The Ontario Dealer - Volume 9 Issue 2

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YOUR CONNECTION TO ONTARIO’S USED CAR INDUSTRY

THE ONTARIO UCDA

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE USED CAR DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO

PLUS THE OLD CAR DETECTIVE: 1940 CHEVY CONVERTIBLE /18

> INSIDE: MAKING YOUR DEALERSHIP FRIENDLIER TO SMALL BUSINESSES /13 MARKET TRENDS /32 SPRING 2021

THEONTARIODEALER.COM


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THE ONTARIO UCDA

IN THIS ISSUE

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2

Spring 2021 USED CAR DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO 230 Norseman Street, Toronto, ON M8Z 2R4 Tel: 416.231.2600 Toll Free: 1.800.268.2598 web@ucda.org

FEATURED STORIES Sponsored Content

Spotlight on Michael Burokas

10

ucda.org Publication Mail Agreement #41890516

Making Your Dealership Friendlier to Small Businesses By Angela West

ONTARIO DEALER is published by Laservision Graphics Ltd. four times a year. 130 Industry Street, Unit 36, North York, ON M6M 5G3

EDITOR Gina Monaco Tel: 1.647.344.9300 or 1.289.456.4617 gina@ontariodealer.com

ADVERTISING SALES Direct: 416.360.0797 Office: 647.344.9300

PHOTOGRAPHY photosbypierce.com

13 How Dealerships Can Deliver a Positive Buying Experience for Women by Angela West

23 Become the Accessorizing Connection

05 07 08 09 16 18 21 29 32

The Driver’s Seat Warren Barnard

Editor’s Note Gina Monaco

Member’s Corner Bob Pierce

The Law Matters Jim Hamilton

Tech Talk Angela West

Old Car Detective Bill Sherk

Trends Chris Chase

The Common Lawyer Justin M. Jakublak

Market Trends

By Ronda Payne

26

DESIGN thrillhousestudios.com

CONTRIBUTORS Chris Chase, Ronda Payne, Bill Sherk, Angela West If you are interested in having your personal opinion heard, contact the editor at gina@ontariodealer.com

The publisher of The Ontario Dealer reserves the right to turn down any advertising or content submitted to it. The Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario and the publisher accept no responsibility for claims or statements made by advertisers in this publication or by the independent authors of articles appearing in this publication. All statements and opinions appearing in this publication are those of the writers themselves and are not to be construed as reflecting the position or endorsement of the Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario or the publisher.

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 3


MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN DEALER LOYALTY REBATES GENERATED FOR UCDA MEMBERS IN 2020.


THE DRIVER’S SEAT Legislative & Regulatory Reforms Are Coming To The MVDA items online and either picking them up in a curbside pickup or having the item delivered to their doorsteps. Remote selling, which is not necessarily the same thing as online selling, involves conducting some or all of a sale at a location other than a dealer’s business location. This has been going on to some degree for years.

By Warren Barnard, Executive Director, UCDA

As we slowly emerge from the third, and hopefully final, wave of the pandemic, something that may not be on the minds of a lot of dealers right now is reform of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and its regulations. Nonetheless, the Ontario government is preparing to consult with industry and consumer stakeholders and the general public about legislative and regulatory reform this summer. This consultation may touch on a myriad of topics, some things that will almost certainly be discussed are online and remote selling. COVID-created lockdowns and restrictions on in-person car and truck shopping have accelerated a trend that was well underway prior to the pandemic; the desire on the part of consumers for a more convenient way to shop for and purchase used or new vehicles. Thanks largely to COVID, people have become quite comfortable ordering

Customers who live hundreds or sometimes thousands of kilometres from the dealer’s location often negotiate and complete a deal by phone, email or text message. They never set foot inside the dealership. Often, bills of sale, finance and other contracts are signed by way of fax or more commonly today, printing, signing and scanning the documents to send back to the dealer. Long distance deliveries have long been a normal thing.

purely online world? • Would consumers go for buying a used vehicle without being able to kick the tires and take a test drive? • Would a special cooling off period become necessary for so-called “remote” sales? We’ll see where, if anywhere, these ideas go. This has the potential to radically alter the way vehicles are retailed in this province. We cover a lot of things in this issue of The Ontario Dealer. Here’s a sampling:

• Dealers Creating an Income Stream with Accessories • Creating a Positive Buying Experience for Women • Making Your Dealership Friendly To Small Business • Auto Industry Grapples with Supply Some are now pushing the idea that and Demand Imbalance online transactions, not just delivery, but • The Trends feature column is the negotiation, financing, warranty and about owner dissatisfaction with insurance purchase should be done online. “infotainment” The only thing that wouldn’t be done • The UCDA’s intrepid Legal Services online would be the test drive. Maybe it Director, Jim Hamilton, writes about could take place at the purchaser’s house, developments in anti-spam legislation or maybe there would be no test drive at that dealers need to know about in his all. Legal Corner series. • Justin Jakubiak, writes about new The consumer would find a car online, do privacy legislation moving through the the deal online and have the car brought pipeline and how it will affect Ontario to them at their home. Sounds great, but … dealers. • Is the public ready for that? Is the industry? I think you’ll enjoy this issue of The Ontario Dealer. Let’s hope that for the • Would a cooling off period need to be next Driver’s Seat I’ll be writing about the instituted to protect consumers who re-opening of the Ontario economy and a purchased vehicles? resurgent used vehicle sales industry. • Would a physical brick and mortar premises still be required? Until then, you can always reach me at • If not, how would OMVIC be able w.barnard@ucda.org ■ to regulate dealers in a no premises,

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 5


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EDITOR’S NOTE The Future Is Electric electric. According to a KPMG survey earlier this year, nearly 70% of Canadians who plan to buy a new vehicle within the next five years are likely to buy an electric vehicle. A recent study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) showed that low-income households could see significantly higher savings than other income groups by replacing at least one vehicle with an EV. This trend is only expected to increase over time.

By Gina Monaco, Editor In Quebec, student drivers across 30 driving schools have logged over 500,000 electric kilometres. In Nova Scotia an instructor switched to a Chevy Bolt to train student drivers. In 2018, a driver training school in Nelson, BC started offering lessons in electric vehicles. Driver training schools in Ontario are also jumping in. The Quebec experiment is part of a twoyear pilot project funded by the provincial government to test the viability of 100-percent-electric-vehicle driving. Quebec’s Ministry of Transport has allocated $4.5 million under its Climate Change Action Plan. The payoff is two-fold – a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and giving new drivers the experience of learning in the kind of vehicles that are on their way to becoming the most common new cars on the road.

