Signals Magazine, Winter Issue - January-March 2021

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WINTER ISSUE (January–March 2021)

Road to Victoria A new year and a new majority government PAGE 7

Are you a Community Driver? Nominations now open

The Bumpy Road Ahead


Navigating a post-pandemic world PAGE 10




Car Buzz: Hybrids, Haulers

and Hatches

With Stephen Simms, president & CEO of the VSA PAGE 18



SEPT: 17,524 | OCT: 17,201 NOV: 13,991 | DEC: 13,362 YEAR TOTAL: 167,561 YEAR PREVIOUS: 204,277

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Our vision is for member dealers and the dealer franchise system to be seen by the public as the best choice to fulfill all their automotive needs. We are a small but dedicated and hardworking team of individuals serving all members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. Should you have any questions, concerns or issues, or if you have any ideas for our organization to pursue, our staff is available to listen and help. Get in touch via phone, email, fax, or in person at our office in Langley, BC. Signals is THE flagship publication for the NCDA, the industry association that represents more than 390 new car and truck franchised auto retailers in BC. #380–8029 199 Street, Langley, BC V2Y 0E2 Tel: 604-214-9964 // Fax: 604-214-9965 //

New Car Dealers Association of BC – Staff Team Blair Qualey President & CEO



Shakira Maqbool Manager, Finance & Administration Joshua Peters Manager, Member Services


Ofir Sapoznikov Membership and Operations Coordinator Roni Sapoznikov CleanBC Go Electric Vehicle Rebate (formerly CEVforBC) Program Administrator Duy Le CleanBC Go Electric Vehicle Rebate Coordinator

Vancouver International Auto Show Blair Qualey President & CEO 604-214-9964 Have a topic or story suggestion? Email us! And for article and ad submissions and rate card details, please contact: Joshua Peters | 604-214-9964 EXT 225 For subscriber inquiries, please contact:

Penny Sakamoto, Group Publisher 818 Broughton Street, Victoria BC V8W 1E4 Published in Canada The contents of Signals, such as text, articles, opinions, views, graphics, images, and the selection and arrangement of information (the “Content”), are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws under both Canadian and foreign laws. Unauthorized use of the Content may violate copyright, trademark, patent, and other laws. You must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the original Content on any copy you make of it. Disclaimer: Information contained within Signals is for general information purposes only and may not be entirely complete or accurate. Use of Signals’ content is done so at your own risk. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40030593.




President’s Message


New Members

12 Trends The Bumpy Road Ahead


Government Advocacy Road to Victoria


Industry News Roundup

12 Car Buzz Hybrids, Haulers and Hatches 22 Legal Line by SHK Repairer Lien: The Unpaid Bill 26 Special Olympics BC Caring, Connected and Inspiring 27 CleanBC Go Electric Funding Update

13 On the Test-Drive Trail Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design 16 Motormouths Rave Reviews for Husband-and-Wife Team 18 Q&A With Stephen Sims, VSA CEO 20 Big Changes in Auto Insurance Enhanced Care program coming this spring 25 Employers Beware The Dangers of Hasty Termination

On the Cover: The Bumpy Road Ahead featured article explores trends for 2021—virtual tools to shop for a car. Read more on Page 10.



Hope for a New and Better Year


The relief we feel seeing the annus horribilis that was 2020 disappear in the rearview mirror likely cannot be captured in a few short words here. As we begin our journey down the road to a brave new year, with vaccines being distributed around the world and the prospect of relief from this awful pandemic, we can look to 2021 with immense hope. We remain so grateful to healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers and all the dedicated essential workers and front-line providers of essential goods who have kept the wheels of our communities turning and who will continue to make personal sacrifices for the rest of us in the coming months. It is also important to extend appreciation to the staff in our nearly 400 member dealerships who came to work during the pandemic, through much uncertainty and fear, to help our members serve their customers with vehicle repairs or purchases. And to all the dealer principals, our gratitude for your diligent efforts to ensure your employees and customers were kept safe in your dealerships throughout this unprecedented health crisis. It is not lost on me that we still have a long way to go until we get back to some form of normalcy in our lives. However, I remain hopeful that we will all get through

the coming months and arrive at a day when families and friends can hug one another and share the special moments in their lives without the fear of contracting or passing on the COVID-19 virus. There is no doubt 2020 was one of the toughest in the history of our association. Especially difficult was the devastating impact that resulted from having to postpone the 100th anniversary edition of the Vancouver International Auto Show just two weeks out. But despite this heavy hit, our NCDA staff team, with the incredible support and guidance from our Board of Directors, reduced expenses and rightsized the organization to make sure we were able to continue the important work for our dealer members. This included providing a comprehensive, daily email summary of the latest information from health officials, government and professional experts, along with a COVID-19 protocol toolkit. Joined by various legal and other professionals, including WorkSafeBC and CADA 360 HR Automation by DealerPilot, we provided webinars with the latest and best guidance for our members. These efforts were supported by our key sponsors and associate members, who have continued to be there for our dealer members. We also continued our important work

2021 New Car Dealers Association of BC Board of Directors


Peter Heppner Chair

James Carter Vice Chair

Anthony Lunelli Treasurer

Jeff Hall Past Chair

Blair Qualey President & CEO






Justin Gebara

Mike Hacquard

Ryan Jones




Ben Lovie

Joey Prevost

Peter Sia

Peter Trzewik

Jared Williams

Adam Hill

Erik Jensen








Member at Large

Member at Large

Signals Magazine January–March 2021

with government, both the federal government—through the strong efforts of our national association, the CADA—and the provincial government here in BC. We followed the provincial election in the fall and have reached out to the newly elected MLAs and those in cabinet to extend our congratulations and offer our assistance as BC looks toward economic recovery efforts in 2021. To that end, we continue to encourage government to reduce regulations and taxes that put the brakes on economic growth across the province and place its focus instead on policies that will accelerate BC’s economy. As we entered December, the federal government released its climate action plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. The NCDA has an established working relationship with the province towards creating a greener future, and we are encouraged to see these efforts taking place at the federal level. The NCDA, as well as its members across the province, are committed to the fight against climate change. More and more auto manufacturers are investing in bringing electric vehicles to market, as well as those featuring new high-efficiency gas engines with lower carbon emissions. At the dealership level, our members continue educating consumers on the longterm benefits of such purchases. We feel a duty to do our part to lower carbon emissions, and the vehicles that we sell are a huge part of that solution. Encouraging more consumers to purchase zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) requires a multi-pronged effort that goes well beyond those at the sales level alone. It requires financial incentives, increased investments in charging stations to alleviate range anxiety, and educational tools for consumers. The NCDA was happy to see the federal government’s commitment to the cause in the past year. BC has taken a leadership role when it comes to the sale of ZEVs—and the record is certainly, in part, due to the government’s commitment through which we administer the successful CleanBC

Go Electric Vehicle Rebate Program. The province has also demonstrated a commitment to incentives for those looking to install chargers in their homes and workplaces, another key to consumer-purchase decisions. We are committed to our strong partnership with the BC government to continue our nation-leading adoption of zero emission vehicles.

We appreciate staff in our nearly 400 franchised New Car Dealer member dealerships who came to work during the pandemic... to help our members serve their customers with vehicle repairs or purchases. – BLAIR QUALEY, PRESIDENT & CEO, NCDA

As we ended 2020, our board approved a break-even budget that ensures the NCDA can continue its important work for dealer members. The new budget includes a modest increase in member dues, necessitated by the uncertain future of the auto show in 2021. We are most grateful to the board and leadership of our national association, CADA, for providing a significant dues-holiday to the provincial associations in 2021. This has allowed the NCDA to continue its important work for members, without a significant increase in membership dues. I look forward to speaking with any of our members who have any questions around the dues increase and any other issues related to the work of the association. In the closing months of 2020, a great deal of discussion and work took place by the auto show organizing committees across Canada to explore possible virtual options that would provide auto show fans the opportunity to see the latest offerings from the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers. Although we were unable to achieve sufficient support for those

options, the NCDA continues to explore other opportunities, both with media and in-person when health officials will allow, to showcase the newest vehicles and technology available through BC’s new car dealers. We are grateful to our vehicle manufacturer, sponsor and other exhibit partners for their continued interest in providing a showcase event of some kind in 2021! As I wrap up this opening message for first 2021 issue of Signals, I encourage our dealer members to join us for one of our chairman’s tour sessions, taking place in a virtual, town-hall-style format. It is an opportunity to learn about the latest work of the NCDA, but more importantly, for you to ask questions and share your suggestions to our team on the ongoing work of the association. Please enjoy this issue of Signals and remember to encourage your team members (and aspiring young people you may know, seeking careers at BC’s new car dealers) to apply for our foundation’s 2021 CarCareersBC Grants (deadline is April 15). And to our associate members, we are accepting nominations for our Community Driver Awards, which recognize the outstanding community involvement and achievement of new car dealers throughout British Columbia. The Community Driver Awards are awarded on an annual basis to new car dealers who have shown tremendous community engagement over the past year in each of the six BC regions. Thank you to all of our dealer and associate members for your support. And to all of our friends of the auto sector in BC, we wish you good health, happiness and prosperity in this new year. Be kind, be calm, be safe. Sincerely,

Blair Qualey, President and CEO New Car Dealers Association of BC


NEW MEMBERS Associate members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC provide vital products and services to dealer members, allowing them to do business with greater cost effectiveness, environmental responsibility and general efficiency. Welcome to our new members!

