Clancy.
Vehicle plant construction in
South America can be explained
by many factors, including the
Mercosur. According to just-auto.
com, the“Mercado Común del Sur”,
an international commercial agreement, specifies that since 1991, the
manufacturers whose vehicles are
not designed and engineered for
South American countries are subject to an importation fee of 35 %.
With such a high tariff barrier,
there is little wonder, that such billion dollar investment projects reap
considerable rewards!
General Motors’ huge Gravatai production complex is
recognized as one of the most efficient in the world.
Sugar cane in the reservoir
South America also sets itself apart
by its widespread use of biofuels.
Brazil produces about 500 millions
tons of sugar cane based alcohol for
automotive use. As a result, more
than 20% of vehicles on the road
are able to run on it, which has also
had a significant impact on powertrain development. Volkswagen, for
example, ended production of non
Flexfuel engines in 2008. That said,
reliance on biofuels does present
other issues notably that widespread
use accelerates deforestation.
Different tastes and trends
In order to understand how different the needs of South American
motorists are from ours, we only
need to look at the commercial
success of light car based pickups
such as the Subaru Baja or the
Chevrolet El Camino. In fact, such
is the market for these types of
vehicles that other manufacturers
have joined the foray. Fiat offers its
Strada with both a short and long
cab configuration while Peugeot
sells the Hoggar with two Flexfuel
engine options. Meanwhile, Ford
offers its car-based Courier pickup; Chevrolet its Montana (based
on the Opel Combo small delivery
van) while Volkswagen offers the
Gol based Saveiro.
These small car based pickups are
just one example of how manufacturers have adapted to local Latin
American motoring needs and illustrate a strong contrast between South
and North American approaches to
vehicle development, production
and technology.
Frédéric Laporte
Fiat currently produces 15 models at the Betim plant and more than
3,000 vehicles each day. In June 2009 Fiat reached a significant production
milestone, namely manufacturing its 10 millionth vehicle in Brazil.
The Peugeot Hoggar is one of the numerous light truck models that are designed
on an automobile platform specifically for the South American market.
Downtown Porsche
Finest Cars, Finest Service
Providing top-notch service to a demanding clientele is all in a day’s work for this dealership.
Downtown Porsche turned the roof of their building into
a parking lot that serves as extra storage space.
f you were to look for Downtown
Porsche on Google Maps you
wouldn’t find it. The building that
houses the dealership is so new that
Google Maps hasn’t caught up with
construction yet.
But while the building may be new,
Downtown Porsche has been in the
business of selling fine cars for close to
30 years. The dealership began operations in the heart of Yorkville. Today,
it’s located in a state-of-the-art facility on the edge of Toronto’s Historic
Distillery District.
Only the best
Downtown Porsche was built upon a
foundation of quality. Their credo is
simple yet powerful: Always provide
customers with the finest cars and the
finest service.
Downtown Porsche customers have
come to recognize the quality of the
dealership, and so has Porsche. The
dealership was recently awarded the
coveted “Porsche Premier Dealership
2012” designation - an honour that has
been bestowed on only two Porsche
dealerships in Canada.
“We have built the most modern Porsche dealership in Canada,
complete with its own car elevator
Main reception area
and rooftop parking for over 100
cars,” says Helen Ching-Kircher,
Dealer Principal, President and
CEO of DFC Auto Group. “We also
have a fully automatic car wash on
site, and a second-floor, pre-owned
showroom that features some of the
country’s finest examples of previously enjoyed Porsches.”
To better serve customers’ needs,
Downtown Porsche offers a complimentary valet service. Dealership
staff pick-up and deliver vehicles
for service appointments. They also
offer extended showroom and service
hours, and are open on Saturdays,
making it as easy as possible for their
customers to schedule a sales or service appointment.
A beautiful Porsche Design boutique
features a “shop-in-shop” approach to
selling Porsche-branded accessories,
while a lounge offers customers access
to refreshments while they wait for
their vehicles to be serviced.
Stellar staff
Every business owner knows that a
top-notch staff is a must, especially
if you want to cater to the wants and
needs of a high-end clientele. Porsche
customers certainly fall into this
Helen Ching-Kircher, Dealer Principal, President
and CEO of DFC Auto Group
category, which is why Downtown
Porsche has gone to great lengths to
attract and train truly exceptional
men and women.
Their sales team is made up of
Porsche Brand Ambassadors. All of
these sales professionals are Globally
Certified by Porsche. This means that
they have all undergone extensive
Porsche training, testing, and therefore qualify to work for Porsche anywhere in the world.
“Each member of our staff is passionate and knowledgeable about the
Porsche brand and about all our products,” Ching-Kircher adds, “and many
of our staff are highly experienced
Porsche enthusiasts, owning and driving their own Porsche vehicles.”
Customer satisfaction is this dealership’s highest priority, and Downtown
Porsche regularly achieves top scores
on the Customer Satisfaction Index
(CSI). And when Porsche sends out
mystery shoppers for quality assurance purposes, Downtown Porsche
consistently gets top marks.
The commitment to the customer
experience goes way beyond sales
and service. Downtown Porsche
wants their customers to truly
enjoy their vehicles to the full, and
that’s why they organize special
Downtown Porsche events like their
popular Track Days.
They’ve also pioneered the first
Women’s Track Day event, as well as
Advanced Driving Schools and Porsche
seminars - all designed to enable their
customers to get the most out of the
Porsche ownership experience.
Future plans
Today, Downtown Porsche boasts
60 employees, 15 service bays, and 1
elevator (used to bring cars up to the
roof of the building for extra storage).
Will they take this winning formula
“on the road” by expanding their
facilities, employing a larger sales
force, or tackling new projects? These
may be options Downtown Porsche
will explore in the future, but for
now, the dealership is committed to
providing the kind of quality service
they have come to be known for.
“We will continue to provide our
customers with the highest standard
of service in concert with Porsche’s
global strategy,” Ching-Kircher says,
“and continue to bring to Canada
new and exciting vehicles such as this
year’s totally redesigned 911.”
Jack Kazmierski
April 2012 • AutoJournal
Our service says it all.
And now so does our name.
Introducing TD Auto Finance.
With TD’s acquisition of Chrysler Financial completed, we’re pleased to announce
that TD Financing Services is now called TD Auto Finance, now one of the top bank-
To learn more,
please call 1-888-489-8337 or
visit www.tdautofinance.ca
owned auto financers in North America. And while our name may have changed,
our great service and commitment to helping you grow your auto business never will.
TD Auto Finance (Canada) Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ® / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.
responsible just
became an even
easier sell.
The new EcoLiving Auto Loan from Scotiabank Dealer Finance can make selling green vehicles that much easier.
It allows you to give your customers competitive financing on hybrid, electric and clean diesel vehicles. Now you
can offer environment-minded car buyers an extra reason to go green.
To learn more about our EcoLiving Auto Loan, contact your regional representative today:
Atlantic Dealer
Darrell Meery
[email protected]
Quebec Dealer
Lori Swift
514-493-8600 x55639
[email protected]
Ontario Dealer
Suzane Rusak
[email protected]
Scotiabank is a proud supporter of The Nature
Conservancy of Canada and a donation will be made
with every EcoLiving Auto Loan.
Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.
Western Dealer
Glenn MacLaren
[email protected]