A Toronto-based electric car retailer and UCDA Member, Electric Vehicle Network (EV Network), has raised its first seed capital from investment firm EV Angels to make electric car ownership more accessible for everyone. Its technology-based approach to mass EV adoption will implement services such as a contactless 24/7 online renting and purchasing. At the Federal level, a parliamentary committee has been tasked with studying how to incentivize the purchase and production of electric vehicles, and recently recommended that Ottawa work with provinces and industry to “establish a national ZEV (zero-emission vehicles) standard.” At the time of the study, only one-third of car dealerships in Canada had a zero-emission vehicle actually in stock. Statistics Canada reported in April that only around 3.5 per cent of the vehicles registered in the country last year were

The Liberal government has been offering cash rebates of up to $5,000 for buying a fully electric car and up to $2,500 for plugin hybrid models. The maximum purchase price of the lowest-end model can’t be over $45,000. The government says the $300-millionprogram has been so popular that as of last November, $255 million had already been claimed since it was introduced in May 2019. Clearly, the industry is moving towards electric, with a proposed government deadline of 2050 to achieve net-zero emissions – that’s not too far off – and curbing vehicle emissions will play a large part in the plan to reach that goal. The EV Network has introduced a model whereby it purchases electric vehicles from across North America and puts them into the hands of Canadian drivers. While this method is unique to the industry, the bottom line is that there is interest in used electric vehicles from both buyers and sellers. However, the financial bar is high for those who want to purchase an EV, which opens the door for the used car industry to step in. There are anecdotal reports from across Canada that approximately 20 used EV dealerships are in operation. It’s a niche that’s growing. Time to start exploring the possibilities ■

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MEMBER’S CORNER Credit Card Processors ... The Good, The Bad & The Ugly member “the Desjardins program was so good ... like finding money every month”. The most misleading statement I heard from almost all competitors was, “We have the best rates”. If Desjardins’ rate was 1.79%, every company that contacted me to get our business would say the same thing: “We will beat Desjardins' rate substantially”. What they never said was “we have hidden fees”, “we have surcharges” and so on.

By Bob Pierce Member Services Director

Since joining the UCDA 22 years ago, we have had 5 different credit card processors acting as UCDA Member Service Providers. Selecting a provider was often a frustrating and disappointing process that ultimately ended in termination and hard feelings. In my experience with card processors, my assessment is that many are masters at over promising and under delivering. They need lessons in truth in advertising, honest representations of rates and extra fees, and customer service. From 2012 to 2019 we had a very different experience with Desjardins. There were no questions as to how much members were paying. It was one price, plain and simple. To quote a

8 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

In 2019, Desjardins assigned its entire book of credit card business to Global Payments. Some of you will remember that we had Global as our processor about 10 years ago. We later switched to Desjardins. After lengthy discussions with numerous processors, the UCDA chose Global Payments again. We feel they are the best fit for our membership at large. However, you have a choice. You can go with Global or switch to anyone you choose. Here is why we chose Global: •

They agreed to keep the Desjardins program in place and were actually doing your processing for most of 2019/20 anyway

There were no price increases, the rates remained the same

They have the people and resources to make this transition as smooth as

possible. Nearly 2/3 of our members who were with Desjardins have made the transition to Global with almost no issues or complaints •

There are no termination fees or hassles for those that go with Global

If you didn’t go with Global, we hope you did your homework before you signed a contract with another processor. Changes for 2021 This year the credit card companies (Visa and MasterCard) have made substantial changes to their rates. These new rates were passed on through all of the processors and apply to all “card not present transactions”. They did this to protect themselves from fraud and chargebacks. You need to review your statements now more than ever and question extra fees and charges. You need to be very careful taking cards over the phone... for any amount. If a card holder disputes a charge, the card company will take the money back from your account first and ask questions later. If you’re with Global Payments and you want information about protection against chargebacks, contact your Global representative and ask about 3D SECURE.


THE LAW MATTERS Anti-Spam Survives Challenge In 2015, one company stood accused by the CRTC of sending such messaging with 1. No consent and 2. No mechanism to ‘unsubscribe’ (another requirement of the anti-spam legislation dealers will be well aware of). The company is called CompuFinder. The CRTC assessed a $1.1 million penalty against them for 451 messages sent over a specific period in 2014 to promote its educational and training services.

By Jim Hamilton Legal Services Director

THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT knew

two things when they brought in restrictions a few years ago against the ability of businesses to send commercial electronic messaging to those that did not ask for, or possibly, even want it: 1. The restrictions and penalties were harsh, amongst the harshest in the world and 2. Many businesses did not, and would not, like it … one … little … bit. Since that time, the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission (the “CRTC”), tasked with enforcing the anti-spam legislation, has brought charges and laid fines in many instances of unauthorized, nonconsensual, electronic commercial messaging. Some of these fines have been significant (i.e. with the word "million" attached).

CompuFinder fought the CRTC over these findings in 2017. What was interesting in their challenge was that they questioned, not just the charges and fine, but the constitutionality of the law itself. They lost on the constitutional challenge, but managed to have the fine reduced to $200,000. That seemed like a win of sorts, but CompuFinder obviously was not satisfied. They appealed further to the Federal Court of Appeal. The arguments get very technical at this stage and level of constitutional analysis, but the gist of the argument was that it was an unfair, illegal and unconstitutional restriction on CompuFinder’s freedom of expression. Interestingly, the Attorney General of Canada agreed that the antispam legislation infringes the freedom of expression guaranteed by Section 2(b) of the Charter, but successfully argued that it is a justifiable infringement for a number of reasons:

• It was validly enacted by Parliament pursuant to the general trade and commerce power and the standards are not hard to understand • The objective is to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy, this objective is sufficiently important • There is a rational connection between the law’s objective and the means chosen to achieve it • The law falls within a range of reasonable solutions to the problem • Anti-spam’s benefits outweigh its detrimental effects on freedom of commercial expression On June 5, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision and dismissed the appeal. This is significant because it establishes that the anti-spam provisions relating to the regulation of “commercial electronic messages” are constitutional. The short answer is Canada’s AntiSpam Legislation is here to stay, is legal and dealers need to be aware of the requirements to stay on the right side of this law. For guidance in that regard, and other useful workplace related material, please feel free to visit our website at https://www.ucda.org/ DealerInfo/AntiSpam.aspx ■

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 9


SPONSORED CONTENT

SPOTLIGHT ON MICHAEL BUROKAS OMVIC’S FORMER LAWYER IS NOW YOUR ALLY IN AUTOMOTIVE LITIGATION

10 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

MIKE BUROKAS LOVES CARS almost

as much as he loves helping people with their legal challenges. It was only natural that he brought those two things together in Burokas Law, a boutique law firm that specializes in litigation issues specific to the automotive industry.

He wants to see people and their businesses thrive and is an advocate at heart. So, when a regulatory body threatens someone’s livelihood, Mike’s generally easy-going nature becomes more analytical, focused and determined to ensure the true spirit of the law is being respected.

“I’ve loved cars ever since I was a little boy,” Mike says. “I love everything automotive.”

“I appreciate and respect entrepreneurs and people’s efforts to make a living for themselves,” he


SPONSORED CONTENT • Auditing dealership practices and records in anticipation of an inspection • Commercial legal disputes • Defending dealers and salespeople at OMVIC’s Discipline Committee • Employee contracts, hiring and termination issues

says. “I like ensuring that people’s livelihoods and ability to support their loved ones is not being unduly obstructed, or constrained or worse, taken away.”