Welcome to New Industry Partner: SCRAP-IT SCRAP-IT’s mission is to improve the quality of the environment. By partnering with businesses, community leaders and governments, we create clean places to live for current and future generations. SCRAP-IT is a not-for-profit society, operating in both BC and Alberta. We have successfully delivered provincial, federal and privately funded incentive/rebate programs for over 20 years, while providing solid financial stewardship to over $64 million in funding and grants. In 2020, we reached a significant milestone—50,000 vehicles scrapped. Contact: Nicki Lewis, Program Manager SCRAP-IT, Direct Line: 604-227-5956, Office: 604-273-8552, Toll Free: 1-855-377-7717,,

Moneris Moneris is Canada’s largest provider of innovative solutions for mobile, online and in-store payments, processing more than one in three transactions. Serving businesses of every size and industry, Moneris offers hardware, software and solutions to help transform the way businesses grow and operate, in payments and beyond. For more information, visit and follow @moneris Contact: Michael Chung, National Account Executive, 604-419-8202, Michael.,

2021 New Car Dealers Foundation of BC Board of Directors

Ryan Jones

David Jukes





Joey Prevost

Larry Ranger

Sharon Rupal

Peter Sia

Zack Spencer






John Wynia Past Chair

Marnie Carter Founding Chair

James Carter Treasurer

Blair Qualey President & CEO





Moray Keith

Anthony Lunelli




Amanda Chrinko

Heather Headley Chair

Signals Magazine January–March 2021



Road to Victoria A new year and a new majority government It’s 2021! Many people feel that the number 21 is a lucky number, so we hope this luck translates to a strong economic recovery and a smooth and successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program in 2021. We head into the new year with a new vaccine. While the second wave of COVID-19 is devastating, it’s something for which we’re hopefully more prepared. Because of our engagement with the BC NDP minority government over the last three and half years, the New Car Dealers Association is well positioned to work with the new John Horgan majority government. After the 2020 election, Horgan’s new government caucus has 57 MLAs: 34 are re-elected incumbents and 23 are completely new to the job as MLAs. Over the last three years, most of the returning MLAs attended our annual ride and drive days at the BC Legislature, and a number also attended the Vancouver International Auto Show at some point. To position his government for the next four years, Premier Horgan announced his new provincial cabinet in November. There are new roles and responsibilities for the 24 ministers and 13 parliamentary secretaries, which are spelled out in their ministerial mandate letters. Premier Horgan outlined the following work in each mandate letter: • putting people first; • reconciliation and responsibility; • equity and anti-racism; • climate change solutions; and, • an economy that works for everyone. Over the years, the NCDA has built a solid working relationship with many of the key cabinet ministers within the government, including Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation; Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment; Hon. Mike Farnsworth, Minister of Public Safety; and Hon. David Eby, the Attorney General. In fact, the most important new appointment of interest to NCDA members is Minister of Finance, Hon. Selina Robinson. The NCDA had a terrific working relationship with previous finance minister, Carole James, and we look forward to building a relationship with Selina Robinson. When Premier Horgan leads his new BC NDP team of MLAs to the legislature with their new mandate on March 1, 2021, all of his new cabinet ministers and staff will have their hands full with managing the rollout and the economic recovery of the pandemic. They will also be implementing the new majority government’s vast number of new initiatives. The Throne Speech is slated for Monday, April 12 and the provincial budget will be released on Tuesday, April 20. From the association’s point of view, we will continue to strongly advocate that the province limit any increases in taxes or regulatory measures that affect businesses, so we can effectively recover from the pandemic. Specifically, we will continue to work with government on consumer incentives for new vehicles, including

the CleanBC Go Electric program, the SCRAP-IT Program and the ICBC incentive for autos that have manufactured enhanced braking systems. As well, we will continue to advocate raising the threshold for the luxury tax to a more appropriate level (following years of no adjustments, the average price of a vehicle today is close to the $55,000 luxury tax threshold now) and have this tax removed from work trucks, with the ultimate goal of the elimination of the luxury tax on vehicles altogether. In fact, after presenting on this very issue to the 2020 Select Standing Committee of Finance and Government Services last spring, we were encouraged when the committee recommended in its final report to the Ministry of Finance that the government “review the luxury tax threshold for vehicles to eliminate its application on pick-up trucks and essential work vehicles.” This was a very strong recommendation and we are hopeful we might see some movement on this issue in the coming months, especially as government looks to stimulate economic recovery. Now that all the BC NDP government MLAs and cabinet ministers have been sworn in, we are developing opportunities to engage with the new government on our members’ issues. Please stay tuned as this year will be an action-packed year! As always, we will be proactively engaging with the newly elected government MLAs around the tremendous benefits that our close to 400 members provide across all 87 ridings.




Polestar Spaces Offer Glimpse of New Retail Model

Winter Can Be a Winner The winter of 2021 has hit the coast and interior of BC particularly hard, but that presents opportunities for many dealerships as drivers shift to winter tires. This winter has seen heavy snow and high winds. According to the BC government weather site, “The province experienced an early start to the 2020-21 snow accumulation season in October and November. Most regions in British Columbia were above normal for December 1st snow pack.” Regions in the province that have already registered significantly higher snowfall than normal (120 per cent or more above average) include the entire Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Okanagan and the Central Coast. While the blast of snowy weather causes many travel delays, it can also offer dealerships an opportunity to turn winter tire-change visits into a more extensive service review. One example is Ford’s “Insist on the Works” campaign to remind customers to have a more complete 83-point inspection done if they come in for a winter tire changeover.

Swedish electric car company Polestar opened a temporary Polestar Space in Yaletown at 1050 Homer Street in early December 2020, followed by a permanent location in early 2021, as a supplement to the brand’s digital retail model. These Spaces are unique retail environments that allow customers to become more informed about the brand. Unlike conventional dealer showrooms, the Spaces host non-commissioned Polestar specialists who can provide product information and assist customers who want to configure their vehicle at the showroom. Both the brand’s electric performance hybrid GT, the Polestar 1, and the fully electric Polestar 2—the world’s first car to feature an infotainment system with Google apps and services built-in—will be on display and available for test drives. Additionally, Polestar offers home delivery and servicing for all Polestar models for customers living within 240 kilometres of a Space or authorized service centre. For those who live beyond that distance, the nearest Space will work to provide a convenient solution.

OpenRoad Breaks New Ground

Accessorize and Customize Another opportunity for up-selling lies in customizing vehicles, and Cam Clark Customs at Cam Clark Ford Lincoln in North Vancouver is leading the way. Recent Facebook posts indicate the custom-finishing service has completed customizing a 2020 Mustang GT with carbon fibre touches to the wing, roof and mirror caps, a GT performance package and a MagneRide suspension. According to the Cam Clark website: “individuality is at the root of all custom work—and we love the challenge of something new and interesting.”


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

OpenRoad Auto Group broke ground on a new Honda dealership in Burnaby in November 2020. The new facility, featuring 64,000 square feet of interior space, 23 service bays, five detail and wash bays, rooftop parking, and 135 stalls available on the 3.8-acre land, will replace the current Honda dealership at 6984 Kingsway. “We continue to make significant investments in our business and believe strongly in the future of automotive retail in Burnaby and BC overall,” said Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group. “We look forward to providing our customers with an enhanced dealership experience in our larger Honda facility.” The breaking ground ceremony included a small reception with representatives from OpenRoad Auto Group and Honda Canada—including Chia and Neel Ahuja, Western Zone Manager Auto Sales from Honda Canada.

Global Auto Sales in a Pandemic According to Rebekah Young, writing for Scotiabank Publications on global auto sales figures, the decline in auto sales that initially devastated the industry as COVID-19 took hold in the spring of 2020 has not been as bad as initially envisioned. Overall year-over-year sales have declined in the US and Canada by a relatively modest 2.6 per cent; however, the seasonally adjusted sales figures for December of 2020 indicate a steeper decline of 4 per cent. While there is room for optimism, early 2021 may prove challenging once again. Citing DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Young notes that The Conference Board of Canada “reported a modest increase in major purchase intentions in December. Nevertheless, a broader dampening of economic activity is expected over the next quarter at least—as lockdowns are proving more stringent and enduring than originally anticipated—until vaccine distribution is ramped up substantially.” For more information see here.

