Now that the 2018 Ontario election is over, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association is looking forward to working with the new government and all MPPs on issues vital to the retail auto sector.
One of those issues is the importance of the retail automobile sector. For decades, the retail automobile industry has been a major contributor to the Ontario economy, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
When political leaders talk about the automotive sector today, discussions often focus on manufacturing, aftermarket parts and research/development. All of these are vital components of the industry, but they do not represent the entire industry.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study (conducted on behalf of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association) highlighted the importance of the retail automobile sector in Ontario.
The study reported that Ontario’s automobile dealer industry generates more than 53,000 direct jobs and more than $37 billion in retail sales each year.
TADA members — nearly 1,100 franchised new car dealers across Ontario — directly employ more than 45,000 people and they generate and facilitate $12.15 billion in GDP each year to the province.
New car dealers also generate and facilitate 77,554 jobs through direct and indirect means — resulting in more than $4.3 billion in labour income through the employment chain.
The auto retail sector provides well-paying jobs across Ontario in diverse fields such as skilled trades, sales, accounting, finance and marketing. A strong auto retail sector means billions in taxes to help support vital public services.
Other highlights of the PwC study include:
- Between 2001 and 2016, employment at new car dealerships increased by approximately 30 per cent, outpacing the overall increase in Ontario’s retail sector by about five percentage points;
- Employment at new car dealerships provides an average of $1,012 in weekly earnings — 84 per cent higher than earnings in overall retail trade and about 9 per cent higher than in the overall service producing industries;
- more than one in 20 (5.55 per cent) of provincial retail trade jobs are generated by TADA members;
- TADA members generate $2.81 billion in provincial revenue courtesy of corporate and personal income taxes and taxes on production and imports;
- Aside from new vehicles, TADA members sold 780,000 pre-owned cars in 2015 (the latest available figure).
The study states “the provision of reliable maintenance and repair services using qualified staff, quality parts and systematic maintenance schedule has a positive impact on automobiles’ longevity and ensures vehicles on the road are running at optimal or near optimal performance, which leads to more efficient driving and lessens the impact on the environment.”
These stats may come as a surprise to many, but they underscore how vital this industry is to Ontario’s future growth and prosperity.
To help create more awareness about — and support for — the retail automobile industry, TADA works with post-secondary schools across Ontario that offer automotive courses and programs.
These schools offer courses in everything from automotive service technician, automotive business and automotive engineering and technology to motive power service & management, motive power technician, motive tower technician — truck & coach and motorcycle & power sport vehicle technician.
New car dealers, too, support educational programs for the auto industry, partnering with Centennial College, Durham College, the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College in Barrie and others. Most dealers offer co-op work opportunities, where students learn about the auto industry and gain practical, hands-on experience.
The next time you purchase or lease an automobile from a registered new car dealership, or have your vehicle serviced at a dealership, know that you are supporting one of the key drivers of our economy.
The TADA hopes that the newly elected provincial government actively supports and promotes the entire automobile industry in this province, and will help to build on its many successes.
This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to [email protected] or go to tada.ca. Susan Gubasta is president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and is President/CEO of Mississauga Toyota.
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