“I’m uniquely qualified – because of my experience and expertise – to ensure dealerships and salespeople have the qualified legal help they need.” It’s this drive to protect people’s interests that drove Mike into criminal litigation after earning his law degree. He describes going into it as “baptism by fire” because he was in court almost daily protecting not only his client’s livelihood but also their very liberty. From there, he went on to be one of OMVIC’s lawyers for a few years before establishing his own firm to support the other side – the automotive dealers and salespeople.

It is this knowledge of both sides of automotive regulations that makes Mike the ideal legal partner for dealers and salespeople alike. His clients value the expertise he brings to the table and OMVIC respects him because he knows how to approach the issues without wasting time. It’s a natural outcome of having worked for a regulator and understanding their sensitivities, priorities and procedures. And it’s a benefit for everyone involved. “The industry naturally faces challenges that require assistance from a lawyer,” he says. “I’m uniquely qualified – because of my experience and expertise – to ensure dealerships and salespeople have the qualified legal help they need.” He helps his clients with a broad range of issues including: • Defending OMVIC administrative actions around refusing, revoking, suspending or applying conditions to a license

Few are able to provide the range of legal supports to the automotive industry that Mike can, but that’s why he chose to specialize. He wants to bring comprehensive knowledge that is greatly needed in the form of a flexible and affordable ally. “I respect that there is a need for regulatory bodies like OMVIC, but I know people need to be defended against governmental authority,” he says. “I can serve dealers and salespeople throughout Ontario to help them navigate the challenges they come up against.” No one wants to think about times when they may need a lawyer, but in the used car market, situations regularly arise when it’s important to access help – not just any help, but the help of someone who knows the business, knows the regulators and knows how best to protect the interests of hardworking entrepreneurs and salespeople who care about their businesses and the industry. ■

• Consulting to applicants for dealer and salespeople licensing • Defending charges under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act • Providing ongoing compliance advice on all applicable law

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 11


Reduce Fraud from Online Transactions with the use of 3D Secure

Card not present (online) transactions are the fastest growing areas of payments. Consumers have more ways to pay than ever before either through a browser, mobile app or connected device. Digital transactions are harder to authenticate, half of digital commerce transactions are blocked or fail due to suspected fraud but are actually legitimate transactions. Three-Domain Secure (3DS) is a messaging protocol that enables consumers to directly authenticate their account with the account issuer when shopping online.

WHAT IT IS ► Three-Domain Secure (3-D Secure or 3DS) allows for secure authentication of the card holder directly with the issuer of the card. ► With 3-D secure enabled, businesses can be protected from fraudulent chargebacks on qualified transactions

WHAT IT DOES ► Chargeback protection on qualified transactions ► Increase consumer confidence shopping online ► Can provide interchange rate discounts, lowering your transaction costs

BENEFITS ►

Increase profit margin

► Increase sales ► Protect business’s bottom line from fraud & chargebacks ► Mitigates Fraud

► Seamless checkout experience to reduce friction

BENEFITS TO UCDA MEMBERS With our partner-enabled 3D secure technology solutions, Global Payments can provide seamless e-commerce options help your dealership accept digital payments. ► Secure e-commerce and online transactions

► Contactless drop off, pick up and scheduling.

► Frictionless commerce

► Built-in fraud management tools and liability shift

► Two-way text communication

with 3D Secure

► Mobile Check-ins, repair estimates by text and e-inspection reports

Global Payments and the Global Payments logo are trademarks of Global Payments Inc. and may not be copied, imitated, or used, in whole or in part, without prior written consent. All other trademarks, registered trademarks, product names, and logos identified or mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Payment processing and pricing approvals provided by Global Payments Direct, Inc. Terminals & terminal services provided by Global Payments Canada GP. All offers are valid on approved credit.


MAKING YOUR DEALERSHIP FRIENDLIER TO SMALL BUSINESSES By Angela West SMALL BUSINESS CUSTOMERS can be underappreciated by dealerships, but they are also some of the absolute highest quality clients a dealership can cultivate. B2B (Business to Business) sales provide you with repeat customers in your own community, and their growth and success can quickly lead to your own. Working with small businesses in your area is highly recommended, especially if you’ve already mastered the art of the consumer sale.

Not only do small business clients offer your dealership a potential major source of revenue, but they are loyal customers who will return time and time again for vehicles to add to their fleet, and if applicable, accessories and service for the vehicles you’ve already sold them.

Unfortunately, because B2B sales are so undervalued in cases where only one or two vehicles are purchased, many dealerships simply don’t know where to start when looking to cultivate relationships with local small businesses. With enough effort, market research, and determination, your dealership can create fruitful relationships with small business that can lead to lifelong partnerships. Do your research to understand the market and its needs The best place to start on your journey to make your dealership friendlier to small business clients is research. You want to understand the local business market and the demands which company owners have. If the demand appears to be there, ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of businesses are in the area?

Could they use vehicles to better serve their clients or do business more effectively? What exactly are their vehicular needs, and how can your dealership meet (or exceed) those needs? Are those needs currently being met by another local dealership? In practical terms, this means having friends who own local small businesses contact your various competitors to find out what their packages are specifically for small business owners. Just make sure you get them a nice meal or a bottle of something for their

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 13


MAKING YOUR DEALERSHIP FRIENDLY | ANGELA WEST trouble - and ask them what they want to see from your dealership too. Only small business owners can tell you what they want - other’s opinions on what they want are worthless since they don’t walk in their shoes. Understanding the local market will allow you to identify which small businesses could benefit from what your dealership has to offer, and allow you to get started on creating strategies that will help you meet their needs in ways that your competitors aren’t. Identify your competitors who are targeting small business, including what they’re doing right and how they could improve. Use these strengths and weaknesses to inform your own strategies, capitalizing on weaknesses and learning from strengths. The more information you have available to you, the better your venture into the B2B space will be, serving as a competitive advantage your dealership holds over any other. Turn to your local Chamber of Commerce to make connections Aside from your business owner friends, your local Chamber of Commerce offers a unique chance for you to connect with other business owners in and around your area. You’re probably already a member, but if you are not, here is why you should be. Not only does the Chamber of Commerce give you the chance to easily connect

14 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

with other business owners, it allows you to establish yourself and your business as a leader in the community. Building a reputation as a business leader means that other business owners will be more likely to come to you, and will attract other Chamber of Commerce members to your business. Be sure to attend events when they happen, participate in seminars and educational sessions, and consider making a presentation to members about how and why businesses could benefit from purchasing company vehicles - or other topics that can even be unrelated to vehicle sales - to establish your credibility. Since the Chamber of Commerce typically offers member discounts, consider establishing a discount at your dealership to encourage other members to use your lot for their next purchase. Establish your business as a trusted leader When building B2B relationships, establishing legitimacy can give your business a competitive edge. Just as you do with consumers, selling your reputation will create long-lasting relationships. Like your customers do after a particularly positive or negative interaction with your dealership, the businesses you interact with will leave online reviews for future customers to

see. That’s why it’s so important to collect honest feedback from the people you do business with. If something didn’t go right, do everything in your power to change it for the better - especially if it’s going to impact future customers. You’ll also want to collect the reviews that business owners leave to use in your own B2B marketing. After you complete a transaction with a new business client, gather feedback about what your dealership did right, what they enjoyed about the experience, and how they can improve it for next time. By showing that your business is always looking to improve and that you genuinely care about how their experience went, you can make it more likely that small business clients return to your dealership in the future. Proudly displaying your dealership’s affiliations is another great way to establish legitimacy in the eyes of small businesses. If you’re a Member of the UCDA, its logo should be displayed on your website, social media channels, and each and every piece of marketing material you put out. The UCDA is a trusted and well-known association, and showing that your dealership is a member lets other businesses know that you’re a professional dealer and will treat them as such in your dealings with them. Any other affiliations your dealership has should be listed on your website and marketing materials to


MAKING YOUR DEALERSHIP FRIENDLY | ANGELA WEST marketing - and digital ads - can drive business owners right to a cozy digital space you’ve built just for them. Use case studies to get small businesses interested

signal to clients that you’re well-respected and open to doing business.