Semi-Conductor Shortage Looming A looming global semi-conductor shortage is a classic example of unanticipated impacts related to COVID-19. Due to demand in the auto sector, as it bounced back from the pandemic shutdown in the spring of 2020 more quickly than anticipated, coupled with increasing demand for microchips to meet rising demand for PCs, smartphones and 5G networks, there is a growing shortage of semi-conductors for the automotive industry.

Semi-conductors are an essential component of infotainment and advanced electronic equipment in all models and makes. According to media reports in Asia, a fire at a semi-conductor plant in Japan exacerbated the shortages in the supply chain in late 2020. With increased demand for semi-conductors, many manufacturers have started to curtail production, including Ford, which plans to idle a plant in Kentucky that makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. A spokesperson for Ford echoed similar statements made by Honda and Nissan, noting that “We are working closely with suppliers to address potential production constraints tied to the global semi-conductor shortage.” It remains to be seen whether this disruption to the global supply chain for semi-conductors is a temporary or a more lasting challenge in 2021.

A Focus on Cybersecurity In the latest Expert Panel Series, the NCDA hosted an event focused on cybersecurity and important steps for dealerships to take in protecting their business in 2021. The event was made possible with support from CDK. A recording of the event is available at or by contacting the NCDA office (

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The Bumpy Road Ahead After COVID-19 BY BRUCE CAMERON, BLACK PRESS CONTRIBUTOR COVID-19 has altered the way we live, work and play in unprecedented ways. Dealerships have had to adjust to contactless sales visits and service appointments. Procedures for delivery of new vehicles to customers have been revamped and reinvented. And most dramatically, demand for new vehicles dropped precipitously in the first few months of the pandemic lockdown, by 47 per cent in April in the USA and up to 80 per cent in Europe. As hopes for an effective vaccine promise better The use of digital tools economic times ahead, and to virtually shop for a with new vehicle sales revehicle and narrow down bounding in the latter part of 2020, it is timely to ask what the sales funnel has been the short- and long-term growing steadily for over impacts from COVID-19 will a decade. Like so many be for dealerships across BC. Compared to many other sectors, the COVID-19 North American jurisdiccrisis has accelerated the tions, British Columbia has shift to digital methods of handled the crisis comparsales and support in the atively well, but the automotive industry here faces a automotive sector. bumpy road ahead. The provincial government’s fiscal update in December 2020 indicated the negative impact of COVID-19 has not been as bad as originally projected in the first quarter of 2020. Looking ahead to 2021, the BC government predicts “partial economic recovery and…continued areas of economic improvement in employment, retail sales and housing activity.” While house prices and real estate sales have continued to rise in BC in 2020, the impact on auto sales has been more mixed. The COVID-19 pandemic fallout certainly decreased overall de-


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

mand for vehicle purchases in the short term, but the more lasting impact of the crisis will be how it changes the way people buy cars moving forward. The use of digital tools to virtually shop for a vehicle and narrow down the sales funnel has been growing steadily for over a decade. Like so many sectors, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the shift to digital methods of sales and support in the automotive sector. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company offers online insights at Here, Matthew Gold, former chief strategy officer for, described his view of the changes to come, saying, “Personalization is the future of not only auto retail but also retail as a whole. And the leveraging of big data—the incredible stitching together of data about customers— will be the future of the car-buying experience.” This shift to greater utilization of technology is not simply a burden requiring additional investment; it can also be a source of new revenue. According to a September 2020 survey conducted by McKinsey & Company with potential vehicle purchasers in North America, half of all customers are willing to pay more for contactless services. That desire may wane somewhat when the pandemic ends, but a leading dealership network in the UK, Vertu Motors, has had success with a service it launched to deal with the COVID-19 lockdown situation. Robert Forrester, Vertu Motors CEO, noted on the McKinsey website, “We very successfully launched Reserve It Now, where people can pay £99 to take a car off sale for 48 hours. In July, we did 450 Reserve It Now transactions, 70 per cent of which converted to a sale.” Reflecting on the slower adoption of online sales tools in the UK, Forrester was initially sceptical of the investment needed to move the sales process into digital channels. But the COVID-19 crisis

has amplified that “gradual move in which people are doing more and more online” into a permanent redrawing of the automotive buying experience. “You’re going to see COVID-19 accelerate a change that was already slated to happen,” says Gold. “I don’t think people are going to jettison the dealer experience the moment COVID-19 ends, but I do think you’re going to see increased comfort on both sides of the transaction with a digital auto-buying experience.” The Polestar Spaces concept (see Industry News, page 8) is another innovative way of transforming the customer experience. Polestar, the Swedish electric car company, is opening its Spaces concept in Vancouver—something that’s described as a unique retail environment allowing customers to become more informed about the brand. Unlike conventional dealer showrooms, Spaces host non-commissioned Polestar specialists, who can provide product information and assist customers who want to configure their vehicle at the showroom. But how much has the pandemic ultimately changed the economic and social framework in which dealerships operate? There will always be three main areas to focus on: attitudes toward mobility (individual, shared public options), purchase intent (the range of decisions and inputs in the sales funnel that lead to a purchase) and after-sales (in particular the importance of the service experience, as highlighted in page 8’s Industry News). With respect to mobility, many urban design advocates like Brent Toderian, a global specialist based in Vancouver, maintain that the

COVID-19 crisis offers an opportunity to accelerate an already emerging trend that is making non-vehicle mobility options, such as biking, walking and public transit, more viable. While that shift toward more walkable cities is occurring, the demand for personal vehicles may have actually been boosted by COVID. Purchase intent for new personal vehicles increased in September 2020, according to McKinsey’s survey, compared to preCOVID-19 levels, especially among higher-income households. And the importance of accessing a private vehicle has increased most among consumers under 35 years of age, which would have been shocking to walkable-city advocates only one year ago, many of whom touted car-sharing services as the way of the future. After-sales present opportunities for dealerships willing to pursue them boldly. Cam Clark Customs (a custom-finishing service featured in Industry News, page 8) is a good example of up-selling opportunities. And dealerships may wish to focus on the local community aspects of after-sales servicing, in order to capitalize on another trend toward local sourcing, which increased due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. As the COVID-19 crisis winds down in 2021, there has never been a better time to set broad, ambitious and aspirational goals for the months ahead. It may be to survive, to re-tool, or to re-make your operations in order to capitalize on the immense changes to come. The future is arriving faster than initially envisioned, and the future is technology.

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Hybrids, Haulers and Hatches From new concepts to new models: what’s new in 2021 CONCEPTS: GMC Hummer EV Ironically one of the early icons of gas-guzzling inefficiency, the Hummer is being recast as an electric vehicle. General Motors has officially announced that the GMC Hummer EV will launch as an all-electric, full-size pickup sometime towards the end of 2021, with a price of more than $100,000 for the high-end edition. Despite pulling the plug on the Hummer brand a decade ago, GM is revitalizing the name as a model under its GMC brand. Based on current information, it could be available with up to 1,000 horsepower, and come with some nifty design and off-road features, including underbody cameras and a “crab walk” function to traverse the most difficult terrains.

NEW MODELS: from hybrid people hauler to performance hatch 2022 Acura MDX

2021 Golf R

Acura has unveiled an allnew 2022 MDX. Occupying its new position as the brand’s flagship vehicle, the next-generation Acura MDX marks a leap forward with a bold exterior design coupled with a sophisticated and elegant new interior, and featuring the most high-tech and advanced cockpit in the brand’s 35-year history, according to Acura. So, what’s new about the 2022 Acura MDX? The short answer is: literally everything. Long answer? The platform, chassis, body and interior share nothing with the current SUV. Acura is also going to offer a spicier MDX Type S, a sportier variant that will be powered by a turbo 3.0-litre V-6 engine.

VW’s top performance model, the Golf R, has been on hiatus since 2019. But for the 2022 model year, it’s back and delivering more power, more technology and a revised chassis tuned to excel on the racetrack. The new five-door Golf R arrives in the fall of 2021, fully loaded with options, including a sunroof. The fifth-generation 2022 Volkswagen Golf R will deliver 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-litre, I-4 turbocharged engine, giving it a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top-track speed of 155 mph. A new torque-vectoring allwheel drive system delivers selective wheel torque control at the rear axle and between the wheels, increasing driving dynamics and agility.

2021 Ferrari Roma

2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid

The 2021 Roma is an all-new model set to expand the Ferrari portfolio. This GT takes inspiration from some of the company’s most influential designs and marks a return to timeless styling. Stuffed under the Roma’s lengthy hood and mounted near the middle of the car is a turbocharged 3.9-litre V-8 engine that produces an impressive 612 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

Toyota has skipped gas-only models entirely and is selling the 2021 Sienna exclusively as what the brand calls a selfcharging hybrid. This means that the Sienna is electrified but recovers its charge on its own through everyday driving as opposed to needing a plug. And it will be available in all-wheel drive. The Sienna promises 243 horsepower and a fuel economy rating of 33 mpg. It continues with both seven- and eight-seat configurations.


The Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design BY BRUCE CAMERON, BLACK PRESS CONTRIBUTOR Even before hitting the road to test drive the Volvo XC90 T8, the first thing my wife and I noticed as we climbed into the car were the supple and incredibly adaptive seats—complete with Napa leather, heat, lumbar support (great for my back which gets sore during long drives), seat extensions and, yes, even a massage function. This car is truly comfort taken to the next level; it feels like sitting in first class on a transpacific flight. It has numerous features that luxury-car consumers will appreciate, even with its price tag of $86,300 to $96,590 (for a fully loaded option). Once we’d explored some of the car’s creature comforts, we turned our attention to the on-board infotainment screens, which presented hundreds of options to customize the driving experience, from various SiriusXM channels to finely tuned feedback on all vehicle functions, ranging from gas mileage to air pressure in the tires. Then there was the 19-speaker audio system by Bowes and Wilkins, providing an immersive experience and transporting passengers into the best seats in the house—specifically, at a concert at the Gothenburg Cathedral. Pairing the system with our cell phones was seamless and convenient, while backing up and parking with the 360-degree-surround-view camera—presented as an overhead image—was surreal. Picture a drone hovering overhead, looking down and displaying all the roadside features and potential obstructions in perfect detail. But no test drive of the XC90 would be complete without a

thorough exploration of the vehicle’s power, handling and meticulously crafted safety features. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of taking the XC90 T8 R-Design—in a beautiful metallic blue colour— up out of Vancouver and onto the mountain roads and passes in BC’s interior. The graceful comfort of the vehicle’s interior was mirrored in the ride: from acceleration to braking, everything was silky smooth. The eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with eAWD and 400 HP carried us along with power to spare. Volvo has made its name over the decades based on its determined quest for safety and the XC90 proved its pedigree. After cruising through the slick winding mountain passes along Highway 3, we suddenly encountered a herd of elk on the road just outside of Grand Forks. My instinctive defensive driving skills kicked in and as I braked, I swerved to the right to avoid the elk herd. The XC90 responded without missing a beat and we were around the obstacle and on our way after the close call. The extent of engineering that helped us avoid the collision is detailed and impressive, but suffice to say the active yaw-control-powering micro-braking for each wheel helped us maintain control almost effortlessly. Traversing the slush and ice in other mountain passes was also aided by Volvo’s winter-tested technology. The only downside of the XC90 might be the hybrid aspect; with a range of only 30 electric kilometres, the hybrid functions became an afterthought hundreds of miles out of the city, where I assume the versatility of the hybrid design would be on better display. Regardless, the fuel economy on our four-day trip was impressive and we agreed that the Volvo XC90 T8 is a perfect fit for consumers seeking a powerful luxury SUV.



The Times They Are a’ Changin’ SUBMITTED BY NCM ASSOCIATES

Take these steps to ensure the best for your business Every dealer knows that our industry will never be the same. The real question that must be answered is: “What changes do you need to make in your dealership, and to what extent?” Although this seems like a daunting task, these six things will help ensure that the changes you make are the best for your business.

1. Trust Your Data To see true variance and trending in your dealership analytics, you have to compare apples to apples. Make sure your current metrics and calculations are the exact same by definition and calculation as the historic metrics you are comparing them to. If you have been using a reporting/analytics software prior to the pandemic, now is not the time to make the change. There is a very high risk that any comparisons you make to historical performance may be inaccurate in a new system. It is also important to compare your current data to the previous

month as well as the same month last year. Comparison to the previous month will show how your performance is trending as you deploy changes. Comparison to the same month of the previous year is where you will identify needed changes based on the impact of COVID-19.

changes and being engaged with them and your customers on the front lines as new processes are deployed. Get in the thick of it.

5. Measure Adoption and Impact

Use reputable institutes and training programs that have proven themselves in the auto industry. Seek peer interactions in 20 Groups, virtual 20 Groups and available webinars. And read every trade publication you can get your hands on.

Decide before the deployment of any change what success looks like for you. Choose the metrics you’ll watch to determine how well your team is adjusting to the change. If they are struggling to change, consider if it’s a commitment issue or a capabilities issue? If it is capabilities, then training and coaching can fix it. If it is commitment, then accountability and clearer expectations should be applied.

3. Adjust Your Perspective

6. Be Flexible

Failure to evolve can be caused by a lack of recognition and understanding of the extent of the changes in the environment. We need to adjust our perspective the best we can to think of every decision and possible outcome in this “new” world..

4. Get Involved in Making the Changes

Being too rigid around “old procedures” and “dated processes” will almost guarantee a break or fracture in your strategy and/or team. You need to be flexible with the changes you deploy. Even after you have one of your changes in place, decide on a sensible cadence to check in on things. You’ve got this.

As a leader in your dealership, you are the catalyst for change. Your people and culture will change as they see you driving those

To learn more, call us at 866.756.2620 or email

2. Peer Insights and Innovation

SCRAP-IT achieved a major milestone in 2020 OVER 50,000 VEHICLES SCRAPPED IN BC!



Signals Magazine January–March 2021


Training from anywhere. New online courses starting at $299. NCM eLearn helps your dealership and talent stay on track. Our virtual classroom sessions, led by industry experts, dive deeper with results-driven training you can’t get anywhere else. Develop and retain your best with our upcoming courses. • • • • •

Parts & Accessories Management I Service Management I Used Vehicle Management I Service Advisor Training I & II Sales Consultant I

Learn more at

“The response from the viewers online has been nothing short of amazing and they have really embraced this new format.”

Motormouths Husband-and-Wife Team Get Rave Reviews BY BRUCE CAMERON, BLACK PRESS CONTRIBUTOR COVID-19 has challenged all businesses to adapt in order to survive, but one innovative husband-and-wife team have not only survived, they have thrived during the crisis. Zack Spencer has been an online auto reviewer for many years, offering detailed tips on the performance and styling of dozens of makes and models over a long media career in the automotive sector, and posting the reviews to his website. Years ago, he sometimes involved his wife, Andrea Cassels, in the videos, but when COVID-19 hit and they both found themselves at home in West Vancouver—no longer travelling extensively—they decided to look more carefully into the analytics of their viewership. “At the beginning of 2020, Zack looked through the analytics and saw that the videos we were in together out-performed the usual videos,” says Andrea, explaining the process they went through to reinvigorate the successful Motormouth brand. “When COVID-19 hit, we went full force into this new format, and we haven’t looked back—it has been so successful for us.” Women play an important role as buyers and influencers of auto purchases, so it is surprising that there is just a handful of husband-and-wife teams reviewing cars in North America. Zack and Andrea decided to focus on the husband-and-wife reviewer combination to stand out in a crowded YouTube market. The couple, who live in Vancouver but have an office in Toronto, point out that there are plenty of “buddy” reviews out there, featuring two guys, or solo car reviewers, mostly male. The Motormouth YouTube channel was already successful with Zack on his own and he had already established a TV career, but bringing Andrea into the reviews has made them unique. Not only has Motormouth’s YouTube channel viewership in-


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

creased, but Motoring TV on TSN is also utilizing Zack and Andrea together for car reviews. Andrea says, “The response from the viewers online has been nothing short of amazing and they have really embraced this new format.” The duo adds that Motormouth has experienced an increase in views, subscribers, hours watched, and revenue from the Youtube channel since they began promoting their joint reviews. They have also extended their reach into other social media channels like Instagram, creating a feature called Questions, Coffee & Cars where they integrate Instagram questions into their YouTube videos. You can follow them on Instagram at Motormouth_Andrea and Motormouth_Auto or subscribe to their Motormouth YouTube channel, which drops new couple reviews each Saturday. Even after the COVID-19 crisis passes, they plan to continue doing reviews together. “When travel resumes, we expect car companies to invite Zack to car launches around North America and around the world, but we will continue to do our reviews together every week. In fact, our goal is to attend these car-launch events together.” For others looking to harness the opportunities presented by technology, their advice is to be consistent. “If you’re going to start using social media platforms to promote yourself or your business, you have to be consistent, week after week, day after day. If something isn’t working, try new approaches. What we’ve learned is that change can be good—it’s really worked for us.” You can catch their weekly reviews on the Motormouth Youtube channel, or go to to see the archived reviews and links to their various social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

With the economy picking up speed, we remain dedicated to ensuring our dealer’s success.”

KAR Global is committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and communities in all we do during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to closely monitor public health and government directives to ensure we’re operating safely. As we emerge from the pandemic and with the economy picking up speed, we remain dedicated to ensuring our dealers’ success. We continue to hold Simulcast auctions via and the ADESA Marketplace app. Our other digital channels — including private label sites and upstream open (non-auction) vehicles on and TradeRev also remain open and active to keep your business moving forward. That’s why KAR Global is extending and initiating relief programs and temporary price reductions as well as resuming services to give dealers the confidence to buy and sell anytime, anywhere and emerge stronger than ever: • Waived Simulcast Fees: No Simulcast success fees for buyers through July 31, 2020. • Buyer Vehicle Previews: Most ADESA locations are now offering in-person visits to preview and assess inventory. Contact your local ADESA auction to learn more. • Post Sale Inspections: All locations are now offering PSIs. Contact your local ADESA auction to learn more.

For additional information and all of the latest updates, visit For additional information and all of the latest updates, visit and TradeRev.

Q& A

with Stephen Simms Incoming president and CEO of the Vehicle Sales Authority speaks with the NCDA

Signals: What are you looking forward to in your new role as president and CEO of the Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA)? Stephen Simms (SS): I’m really looking forward to working with our team. The greatest thing I have learned about the VSA is the amount of talent we have inside our organization. It’s both inclusive and diverse. Everyone is hard-working, passionate about what they do, and they want to contribute to a better VSA today and tomorrow. This also includes working with the board and ensuring our purpose as an organization is strong and remains relevant for years to come. It’s an exciting time to be here. Signals: What are the opportunities you see ahead for the VSA? SS: I see several. • Innovation: Pressure continues in all organizations to drive innovation while automating repetitive tasks to remain as efficient and productive as possible. This includes the VSA. • Confidence: We can increase confidence and compliance through the growth of our already strong talent. This, combined with structuring the right performance measures and analytics, will continually improve what is working, and correct what isn’t. • Education: We can increase educational opportunities and awareness through new and efficient ways of being connected with our stakeholders. Both our educational programs and our digital platforms need to increase and simplify engagement with current and new demographics. • Collaboration: Increased collaboration inside and outside of our organization will help drive innovation, education and confidence, ensuring these opportunities are successful. Signals: Describe the focus and priorities you have for the next six to 12 months. SS: For the next 12 months, my priorities will be: to have a very intentional focus on learning and drawing connections between the VSA and my previous work experience; building relationships externally with our stakeholders and vendors, as well as internally at all levels of the organization; and, to create alignment and momentum for all team members regarding our purpose and strategic framework.

Signals: What have you learned in the past year that will inform you in the year to come at the VSA? SS: The pandemic has put everyone in an environment of complete uncertainty, including understanding what the world looks like post-pandemic. I’ve learned the best way to navigate through this will be threefold: • To stay informed about what’s happening in the present and what experts predict about the future. • To continue to focus on what we can actually control. This creates movement and results, giving us a bigger influence over our top priorities. Focusing on what we can control, regardless of the challenges, will help us continue being a proactive organization. • To stay in tune with how our current environment impacts the industry and the general public will help with more effective decision-making. Signals: On a non-work topic—what do you do for fun or recreation? SS: Summer recreation includes a love for water activities like kayaking, paddle boarding and boating. Winter activities include a lot of time in hockey arenas; however, my favourite activity is snowmobiling. Signals: What was your first car? SS: My first car, in my opinion, was the perfect vehicle for a student. It was a brand-new, green 1996 Hyundai Accent GL, fourdoor sedan, and it was the most basic model you could buy. It had a four-cylinder engine, no power windows or locks, no air conditioning and no music player other than a radio. (My last snowmobile had more features than my first car!) Signals: If you could select any profession, what would it be? SS: If I could select any profession, it would be a Formula One driver for team McLaren. Going from 0 to 62 miles per hour in two seconds (or less) and pulling more Gs than a space shuttle, all while hitting speeds over 200 mph, is pretty cool in my opinion. It matches my personality—I like to move fast!

Contact the VSA: (604) 574-5050 / Visit the VSA online:


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

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Big Changes in Auto Insurance for BC in 2021 ICBC moves to new Enhanced Care format BY GLENDA OUELLETTE, HUB INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE BROKERS The past two years have seen many changes to the auto insurance landscape in British Columbia. These changes include ICBC’s requirement to list all drivers on a policy as well as how discounts are applied. We’ve also seen private insurers enter and exit the BC market. This year will continue to see auto insurance companies looking at ways to remain profitable, while providing the coverage and services people need. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see in the coming months.

Introduction of Enhanced Care and rate decreases As the largest auto insurer in British Columbia, ICBC sets the tone for how drivers insure their vehicles in the province. The cost of claims and settlements has risen rapidly over the last several years, leaving ICBC paying out more in claims than it draws in insurance premiums. To reverse this trend, the BC government introduced several reforms which will come into effect in May, under the name of Enhanced Care. Enhanced Care is designed to save drivers money by limiting the ability to sue for compensation, except in Criminal Code offences.

Online renewals in 2022 What is changing? Notable changes drivers can expect with Enhanced Care include: • average savings of 20 per cent or $400 annually; • up to $7.5 million in healthcare and recovery ($300,000 currently); • up to $1,200 per week in wage loss payments ($740 per week currently); • ongoing care costs paid as needed, instead of a single settlement for future care; and • reduced legal representation, ensuring 100 per cent of care benefits and compensation go to the driver.

What happens between now and May? Drivers will continue to insure their vehicles under the current system until the end of April 2021. They will still have to list everyone who will drive their car on their ICBC policy, and their driving experience and crash history will largely determine their insurance costs. Effective May 1, 2021, every policy in effect will automatically move to the Enhanced Care model, with most drivers receiving a pro-rated refund from ICBC reflecting the difference in pricing on what is remaining of their current policy. Private auto insurers are also adapting to address these changes, which will likely impact all auto insurance policies. More details on these changes will be available once the regulations are made public by the BC government.


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

ICBC has also announced that starting in May 2022, drivers will be able to renew their personal insurance and get temporary operation permits online. We can expect to learn more about how online transactions will work in the coming months.

The Role of the broker At the dealership, customers purchasing vehicles should expect to have the new Enhanced Care changes explained to them by their broker, so they understand how their coverage will differ partway through the policy term. Insurance brokers will receive extensive training between February and April of 2021. A strong insurance broker team will be able to support and advocate for its dealership partners and clients through these changes and provide excellent care and service during this time of large-scale auto insurance reform in British Columbia.

About HUB International As the largest auto insurance broker in BC, HUB International puts its clients at the centre of a vast network of risk, insurance, employee benefits, retirement and wealth management specialists. It helps bring clarity to a changing world with tailored insurance solutions and unrelenting advocacy, so clients are prepared for tomorrow. Learn more at:

A New Year, A New Start When you partner with us, you’re at the center of a vast network of specialists that work with dealerships to meet their goals. Our Specialists will work with you on a range of products from employee benefits to auto road service, dealerships packages, and garage and fleet coverage so that you’re ready for tomorrow.

Let’s protect what matters most. t: 604.269.1914 e:

Risk & Insurance | Employee Benefits | Retirement & Private Wealth


Repairers Liens: the Unpaid Bill the Repairers Lien Act, after a bill has gone unpaid for more than 90 days, the dealership is allowed to sell the vehicle (at auction or otherwise) to recover the amount owed. Any surplus amount remaining after the repair costs and other certain allowable costs are paid from the sales proceeds must be returned to the customer.


Almost all dealerships have experienced the issue: a customer comes in to have their vehicle repaired or serviced, and the dealership, on good faith that it will be paid, does the required work, and then the customer refuses to pay the bill when they come to collect the now-repaired vehicle. The Common Law The law is not unsympathetic to dealerships in the above situation. Under common law, a repairer (i.e., a dealership) has the right to keep possession of the property it repaired, until the bill is paid. However, the common law remedy does not allow the repairer to sell the repaired property to recover the money owed. Also, if the repairer gives the property back to the customer without first being paid, then any claim to the property is lost and the repairer has to sue the customer for the amount owed.

The Repairers Lien Act While helpful, the common law remedy can be cumbersome and isn’t always a practical solution. As a result, British Columbia introduced the Repairers Lien Act to supplement common law options available to the unpaid repairer. In short, the Repairers Lien Act gives a dealership a statutory lien for the full costs of the repairs made on the vehicle it has repaired. Additionally, the dealership is allowed to sell the vehicle to pay the customer’s outstanding bill, if the bill is still unpaid 90 days after it was rendered. So, as long as the vehicle remains in the dealership’s possession, the Repairers Lien Act applies, and no additional steps have to be taken by the dealership to assert the lien. However, if the dealership opts to release the vehicle back to the customer before the bill is paid, the Act requires the dealership to do certain things in order to maintain that lien claim. In brief, the steps needed for the dealership to maintain a repairer’s lien on the vehicle are: (i) have the customer acknowledge the full amount on the bill by signing the bill or other statement of account, before the vehicle is released; and (ii) file a financing statement in the British Columbia Personal Property Registry as soon as the vehicle is released, and not later than 21 days afterwards, in any event. Recall that the common law does not allow a dealership to actually sell the vehicle to recover the amount of the debt. The dealership’s only option is to hold the vehicle until it is paid, or some other arrangement with the customer is reached. Under


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

Where the dealership decides to hold the vehicle at the dealership, the process of waiting the 90 days to sell the vehicle is straightforward under the Act. Where the dealership decides to release the vehicle to the customer before payment is made, the repairer’s lien registered in the Personal Property Registry is valid for 180 days after registration. During this period, the dealership can hire a bailiff to seize the vehicle and return it to the dealership, at which point the dealership is, as with the above, entitled to sell the vehicle to recover the amount owed by the customer, if the bill is more than 90 days overdue. It goes almost without saying that a dealership, thinking of releasing a vehicle to a customer who hasn’t paid the bill, should consider (even with the ability to register a repairer’s lien) the chances that the dealership or bailiff will actually be able to locate and seize the vehicle, and what condition it will be in, once located and seized.