Segment your marketing to offer a more personalized experience

Give businesses a reason to work with you

One of the best ways to ensure that your marketing campaigns are actually appreciated by your target audience is to personalize them. This can be done by segmenting your marketing lists, whether by demographic, purchasing habits, or whether they’re B2C or B2B. Segmenting your marketing lists allows you to speak to the needs of a specific group of customers, making it more likely that your messaging lands with the intended audience.

Aside from adding to their fleet or being able to do business more effectively with the help of a new vehicle, small businesses need some sort of reason to want to work with you. There are many ways they can purchase business vehicles, meaning that it’s on your dealership to make itself seem like the most attractive option. In order to do this, your dealership could offer local businesses comprehensive fleet leasing and financing options in order to create incentive and offer a deal to local businesses. Sales packages are another option, especially for businesses looking to purchase a fleet of vehicles or for those which might require multiple vehicles or specific accessories. Anything that gives your business a competitive advantage and offers small businesses a way to save money or time should be considered and implemented, as it will attract new clients and help you retain customers for the long-term. While many of these businesses might only require one or two vehicles every year, their needs will continue to evolve as their business grows, making it far more likely that they come to your dealership with newly realized needs. As their business grows, so will yours, making any programs and packages you’ve implemented more than worth the time and effort.

By segmenting your marketing lists, you can easily send out newsletters and email marketing campaigns geared directly to business leads, informing them about promotions, discounts, financing options, and raising awareness about the benefits of purchasing vehicles from your dealership. This helps you keep things tidy, allows you to focus on targeted specific segments with personalized messages that resonate with target audiences, and ensures that each and every minute of your marketing department’s time is being spent wisely. You’ll also want to have a special landing page just for your business promotions that are gated off of the main navigation of your website so that consumers can’t easily find them, with “Nofollow” attributes in code so they don’t end up in search (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, your web developer will). That way, retail consumers don’t see the special packages you have available for businesses and your segmented

Another effective marketing idea your dealership can use is to publish case studies on your website. Case studies allow you to tell success stories about small businesses you’ve worked with in the past, proving that you can and have met the needs of other local business owners. Case studies are an excellent way for you and your team to reflect on your past successes, documenting what you did right and how you made a difference in the lives of your customers. They work as more than simple testimonials, case studies take readers on a journey to go in-depth on a product or service you offered to a previous customer, speaking to how you identified the needs of a business, what you and your team did to address those needs, and how the small business benefited from working with you. Generating case studies can help you get other small businesses interested in what you have to offer, and can be reused in a wide variety of marketing materials, offering high quality original content that can be reused on your social media channels, blog, videos and more. Small businesses offer your dealership the opportunity for valuable repeat customers that will constantly evolve and grow, allowing you to grow and continue catering to their changing needs. By joining your local Chamber of Commerce, establishing your business as a trusted leader in the local automotive industry, showing businesses why they want to work with you, and getting smart about your marketing efforts, your dealership can create long-lasting relationships with B2B clients in your area that will continue to benefit both parties for years to come. ■

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TRENDS | CHRIS CHASE eWireless air pump lets you inflate your tires on-the-go

TECH TALK HERE’S THE LATEST ON WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AUTOMOTIVE GADGETS AND APPS. By Angela West While things finally look to be improving on the pandemic front, the status of our summer remains to be seen - but it is looking good. No matter what, you can take solace in knowing that you’ll always have the road. When it’s safe to do so, we’re all looking forward to packing our cars and heading out in search of adventure. Whether it means being able to shoot high definition footage of your trip or get the most out of your favourite songs and podcasts, new gadgets and accessories can make your upcoming road trips even more memorable. Here’s what’s happening in the world of automotive gadgets, apps, and accessories.

16 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

The last thing you want to happen while you’re on the road is get stopped by a flat tire. Not only can this be extremely dangerous, but it can quickly put a damper on your entire trip. Thankfully, this isn’t the case when you have the InflateR all-in-one wireless air pump in your glove box. This lightweight tool can inflate everything from car tires to soccer balls and dinghies, making it perfect for taking with you on-the-go for whatever you might need. All you need to do is plug the device into your tire to check the PSI, use the buttons on the InflateR to adjust the PSI to the desired level, and press go. Before you know it, your tire will be ready to go. The InflateR features an auto off feature that shuts off once your tire is pumped, a built-in 2,000 mAh power bank to help you charge devices in case of emergency, and even an emergency flashlight so you can work in the dark. Find out how you can get your hands on the InflateR wireless air pump by visiting www.inflater.com. Tire inflators, of course, are available at nearly any Canadian Tire, but the InflateR is made to inflate pretty much anything. Enjoy the perfect hands-free experience with Amazon Echo Auto Taking your digital assistant on-the-go can make your life a whole lot easier, which is exactly what the Amazon Echo Auto aims to do. Bring Alexa along for the ride with the Echo Auto, connecting directly into your vehicle’s USB port or cigarette lighter and mounting to an air vent. From there, simply connect to Echo Auto with your device, tune your stereo to Bluetooth or use an auxiliary cable and voila -

Alexa is right there with you to find your favourite songs, audiobooks or podcasts, to find nearby businesses and hotspots, make calls for you, or even check your calendar. The Echo Auto features 8 microphones that are sure to pick up your voice no matter where you’re sitting, and will even hear you over road noise. For moments when you don’t want Alexa to listen, you can easily use the device’s microphone off button to protect your privacy, or voice recording controls to view, hear, and delete what you’ve said to Alexa. With the Echo Auto, you’ll never have to worry about taking your hands off the steering wheel for a second - this hands-free experience lets you get anything done without ever taking your attention off the road. If you’re solidly entrenched in the Google ecosystem instead, Google Assistant works with the Android Auto app for a similar experience. Find out more about everything the Amazon Echo Auto can do for your future road trips at www.amazon.ca. This portable mini fridge means never settling for warm drinks again

Let’s face it, refrigerated glove boxes never really worked that well to actually chill drinks, which is probably why they aren’t a popular option anymore. Sometimes the best part of a road trip is finding a cozy spot, popping open your cooler and enjoying a nice cold beverage or snack while you contemplate the world around you. The Cooluli 4 Liter Small Mini Fridge is the perfect option for drivers looking to keep their food and beverages reliably chilled on a long trip. This small mini fridge is perfect for use in the car, with AC and DC power cords, a USB charging cord