Limitations of the Repairers Lien Act The Repairers Lien Act is definitely a powerful tool for dealerships looking to be paid for work they’ve performed on customers’ vehicles. Importantly, even where there are prior registered charges on the vehicle in the Personal Property Registry, a lien under the Repairers Lien Act generally sits in first-place priority, subject to some limited exceptions. However, because of the broad protections the Act provides, a dealership must follow the lien procedures exactly, or risk losing its lien entirely. This requirement for an exact adherence to the procedures laid out in the Act is called strict interpretation, and means even minor administrative errors can leave a dealership without a lien claim. Cases where a claim to a repairer’s lien has been found to be unenforceable include: (a) not having the customer clearly agree to the amount owed before the vehicle was released; (b) having the wrong year of the vehicle recorded in the Personal Property Registry; (c) having an incorrect character in the Vehicle Identification Number recorded in the Personal Property Registry; and (d) filing the correct financing statement in the Personal Property Registry, but making the filing more than 21 days after the vehicle was released back to the customer. Given this requirement for strict adherence to the Repairers Lien Act, dealerships are strongly encouraged to contact their legal counsel before relying on its protections. The lawyers at SHK Law Corporation are happy to assist on these matters or with your other legal needs.   For more information on how best to protect yourself and your business from misrepresentation please contact one of our lawyers at SHK Law Corporation.


DRIVING INSIGHTS | How to Defeat the #1 Pain Point of Canadian Used-Car Buyers DREW HARDEN, MANAGER, RESEARCH & INSIGHTS AT CARFAX CANADA After surveying thousands of Canadians, we found that the biggest pain point customers have when buying used cars is knowing whether or not the vehicle is in good shape. Purchasing a car is one of the biggest decisions in a person’s life, so buyers want to be sure they know the vehicle’s story before getting behind the wheel. Based on the survey results, we uncovered two approaches that can help ease this pain point.

Approach #1: put vehicle history front and centre online We collected 16 of the most common listing details, and then left it to Canadian used-car buyers to answer the following: “If you’re deciding between two used vehicles with identical features, price and mileage, what will help you choose one listing over another?” Based on the responses, we discovered the most important feature to make your listings stand out is a detailed vehicle history. Used-car buyers rate current condition, mileage, accident history, maintenance and service history as the most important pieces of information when they’re looking at a vehicle online. In fact, 43 per cent would actually skip a listing without detailed history. Make it easy for the customer to find and understand the car’s history online. Some 48 per cent of used-car buyers won’t bother coming to your store if they have had a bad experience on your website.

Approach #2: use vehicle history to make units stand out Every pre-owned vehicle is unique—no two units have the same history. For a buyer, understanding what’s happened to that specific unit is very important. Take the time to walk prospective buyers through the history report, explaining each section in detail so they can get a clearer picture of what the past held for the vehicle. Put more focus on the benefits of buying a great unit compared to buying a great name. Take the time to match the car’s history to the customer’s needs. Addressing this pain point is a win-win, because you’re the only dealer with that specific car. If the customer understands the unique value in the unit, your vehicle will stand out from the competitors. Creating trust by showing the history of the vehicle is one of the most effective ways to put your customer’s mind at ease when they’re considering a vehicle purchase. This transparency should relieve some of the stress and help you get the sale.

Driving Insights is an information series designed to help used car dealers better understand the motives and behaviours of Canadian car buyers. If there’s a question you’d like us to address, email Get more insights at

Canada’s #1 vehicle history report just got a refresh! Learn more at

Are You a Community Driver? Nominations are now open for the NCDA’s Community Driver Awards! Each year, a total of six Community Driver Awards are presented to one New Car Dealer in each of six BC regions. These are dealers who have shown tremendous community excellence over the past year, or over many years. The awards recognize the outstanding community involvement and achievement of member New Car Dealers throughout BC in these six regions: Northern BC, Okanagan/Interior, Kootenays, Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver. Thanks to media award sponsor Black Press Media, for making this award possible.

Criteria & Application: Community Driver Award recipients are BC dealerships who exemplify business strength and community excellence with a significant focus on making a tangible contribution to the growth and livability of their community or region. Awards are presented to dealer principals, who will be judged on a nomination form detailing their community involvement and benefit. Nominations may come from individual dealerships nominating themselves, or from associate members, third-party individuals or organizations nominating the dealership. The award will be for the dealership as a whole, recognizing contributions of the entire team, presented to the dealer principal(s).

Application Process: Nominations are open, with a deadline of February 26. Applications can be submitted through mail, fax or email. Applications are collected by the NCDA. Winners will be announced spring 2021.

Submit a nomination! Download a nomination form online at (click on Awards/Community Driver Awards), or contact us at

Past Recipients: 2020 Awards went to: Northern BC Region— Glacier Toyota; Okanagan/Interior Region—Lexus of Kelowna; Kootenays Region—Castlegar Toyota; Vancouver Island Region— Kia Victoria; Fraser Valley Region—Applewood Kia; and Metro Vancouver Region—Brian Jessel BMW. Visit to view all the past award winners.

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Employers Beware of Hasty Terminations One-day employee awarded $65,000 in damages by Human Rights Tribunal BY JUNKI HONG AND CHRIS DRINOVZ, KSW LAWYERS (EMPLOYMENT & LABOUR GROUP) With COVID-19 continuing in full force, employers and employees continue to face challenging situations and decisions. The BC Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) continues to indicate that hasty terminations can have dire consequences and should, therefore, be carefully thought through. An example we will cover in this article is from the 2020 decision

ton that the Employer was very “accepting.” Before lunch, the same co-worker again went to the Employer to tell them that Ms. Benton was not a good fit. In the afternoon, Ms. Benton was invited to a meeting and accused of her failure to reveal her medication.

in Benton v Richmond Plastics, 2020 BCHRT 82. Rachel Benton, who made the complaint to the Tribunal, was hired to work for Richmond Plastics Ltd. (the “Employer”). On her first day of work, Ms. Benton told a co-worker and management of a number of mental health conditions she had. On that same day, the Employer fired Ms. Benton. The Employer told Ms. Benton that she was fired because her medications and/or mental health made the officer feel “uncomfortable.” Ms. Benton complained to the Tribunal that her disabilities were a factor in the termination of her employment. The Tribunal held that the Employer had indeed violated s.13 of the Human Rights Code (“Code”).

Ms. Benton was told that her taking of the medication and/or mental disabilities made the Employer feel “uncomfortable.” The Employer had provided no other explanation for Ms. Benton’s termination: the only explanation was her mental health. Both the start of her employment and the unanticipated and abrupt end occurred within the span of 6.5 hours.



The Employer hired Ms. Benton as a receptionist/administrative assistant. On her first—and last—day, Ms. Benton arrived early and began her training. By 10 am, the co-worker training Ms. Benton decided that Ms. Benton was not a good fit; the co-worker reported this to the Employer. Following this brief stint of training, Ms. Benton had a facility tour and filled out forms from a human resources employee. In so doing, Ms. Benton disclosed medications she was taking and in communicating with the co-worker, told her that she had a number of mental illnesses. The co-worker had reassured Ms. Ben-

The Tribunal was clear that it was not necessary for Ms. Benton to prove that her mental illnesses were the only or overriding factor in the Employer’s decision to terminate, but simply that they were a factor. In view of the foregoing, the Tribunal held that it was more probable than not that Ms. Benton’s disabilities were a factor in her termination. This is somewhat alarming as the president of the Employer, who decided to terminate Ms. Benton’s employment, did not know about the mental disabilities. However, the Tribunal said that the CFO who hired and fired Ms.

Benton knew and had sufficient role and authority. In view of the nature of discrimination against Ms. Benton, Ms. Benton’s vulnerability and the effect on Ms. Benton, the Tribunal awarded Ms. Benton $30,000 as damages for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect. Further, in consideration of the effects that discrimination had on Ms. Benton, the Tribunal awarded 12 months of wage loss, amounting to $35,000.

Employer Takeaways It is crucial to remember that the Tribunal stressed that mental disabilities did not have to be the only cause, and not even the principal cause for Ms. Benton’s termination. While the Tribunal acknowledged that there may have been other non-discriminatory factors that contributed to Ms. Benton’s termination, what really mattered was that the mental disabilities were, in fact, a factor. Another major point to remember is that the effect of the discrimination on the terminated employee is not within the employer’s control or foreseeability. In this case, the Employer was ordered to pay $65,000 in damages despite only having Ms. Benton employed for one day. This case serves as a reminder for employers to be cautious in their decision-making and the reasons given for terminations. This is particularly important when an employee has disclosed health issues to anyone at the workplace.

Note to our readers: This is not legal advice. If you are looking for legal advice in relation to a particular matter, please contact Chris Drinovz ( or Mike Weiler ( or visit here: https://




Caring and Connected: An Inspiration to All Special Olympics community overcomes challenges to stay active in 2020 Through the unique circumstances of 2020, the one constant for Special Olympics BC was the ongoing reminders of the unparalleled quality of our caring community. At every turn, we saw athletes encouraging each other to stay positive, and sharing ways to stay active. We saw volunteers and coaches going above and beyond in so many ways in order to maintain connections with athletes, run virtual opportunities and safely reopen programs when possible. We saw sponsors like the New Car Dealers continue or even expand their contributions in order to support and empower athletes. We saw families looking for every possible way to help their loved ones and the SOBC community, and we saw celebrity champions share the most genuine and helpful encouragement for athletes, while also raising awareness about how much our movement matters. Now, more than ever, we are so grateful to BC’s New Car Dealers, as well as all the members of the inspiring SOBC community. We can’t overlook the challenges—we know 2020 was so difficult for so many people. We know Special Olympics is a vital source of connections, health and support. It’s been very hard to be away from our in-person programs and events. There are serious health concerns that we will continue to do our best to help address. There are ongoing questions about what happens next in this fast- and ever-changing pandemic landscape. But amid the challenges, we have found constant inspiration and joy in the way that Special Olympics BC athletes, coaches, volunteers, sponsors, families and supporters have responded and lifted each other up. As SOBC Surrey athlete Susan Wang said in a 2020 virtual event, “In Special Olympics, I have made so many friends and connected with so many people. Before Special Olympics, I was left out, like many people with intellectual disabilities. And that’s why Special Olympics is so important, because not only do athletes have a great time competing and playing their sports, they can have a sense of belonging, know that they matter, connect with other people and fit in.”

Here are some of the milestones reached in 2020, with the help of the generous support of BC’s New Car Dealers: • 119 in-person programs were reopened under SOBC Return to Sport safety protocols (before pausing in December, in line with provincial health restrictions); • 1,000 SOBC athletes participated in virtual health education events and activity sessions; • More than $171,000 was raised by the New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction, providing


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

Special Olympics BC – Quesnel athlete Scott Jonasson felt the pride of succeeding in sport through SOBC’s first-ever virtual competition in fall 2020.

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critical support for SOBC’s empowering programs and opportunities, both in-person and virtual; 152 athlete leaders had opportunities to make their voices heard in provincial presentations, events and training courses; There were 13,983 visits to the Athlete Health Resources page on the SOBC website, which now features calendars of at-home training, wellness challenges and much more; 58 athletes challenged themselves in SOBC’s first virtual competition; 23 SOBC Coach Development Webinars created opportunities for SOBC coaches to build skills, share expertise and stay connected; We marked 40 years of the Special Olympics movement changing lives and opening hearts and minds here in BC; One Special Olympics BC athlete won a Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year Award: congratulations to Langley’s Matthew Williams! And, Before the pandemic began, 143 Special Olympics Team BC 2020 athletes excelled at the 2020 National Games in Thunder Bay.

We are so grateful for the New Car Dealers’ ongoing commitment to Special Olympics BC and to our mission of ensuring that people with intellectual disabilities have a place to connect, be healthy and shine through sport. Please stay tuned for details about the 2021 New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction, which will return in spring 2021 to make a difference for athletes with intellectual disabilities throughout our province. To learn more about your impact, please visit, or join us on Facebook and Instagram @specialolympicsbc and Twitter @sobcsociety.


CleanBC Funding Update—Program Topped Up! The Province of British Columbia added the remaining funding of $5 million to the CleanBC Go Electric vehicle rebate program during December 2020, the final installment of the $20 million in funding that was announced in the Provincial Budget on February 18, 2020.

January-December 2020 Top 5 Paid Out Applicant Cities Greater Vancouver

January-December 2020 Top 5 Paid Out Applicant Cities Outside Greater Vancouver 700



1339 1228




1000 400 800





180 128





200 0







North Vancouver



Abbotsford Nanaimo

Kelowna Chilliwack

New vehicle models added since the last Signals issue: January-December 2020 - Top 10 Paid Out Vehicles

2021 BMW i3/i3s (BEV) and 2021 BMW i3/i3s (ER-EV) 2021 Chevrolet Bolt (BEV) 2021 Chrysler Pacifica (PHEV) 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Sahara (PHEV) 2021 Nissan Leaf/Leaf Plus (BEV) 2021 Tesla Model 3 and Y (BEV)

Volkswagen e-Golf, 244 Hyundai IONIQ, BEV, 307

Kia Niro PHEV, 223

Kia Soul EV, 410

Nissan Leaf, 480 Chevrolet Bolt, 507

Important Updates • Find updated program forms (Dealer Application Checklist, Letter of Received Rebate, etc.) on the website. • Following the re-branding of the program, the website is undergoing changes to match the new branding. To clarify: The “CEVforBC Incentive Program” was re-branded to “CleanBC Go Electric Vehicle Rebate Program” by the Province of BC and is the same program. • The website will continue to function as per normal, so please submit your applications online through the dealer portal.

Tesla Model 3, 3579 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, 537

Toyota Prius Prime, 847

Hyundai Kona EV, 851

Tesla Model 3  Hyundai Kona EV Bolt  Toyota Prius Prime  Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Chevrolet Bolt  Nissan Leaf  Kia Soul EV  Hyundai IONIQ BEV  Volkswagen e-Golf  Kia Niro PHEV

Future Proof Careers


For now and well into the future.

Future Proof Careers available at carsandjobs_CA



SiriusXM: A Year in Review BY JEAN-FRANÇOIS MARTIN, REGIONAL MANAGER FOR EASTERN CANADA Like much of the industry, we have faced a challenging year in 2020, but we are proud of how we have been able to continue to drive value to our customers and your clients. Realizing that we had the power to entertain not only our subscribers, but the general population, our first instinct was to offer all of our programming free during lockdown. Thus, our 300 channels were accessible by everyone until June. Thanks to the creativity of the team, several new content offerings were created, including the famous Doctor Radio dispatching health advice and full coverage of the very latest COVID-19 developments. In addition, we were able to provide play-by-play coverage of all returning major league sports. We truly didn’t miss a beat. But the population needed something else to be even more entertained. Therefore, in the summer, SiriusXM launched programming in the spirit that characterizes summer—a series of virtual festivals. Broadcasts were available online and in-car. All genres were represented, including the famous WIFI Comedy Club. Music lovers were not left out either with limited-run channels dedicated to the biggest artists in the industry like Prince, David Bowie, Beastie Boys, Queen, Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin and Metallica. In the spirit of trying to do our part and to further entertain across the country, French-speaking listeners had the chance to attend 10 virtual shows. Sitting in the comfort of their own home, they only had to join the Yoop platform to get a true performance-hall experience.

Innovation was also a major focus this year. Notably, we purchased Stitcher and, in November, introduced the best collection of podcasts on SiriusXM. You’ll find them all in one place, so you can easily enjoy the biggest and most essential podcasts, as well as SiriusXM originals you can’t hear anywhere else. We also recently launched SiriusXM with 360L in select Ford, Audi and BMW vehicles. Our newest and most advanced in-vehicle platform is the marriage of our satellite and streaming services. It allows customers to easily discover and personalize their experience, get recommendations, access on-demand content and so much more. We’re lucky to be supported by our OEM and industry business partners and you—our valued dealer network. Our strong business model and strategic alliances have allowed us to keep providing subscribers with a level of entertainment and information—something of which we are very proud. It is certain that with future technological advancements and our continued focus on expanding our broadcast services, customers will be able to enjoy more features at home, online and behind the wheel.

For the latest updates and entertainment from SiriusXM, visit To reach your local BC representative, contact Mario DeGrace / (403) 629-2953.

LEARN STUFF AND GET REWARDED. SiriusXM has launched an incentive-based program that is a quick, entertaining and easy way to learn about our service and how to amplify your customers’ experience. Go to today to register. With the completion of all modules, you will get 21 months of free streaming on the SiriusXM app. There’s always something good on!

© 2020 SiriusXM Canada Inc. “SiriusXM,” the SiriusXM logo, channel names and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and are used under license. All rights reserved.

WD Co-Auto supports your dealership by allowing you to focus on what matters. As a member of WD Co-Auto, you gain access to personalized direct programs, competitive prices for the products and services you use every day, and routine equipment maintenance. All of your dealership needs in one convenient integrated service solution.