TECH TALK | ANGELA WEST and a 2A-power bank making sure you’ll be set no matter where you are. The Cooluli is quiet and efficient, using its unique EcoMax Technology cooling system to keep up to six 12-ounce cans perfectly chilled on-the-go. It’s also refrigerant and freon-free thanks to a handy semiconductor. Whether it’s beverages, medicine, snacks or full meals, the Cooluli is your best bet to keep it cool on the road all year long. Learn more about the Cooluli 4 Liter Small Mini Fridge by visiting www.cooluli. com. Keep tabs on the condition of your vehicle with a Bluetooth scan tool Attention automotive enthusiasts - this is the tool you’ve been waiting for. The BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool helps you keep tabs on everything going on in your vehicle, letting you read codes that other tools can’t, get solutions to your problems, and have instant access to 24/7 phone and chat support when you just can’t seem to solve a problem. The BlueDriver Pro can easily read and clear check engine and enhanced codes, generate reports with possible causes of issues and reported fixes, offer advanced test results for onboard diagnostic system monitors, check if your car is ready for emissions tests, and capture and share live data. The device works without any wires, connecting to your vehicle via Bluetooth and working with both Android and iOS devices. With the BlueDriver Pro, you’ll finally be able to understand exactly what’s going on inside your vehicle by having access to information usually only accessible to pros. Find out more about how the BlueDriver Pro Scan Tool can help you diagnose vehicle problems at www.bluedriver.com.

There are few things worse than a litter bug. Thankfully, the AISIBO Automotive Cup Holder Garbage Can takes littering out of the equation, offering drivers a convenient place to throw out trash on-the-go! The portable garbage can is manufactured from quality materials for maximum strength and durability, easily fitting right in your cup holder so you can save space. The plastic cover can be removed for easy cleaning and garbage can use. The cup holder garbage can can even be used in your office or at home, guaranteeing that you’ll always have a convenient place to throw out candy and food wrappers, cigarette butts, papers, or anything else, keeping your car clean and tidy and your rubbish where it belongs. The AISIBO Automotive Cup Holder Garbage Can is available for purchase at www.amazon.ca. Get a clear view of everything on the road - even at night Being able to see in the dark offers drivers a huge advantage, ensuring that nothing surprises you so you can arrive safely no matter what time it is. Now, you see in the dark even without super-bright headlights - in fact, this solution is probably safer for the other drivers on the road. The Lanmodo Vast Pro 1080p Night Vision System features an 8-inch vivid color high resolution display and an integrated dash cam that shows you everything you need to see in the dark. The Lanmodo Vast Pro uses low-light technology to present drivers with a crisp, clear picture, no matter how dark it is outside.

accidentally drain your car battery, and a parking mode that automatically records once the G-sensor has detected a collision. Learn more about the Lanmodo Vast Pro at www.lanmodo.com. With a premium vehicle air mattress, who needs a campground? Sometimes you just want to be able to sleep under the stars with that special person in your life - whether that’s yourself or someone else is entirely up to you. With Ontario’s campgrounds quickly being gobbled up by people looking to get away from home for the first time this year, the Luno Air Mattress 2.0 offers car campers the perfect solution. Drivers can finally get a reliable night’s sleep in their car with this easy-to-use and very comfortable vehicle mattress. The Luno Air Mattress 2.0 inflates in minutes, creating the perfect sleeping surface for two people in the rear of your vehicle - it’s even been tailored to fit in over 1,800 vehicle models. The mattress can be adjusted for firmness on both sides, and features durable, lifeproof fabrics that can withstand anything nature throws at it - from pine needles to pets. If you’re planning on camping solo, it can even be inflated on a single side. To grab your Luno Air Mattress 2.0, head over to www.lunolife.com. ■

The front and rear cameras shoot 1080p HD video to offer night vision at distances up to 984 feet in front of you to make nighttime driving easier. The Vast Pro has a 45-degree field of view so you can see further and gain up to 13.3 critical seconds of extra reaction time. It also features continuous monitoring with low voltage protection so you don’t

This cup holder garbage can takes littering out of the equation

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18 | THE ONTARIO DEALER


THE OLD CAR DETECTIVE By Bill Sherk

ANOTHER 1940 CHEVY CONVERTIBLE John Magill of Midland, Ontario, was 19 in 1954 and living in Toronto when he bought a 1940 Chevrolet convertible with no engine, no headlights, no dashboard, no steering wheel, and no top. He snapped it up for $25 and began working on it. He installed a six cylinder GMC “Jimmy” engine hopped up for more horsepower. He also installed a new convertible top and went to a Pontiac dealership and purchased a brand new 1955 Pontiac turquoise steering wheel for his old Chevy. With the extra horsepower, he and two friends went to see the stock car races at the CNE grounds. On the way home, they were at a red light when a motorcycle cop challenged them to a drag race.

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When the light turned green, the cop took off and John and his two friends all ended up in the back seat! John had forgotten to bolt it down. The cop circled back and couldn’t stop laughing! When John went back to school in 1956, he sold the ’40 Chev convertible and never saw it again. But he never forgot about the fun he had when he owned it. Now fast forward to 2017 when John heard about a 1940 Chevrolet convertible for sale near Omemee, Ontario. It wasn’t the one he owned over 60 years earlier and this one needed a lot of work, but hey, we can only be nineteen twice in a life!

John Magill’s freshly restored 1940 Chevy convertible.

He bought it, or rather what was left of it, and brought it home. He then joined the National Chevrolet Owners Club and made contact with a member living in Arizona who was an expert on the 1940 Chevy convertible. With that person’s help and a lot of new body panels purchased, the old car began to take shape once again. It is now fully restored and John is thrilled whenever he goes for a drive! The 1942 Used Car Sales Handbook of Features published by General Motors of Canada for its sales people all across the country devotes a full page to the 1940 Chevrolet and lists the Oshawa factory list price of the convertible (with power top) at $1391.

Coming or going, it’s a beauty!

Also listed are the Manufacturer’s Outstanding Selling Features: 1) Valvein-Head Performance, 2) Economy and Long Life, 3) Safety with Reinforced Fisher Body, 4) Box Girder Frame, 5) Royal Clipper Styling (“the features that sold it new will sell it again!”). With the restoration of his 1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe convertible, John Magill gets all five features as well as the satisfaction of bringing his car back to showroom condition. ■

20 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Interior invites you to climb in.

Dashboard and everything else restored to perfection!


TRENDS By Chris Chase

VEHICLE OWNERS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH “INFOTAINMENT”

THESE DAYS, many consumer

complaints about their vehicles’ performance are related to electronic systems. According to J.D. Power’s 2021 vehicle dependability study, most dissatisfied owners of three-yearold models are turned off by some aspect of the audio, communication, entertainment and navigation systems – commonly known collectively as “infotainment” – in their car or truck.

a service appointment, even if the prescribed fix is uploading updated software.

But the reality is that computers also now control almost every aspect of a vehicle’s mechanical systems, and those software-driven components also generate complaints.

So logically, the next step in improving the vehicle ownership experience is combining software updates with the LTE connectivity being built into many new cars and trucks. LTE is the communications standard that makes smartphones work, and it has the potential to change the way automakers address quality complaints from drivers by delivering rewritten software directly to the vehicle (known as over-the-air or OTA updates) without a visit to the dealership.

So, whether a driver is upset with the performance of their car’s drivetrain or the on-board navigation system, getting it fixed still involves scheduling

Some of the most significant software upgrades are available for electric vehicles. Tesla is well-known for being one of the first automakers to allow

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TRENDS | CHRIS CHASE owners of its vehicles to download software that unlocks newly developed features or ones they wished they had paid extra for when they bought the car. For example, in 2020, Tesla issued an update for its Model Y compact crossover that disabled the passenger-side HVAC vents when no one is riding in the front passenger seat. It sounds like a minor change to make, but the company said it would save enough energy to add a nominal amount of driving range. Another 2020 Tesla update for the Model 3 made the car’s driving range display more accurate to help alleviate range anxiety.

In late 2019, Jaguar announced a software patch for its I-Pace electric crossover that would allow the car to travel an extra 20 km on a fully charged battery. It did so by allowing the battery to discharge further, changing how electricity was distributed to the car’s front and rear drive motors, and making the regenerative braking system more efficient. And Jaguar made those changes with an OTA update delivered to I-Pace models already on the road: the type of goodwill gesture that improves brand loyalty. It’s not just EV owners who now have access to OTA updates. In 2019, BMW told owners of then-new 3 Series, X5 and 8 Series models that they could download and activate new features like a sophisticated voice-activated infotainment system and driver safety assists such as active cruise control and side collision protection.

22 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

Ford began adding OTA functionality to new and redesigned models in 2020 with the stated goal of “improving the ownership experience over time while reducing dealer trips.” Ford said it came up with a way for its cars to download updates in the background while the car is running and then alert the driver, who can activate the new software at their convenience.

Hyundai Motor Group and the hightech giant Cisco teamed up in 2019 to develop OTA technology for the South Korean company’s vehicles. Hyundai said it made that decision in anticipation of wider consumer acceptance of self-driving technology. While many new cars already include hardware that allows some level of autonomous driving, more features could be activated post-purchase via software download, as more vehicleto-infrastructure tech is built into roadways. While automakers are primarily rolling out OTA updates to make

the ownership experience more convenient for their customers, the technology could also benefit your dealership. If you take a vehicle in on trade that has OTA functionality and an update becomes available while it’s in your inventory, you could download and install it yourself, helping to ensure your next customer is satisfied with every aspect of their purchase. There’s also the potential to boost profit by adding features to a car that either weren’t available when it was new or that the original buyer didn’t want. You’d have to pay to add those options to the car, but you could recoup that expense and then some when a client comes into your store and discovers they can get a used vehicle with features they thought were only available in new models. There aren’t many vehicles with OTA capability on the used marketplace yet, but this technology is quickly becoming common, as automakers seek to improve their customers’ experience. By keeping abreast of developments in OTA technology, you’ll be well-positioned to keep your clients happy, too. ■


HOW DEALERSHIPS CAN DELIVER A POSITIVE BUYING EXPERIENCE FOR WOMEN By Angela West GIVING EVERY CUSTOMER a good

feeling after every sale is important to the longtime success of any dealership. Excluding a group, even if accidentally, can have major implications on your reputation, the amount of sales you make, and the future of your business. Women make up a huge percentage of car buyers in Canada and play a major role in large purchasing decisions (an

estimated 85% of all vehicle purchases). However, despite all the progress made in the last decade in nearly every other sector, they still feel disadvantaged and disrespected in their interactions with car dealerships. More often than not, many women think that they aren’t being given the same respect that a man would be and their vehicle needs aren’t taken seriously by salespeople - a bad way to start any sale. On top of feeling a perceived lack of respect, many women buyers are turned off by the dealership itself, especially those which lack any sort of female presence or one which clearly caters towards male customers (e.g. goodlooking women at reception but nowhere

else). In order to continue thriving, dealerships must be willing to provide a great buying experience for every customer who walks through the door, as alienating 50-85% of your potential customer base is a sure way to limit your dealership’s potential for growth. Trust remains a hot button issue According to a survey conducted by CDKGlobal, over 40% of women distrust the automotive industry. This distrust stems from repeatedly negative experiences with salespeople, who consistently apply high pressure sales tactics and underestimate the knowledge of female customers.

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BUYING EXPERIENCE FOR WOMEN | ANGELA WEST through the process. Your customers will almost always have the information they need, but what your salespeople offer is how to get them into the car the customer wants, not the car your dealership wants to sell them. Customers are more informed than ever before

Women, like men, conduct many hours of research online before making any sort of decision about their upcoming purchase, doing things like reading positive and negative customer reviews (of your dealership and of the vehicles), comparing vehicles and prices, reading about specs and other important aspects of the vehicle(s) they’re interested in. Unfortunately, they’re often greatly underestimated in this regard and it only serves to create a deeper distrust of the automotive industry. These revelations have shown a major need for a re-tooling of attitudes towards women in the auto industry, and possibly a need for an alternative focus for salespeople. Rather than seek to inform potential car buyers or pressure them into making purchases they’re not ready for, or adding features they don’t want or need, salespeople should instead work with customers to help guide them

Rather than treat women as being equally informed, many salespeople make the mistake of assuming that they have a lack of knowledge about vehicles. Modern customers spend hours online researching purchases before they’ve made any sort of decision - mobile platforms have made this even easier and continue to change the way we shop. This applies to both women and men. When researching online, gender is totally meaningless.

"..over 40% of women distrust the automotive industry" The fact of the matter is that the amount of time we spend researching purchases has increased across the board, and so you’re inevitably going to be dealing with smarter, more informed customers of both genders. Rather than let somebody

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24 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

else make the decision for them, the vast majority of female consumers report getting involved directly. Long gone are the days of antiquated stereotypes like the “woman stopping by the dealership to browse and come back later with her husband” - even with senior women. Women, like men, are informed car buyers who have done their research and know exactly what they want out of a new vehicle. Instead of wrongly assuming that women don’t know as much about cars as male customers, salespeople should instead be guiding them through the purchase. If your customers, male or female, need information, they’ll ask. Focus less on pressure and more on practicality One of the biggest turn offs for female car buyers is the constant pressure they feel to make a major decision - many women have reported that the immense pressure used by salespeople leads them to feel stress, overwhelmed, panicked, and taken advantage of. These aren’t exactly qualities which instill confidence in vehicle buyers, and are a surefire way to ensure that the majority of your female customer base is alienated to the point of taking their business elsewhere. In fact, one of the reasons that the stereotype still exists is that women don’t want to deal