The New Car Dealers Association of BC would like to acknowledge these fine companies for their support of your association’s activities. OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS

Premier Partners


CADA 360 programs are unique. Each program is designed under the guidance of a dealer committee, and participating dealers become stakeholders in the programs. “It all comes back to you” is more than a tag line: it’s a guarantee to association members. The end result is a powerful combination of industryleading business solutions for health and wellness benefits and exceptional dealer representation. CADA also supports the development of automotive leadership through its partnership with the Automotive Business School of Canada. Learn more at

First Canadian Financial Group is a national, privately chartered life insurance company that has been offering life and disability insurance coverage on consumer loans through automotive dealership financial service offices since September 1988. Since that time, the First Canadian Financial Group has been marketing its insurance, mechanical breakdown protection and protection product programs through automotive, RV and marine dealers across Canada with tremendous success. Learn more at

CARFAX Canada, a unit of IHS Markit, is Canada’s definitive source of automotive information, delivering vehicle history, appraisal and valuation. Drawing on billions of data records from thousands of unique sources, its products enable used vehicle buyers and sellers to make in-formed decisions. Formerly known as CARPROOF Corporation, CAR-FAX Canada is dedicated to transparency, and is trusted to provide im-partial and comprehensive information to dealerships, vehicle manufac-turers, consumers, major auctions, governments, insurance providers and police agencies. Learn more at Cox Automotive is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns and uses cars with industryleading marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. The global company has 34,000 team members in more than 220 locations and is a partner to more than 50,000 auto dealers as well as most automobile manufacturers. Learn more at SCRAP-IT is a not-for-profit society, operating in both BC and Alberta. With a goal of improving the quality of the environment by creating clean places to live, it has successfully delivered provincial, federal and privately funded incentive/rebate programs for over 20 years. Contact: Nicki Lewis, Program Manager SCRAP-IT, Direct Line: 604-2275956, Office: 604-273-8552, Toll Free: 1-855-377-7717. Learn more at

SILVER LEVEL ADESA Vancouver’s auctions provide registered dealers, brokers, automobile manufacturers and rental agencies as well as corporate and government fleets with a complete vehicle marketing solution in British Columbia. Learn more at

BRONZE LEVEL Michael Mason & Co. has been manufacturing and supplying for the automotive industry since 1967. It has products for every department within your dealership. Michael Mason & Co. fabricate products at factories in British Columbia, Canada. Learn more at

SiriusXM is the country’s leading entertainment company. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music, premier sports talk and live events, comedy, news and exclusive talk and entertainment. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company, smart phones and other connected devices as well as online. Learn more at

The New Car Dealers Association of BC is a proud member of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA). The CADA is the national association representing new car and truck dealers. Acting as the voice of the dealers at the national level, CADA serves as an advocate to government, industry and the public.


Signals Magazine January–March 2021

ASSOCIATE MEMBER DIRECTORY Associate Members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC provide vital products and services to Dealer Members, allowing them to do business with greater cost effectiveness, environmental responsibility, and general efficiency. ACCOUNTING Baker Tilly WM LLP Masato Oki // 604-684-6212 //

MNP LLP Accounting


BDO Kristen Mundy // 403-205-5760 //


Calla Financial Services

Leanne MacKinnon // 604-921-4048 x122 //

Michael Chung // 604-419-8202 //

Darrell Endresen // 604-949-2088 //

CIBC Commercial Banking


Phil Lehn // 604-665-1318 //


LAT Multilingual

First Canadian Financial Group

Lise Alain // 604-736-3833 //

ADESA Auctions Canada

Darren Johnson // 250.217.5955 //

John Macdonald // 604-232-4403 //

General Bank of Canada


Marley Begg // 780-974-2829 //

Nicole Sergio // 416-853-5626 //

iA Auto Finance

Manheim Auto Auction Company (Cox Automotive Canada)

Denise Buott // 905-815-9510 //

One Persuasion

Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 x5441 //

Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Hamish Marshall // 778-835-3715 //

AUTOMOTIVE SCHOOLS BCIT - School of Transportation Mubasher Faruki // 604-454-2234 //

Georgian College (Automotive Business School of Canada) Joe Lauzon // 705-728-1968 x1234 //

BUILDING DEVELOPMENT SERVICES Spire Development Corporation Lawrence Green // 604-432-6650 //

CO-OPS Consolidated Dealers Co-Op Janette Tooley Andrade // 905-264-7022 //

Leader Auto Resources LAR Inc. Bob Grewal // 778-773-1727 //

Western Dealers Co-Auto Mike Reid // 780-468-9552 //

DEALER 20 GROUPS NCM Kory Suppes // 913-401-2311 //

DMS PLATFORMS CDK Global Greg Wallin // 778-838-0639 //


John Eadie // 604-882-8220 //

LGM Financial

Drive Marketing Group Josh Chow // 604-837-3536 secondary //


Stephanie Day // 604-806-5300 //

Mike Baxter // 604-232-2405 //

My Auto Lenders Teresa Bromley // 877-279-0607 //

National Bank


Catalina Baciu // 778-231-8383 //

Shawn Vording // 866-835-8612 x2966 //

RBC Automotive Finance Group Aaron Young // 604-656-2965 //

Scotiabank Western Dealer Finance Centre Karen Stetz // 800-268-0762 //

Scotia Dealer Advantage

CarGurus Lexi Lipton // 617-315-1137 //

Trader Corporation Randy Shepherd / 403-999-8854 //

John Hiscock // 416-288-7800 //


TD Auto Finance

TELUS Business

Richard (Rick) Bessex // 778-628-7458 //

Chantal Mizerski // (647) 895-1991 //



ZLC Financial

Coast Tire Storage

Fab Biagini // 604-688-7208 //

Carolyn Gilmour // 877-216-2510 x141 //

IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD SERVICES Patronscan Chad Polski // 877-778-9798 x703 //

UNIFORM SYSTEMS Unisync Group Limited Barry Good // 800-668-3243 x505 //

INSURANCE SERVICES AllWest Insurance Services

Canadian Black Book

Renee Nielly // 604-733-7383 //

Richard Phillips // 905-413-7601 //

HUB International Insurance Brokers

Commander Warehouse Equipment

Nadine Harvey // 514-493-1909 //

Wayne LeGear // 604-269-1944 //

Brad Daws // 604-574-5797 //


Insurance Insight Neal O’Donoghue // 866-603-8666 //

Consultant Auto 360

Reynolds and Reynolds George Schaeffer // 519-317-3400 //

Serti Information Solutions

eBunch Paul Lehal // 604-653-6000 //

Kimoby Alex Wojcik // 877-248-0204 //

LivePerson Automotive Megan Lepp // 250.859.6562 //


Optiom Michelle Wong // 800-613-3705 //

Kim Normandin // 514-394-1955 x508 //

Cox Automotive Canada Shannon Newman // 905-290-6414 //



Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 //

KSW Lawyers Michael J. Weiler // 604.336.7423 //

SHK Law Corporation

Dealer Solutions North America Rick Kingdon // 778-245-1041 //

NextGear Capital (Cox Automotive Canada)

Roderick McCloy // 604-684-0727 //

Mario DeGrace // 403-629-2953 //



Eric Kazenbroot // 604-445-4405 //

Peak Apparel

Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 //

RSR Global Karey Davidson // 905-631-5865 //

VAuto (Cox Automotive Canada)



Nicki Lewis // 604-273-8552 //

Darren Dobson // 416-841-5500 //



Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 //

BMO - Bank of Montreal

Michael Mason & Co.

Xtime (Cox Automotive Canada)

Bradley Warren // 604-417-0229 //

Steve Batchelor // 250-384-7304 //

Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 //

New Car Dealers Association of BC


Jack Sulymka // 905-875-3522 //

VinSolutions (Cox Automotive Canada)




70 years of service to dealers. 70years years of of service service to 70 to dealers. dealers. CADA 360 Employee Benefits serves more dealers and their CADA 360than Employee ts serves dealers and their employees any otherBenefi employee benefimore ts program. CADA 360 Employee Benefi ts serves more dealers and their employees than any other employee benefits program. employees any employee benefiBenefi ts program. Earlier thisthan year, theother CADA 360 Employee ts dealer Earlier this approved year, the CADA 360 Employee Benefits premiums. dealer committee a two-month credit of benefi Earlier this year, the CADA 360 Employee Benefi ts dealer committee a two-month credit ofbreathing benefits premiums. This was toapproved give you and your employees room and committee aand two-month credit ofbreathing benefits room premiums. This was approved toduring give you employees and fl exibility, a time ofyour great uncertainty. This was to give you andofyour employees breathing room and flexibility, during a time great uncertainty. If you’reduring a long-term CADA 360 uncertainty. dealer, you know it’s what we flexibility, a time of great If long-term doyou’re – helpaour dealersCADA when 360 they dealer, need it you most.know it’s what we If you’re a long-term CADA you know it’s what we do – help our dealers when360 they dealer, need it most.

do – help our dealers when they need it most. CADA 360 – serving dealers’ needs them CADA and 360 helping – serving dealers’ succeed forhelping 70 years. needs and them CADA 360 – serving dealers’ succeed for 70 years.

needs and helping them