BUYING EXPERIENCE FOR WOMEN | ANGELA WEST with a salesperson at all, so they send in husbands with the information they have researched to purchase the vehicle. All customers deserve to feel confident in their purchase decision, and should be given the appropriate amount of time, nor should they feel pressured into buying options, add-ons and accessories they don’t need or want. Women should be given the same respect that male buyers receive - when salespeople are told "No", that should be the end of the story. Rather than constantly applying pressure to potential buyers, salespeople should be listening to the needs and wants of customers and using it to inform their recommendations. Buyers want something safe, reliable and practical, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, the auto industry has reported a surge in first-time buyers looking to get away from modes of transportation now regarded as “unsafe”, like public transit and ride-sharing. Many of these first-time buyers will inevitably be women who will be looking for something safe and practical which allows them to easily get away for recreational travel. Instead of using pressure tactics on these first-time buyers, salespeople can make lifelong customers by simply hearing them out, respecting that they know what they want, and using their years of experience and knowledge of the industry to make genuine recommendations that suit the needs of anxious buyers. Those tactics will apply equally well to women and men who are first-time vehicle buyers. Aim for having more women on the sales floor One of the most effective ways to build trust with women is to employ women at your dealership as salespeople. Women sales representatives will offer other women a more relatable, and thus more comforting, car buying experience. Female sales reps are more likely to be

understanding of the needs of women looking to purchase a vehicle, and their recommendations and advice will go a lot further. Having more women on the sales floor also means that they’ll be able to speak to the more practical aspects of a vehicle, including safety, reliability, and value. This isn’t to say that your entire workforce should be made up of female sales reps or that women should only interact with female sales reps, but having the option available is extremely valuable to hesitant buyers or those who have had negative experiences in the past. Do away with preconceived notions and antiquated ideas Nobody deserves to feel belittled, which is why it’s critical that your dealership immediately ditches any preconceived notions and antiquated ideas they might have about female car buyers or drivers. Women and men are on equal ground and should be seen as such - stereotypes and old-fashioned ideas simply won’t cut it anymore. One problem with suggesting this to your sales force is that most will scoff at the idea that they treat women any differently, but they still probably do. The best way to properly audit how your dealership is treating women is to have sales managers or owners sit in on interactions with each rep and observe how they are talking to women - then problems can be addressed privately and on an individual basis.

Salespeople need to steer away from things like making jokes about female drivers, referring to vehicles as being “cute” or serving only female-centric purposes, being surprised about women who are interested in buying pickup trucks or other large vehicles, and generally asking about or referring to “other” decision makers. Listen to what they want before making recommendations of your own. The increasingly digital world means that nobody’s options are limited when it comes to buying a vehicle. Even the smallest comment or reaction can cost your dealership a sale (and a potentially loyal customer) and do harm to its overall reputation online. If a woman reads a negative review about your treatment of women, they will be unlikely to purchase a vehicle from you. That’s exactly why the goal for dealerships should be to aim for gender blindness in each and every transaction. All female buyers want is to be taken seriously and be treated the same as their male counterparts. Women, like any other buyer, do their research, understand their own unique needs and wants, and have weighed the pros and cons of their major purchase. Simply forgetting what you think you know about woman buyers and instead helping them by addressing their needs will help your dealership, and the auto industry as a whole, begin to repair the frankly unacceptable level of distrust which women have in dealerships when purchasing a vehicle. ■

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BECOME THE ACCESSORIZING CONNECTION By Ronda Payne

PROVIDING ACCESSORIES CAN CREATE AN ADDED INCOME STREAM AND ENHANCE CUSTOMER LOYALTY

26 | THE ONTARIO DEALER

IT ’S POSSIBLE A DEALERSHIP is leaving money on the table that customers are both willing and happy to part with. Providing accessories is one way to bring more value and satisfaction to a customer’s experience, without too much effort, while also adding to the business’s bottom line.

to stock everything. Salespeople or parts staff can go through catalogues with customers to determine the right accessory, order it, even arrange for the installation – all creating positive customer interactions that lead to loyalty to the dealership and greater appreciation of the vehicle.

Accessories include everything a customer needs to customize their vehicle from car seats and floor mats to flair rims and chrome gas-cap covers. Featuring some of the most in-demand items in the showroom or service and parts areas is a strategy to build interest and awareness of an accessories program, but in these days of fast shipping, there’s no need

Dennis Lecos, general manager with Lecos Auto Sales, says the dealership started offering accessories in 2000 and often roll these purchases into the price of vehicles. “People always ask for it,” he says. “They ask for tint, they ask for rims. Fender flairs, seat skins… and we sell a lot of tonneau covers.”


ACCESORIES | RONDA PAYNE Customers want to personalize their vehicle, to make it different from someone else’s says Brad “Hutch” Hutchinson, national sales director with Grand West Enterprises. “You go out and you buy your 2016 Chevy truck or your 2021 Chevy truck and you want to personalize it,” he says. “We have shops that do sell used and we’re seeing more demand now. The consumer may look at different resources to buy a model from a year or two ago… but still want to accessorize.” He suggests dealers look at stocking and showcasing the top three or four items customers want. For a truck (which is what Grand West specializes in) that may be a box cover, floor mats, wheels, tires, a tonneau cover and/ or a levelling kit. He notes that it’s a very broad market for accessories, generally, a mix of manufacturers offer products from the late 80s up, leaving plenty of opportunity for dealers to help customers with their desire to customize their new ride. Hutchinson agrees with Lecos’ suggestion to roll it in the price as it makes it easier for the customer to say “Yes” to the little extras they want. “Typically try to make it part of the financing program because it’s easier on the consumer,” he notes. “The used sector would benefit because the investment in a used vehicle is less, so [the customer] can spend more to personalize it. There’s so many things to dress it up.”

Because dealers generally arrange a discounted purchase price (compared to retail) from wholesalers like Grand West, there is flexibility in pricing that makes these purchases attractive to customers. Plus, by providing install, there is an opportunity to discount various aspects of the accessorizing program to give the customer both value and an awareness that the dealer is taking care of them. “If I need something for a vehicle, I get my discount for doing it,” says Lecos of his purchasing arrangements. “I’m an authorized reseller. Anyone in the postal code, they’ve got to come to me.” He works with Thibert as his first stop when customers need something as well as having other providers he can turn to. “Typically, I start there [Thibert] and then I kind of branch out. When it comes to different accessories, we just use the catalogues. Basically, I need to know what I’m working with and we order it in,” he explains. “It’s drop ship. Next business day. I give a good price and you can get it all here.” He notes there is no logic in stocking accessories unless it’s a fast-moving item like wheels and tires or something more universal like trailer hitches. He stocks about 50 different kinds of rims and tires, but not much else. Plus, because Lecos Auto Sales has a service department, the install of accessories is a natural fit. He cuts 30 per cent off

the labour (door rate) charge because the customer purchased parts from the dealership. Marketing accessories can be done through display and posters, but also includes educating customers that the program is available, according to Hutchinson. The dealership needs to educate staff about the process so that everyone works together to meet the customer’s needs. “They may have looked at [an accessory item] online and then call their dealer and say, ‘hey, can you get this?’ and the dealer says, ‘yes, we can’,” he notes. “You’re trying to retain that customer service and [encourage] that user to come back.” He notes that Grand West stays focused on providing exceptional customer service and that includes making their customers the star in terms of product availability. The organization only sells retail through one location (Tiger) in Saskatoon, but even in that case, the company’s purchasing partners have the best pricing and Grand West doesn’t allow multiple dealers in the same selling region.

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ACCESORIES | RONDA PAYNE “I think it boils down to what they want to create as their business,” he says of dealers considering an accessories program. “We provide a service with accessories. If they’re focusing on trucks, well obviously they’re going to have access to what they want through Grand West.” The process of purchasing from Grand West comes with an equal amount of consideration on both sides to ensure fairness to all partners and ongoing business growth. “They have to typically spend a certain amount a year with us because we’re not a retailer,” Hutchinson notes. “We’re a wholesaler distributor. Price is one thing, but people shop here because they love our service.” Grand West recently expanded into Ontario in order to provide next day shipping instead of three or four day.

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It’s this kind of service that keeps Lecos looking at the Thibert catalogue first. He’s used the company since the dealership started selling accessories. “The shipping is included, unless you’re buying a very small item. For returns they are fantastic,” he says. There are a variety of elements to think about when establishing an accessories component of the business and choosing partners. Considerations move beyond price. It’s about service primarily, because no one wants a partner that can’t fulfill and deliver on expectations. Late deliveries mean disappointed customers. Find the right partners and there’s a distinct value in offering an accessories program both in customer satisfaction and in the bottom line. Dealers need to ensure they have the right marketing and education in place to make a program return the desired results. ■

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28 | THE ONTARIO DEALER


THE COMMON LAWYER Why “Privacy” Should (Also) Be On Your Mind Ontario) that collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activity. This means that PIPEDA applies to the handling of your customers’ personal information - notably, it does not apply to your employees’ personal information, unless you are a federally regulated organization.

By Justin M. Jakubiak and Sean Nouch

THERE IS LIKELY still one

thing on everybody’s mind right now; but do not worry, we are not going to talk about that (for today at least). With that said, we hope you continue to stay safe and resilient in the face of these strange times. With new federal privacy legislation moving through the pipeline, and the increase in online sales (car sales especially), dealers and businesses alike should put their mind to whether they have adequate privacy policies in place to comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”). PIPEDA applies to private-sector organizations across Canada (including provincially regulated businesses in

Businesses, and auto dealers specifically, deal with all kinds of personal information on a regular basis that would be subject to PIPEDA, including: addresses, driver’s licenses, SINs, insurance, banking and credit card information. With a move to online sales, and with many employees working from home, this personal information is now being held by businesses and their employees in more places than just the office or on an internal server. Even if your business already has privacy policies in place, you should reassess whether those policies are still adequate given the changing operational landscape we find ourselves in, and whether your staff require some fresh training and reminders regarding their responsibilities.

5. Limiting use, disclosure and retention 6. Accuracy 7. Safeguards 8. Openness 9. Individual access 10. Challenging compliance Accountability – Privacy Officials Businesses are responsible for the personal information they collect, and they should designate a “privacy official” to spearhead compliance efforts. The privacy official should be mainly responsible for ensuring that their business complies with PIPEDA, and would develop the business’ privacy policies and best practices to protect personal information that the business controls. The privacy official’s name should be displayed internally, as well as externally to the public, such as on the company’s website, so that all employees and customers know who they may go to for issues concerning personal information accuracy, individual access to personal information and compliance challenges.

PIPEDA Principles Businesses must follow these 10 fair information principles that form the ground rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information: 1. Accountability 2. Identifying purposes 3. Consent 4. Limiting collection

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A good place to start for privacy officials would be to conduct a privacy impact assessment and threat analysis to assess your business’s personal information handling practices, including current or new initiatives, such as online sales or WFH policies. Privacy officials should ask the “5 Ws” about how the business handles collection, use, disclosure, access, security and disposal of their customers’ personal information to help develop policies and procedures. The privacy official should ensure that all staff are trained to understand their organization’s privacy policies, what valid and meaningful consent is, and how to deal with privacy complaints/ inquiries from customers. Even if employees have been trained, refreshers are a great tool to assist employees and to explain how the policies may apply to employees working from home. Additionally, the privacy official should ensure through contractual measures that third parties (like service providers in another jurisdiction) who have access

to the personal information a business collects use similar PIPEDA-compliant privacy measures.

the customer about what information is being collected, the purposes for the collection, use and disclosure of the personal information, and if any personal information will be shared with third parties and for what purpose (if the information is shared for purposes other than those necessary to complete the transaction). All privacy policies should be made public and easily accessible so customers understand what they are consenting to. Data Breaches

Identifying Purposes and Consent

Big and small businesses have a duty to keep a record of, and in some cases, report breaches of security involving A key element of the PIPEDA principles personal information they control is that you must obtain valid, informed, implied or express (express is preferred), (including information disclosed to a third-party who suffered the consent before collecting, using breach), if it is reasonable to believe or disclosing customers’ personal that the breach poses a real risk of information. Personal information “significant harm” to an individual. To should only be collected, used or identify what is considered significant disclosed for the reasonable purposes harm, businesses should consider the that were identified when obtaining sensitivity of the breached information consent and generally should be limited and the probability that the information to what is necessary to complete the has been or will be misused. For transaction in question, like obtaining example, if financial information was personal financial information when breached that could affect someone’s financing a vehicle or adding a thirdcredit score, this would constitute party warranty. significant harm. A great place to obtain explicit consent A business that has suffered a breach would be on the contracts your that meets the significant harm customers sign, like a bill of sale, a standard must, as soon as feasible, lease agreement, or a service/repair report the breach to the Office of the work order. This clause should inform

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Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the affected individuals, and to any other organization/government institution that may be able to reduce/mitigate the harm. Even if the breach does not reach the level of significant harm, the business must keep a record of the breach, including: the date, general description of the breach, type of information breached, and whether or not the breach was reported. Liability for Privacy Violations Aside from the reputational risk and trust concerns which could plague businesses who mishandle their customers’ personal information, there can be serious legal and financial consequences as well. While PIPEDA has been criticized for lacking adequate enforcement teeth, businesses may also be held liable for privacy violations civilly, through the tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, as recognized in the case of Jones v. Tsige. The elements of this tort are: (1) the individual’s conduct must be intentional (includes recklessness); (2) the individual must have invaded one’s private affairs, without lawful justification; and (3) a reasonable person would regard this invasion as highly offensive causing distress, humiliation, or anguish. It is important to note that a litigant need not prove actual harm to make out the tort,

and may be awarded up to $20,000 for “moral damages”, which may be compounded if the tort is brought in a class action lawsuit. In the business context, this tort has been raised in actions where rogue employees misuse personal information collected by the business (see Evans v. The Bank of Nova Scotia), or where the business was subject to a data breach by a third-party hacker (see AgnewAmericano v. Equifax Canada Co.). The courts have considered that businesses can, in principle, be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees or even the actions of third-party hackers, if they do not implement proper safeguards limiting/monitoring access to personal information or by recklessly enabling a hacker attack on a company database. Generally, the more sensitive the information (e.g. financial information), the more safeguards should be in place, as there is a greater risk of harm to the individual. Examples of proper safeguards to avoid breaches and liability for such breaches include: • implementing a security policy • using physical measures (e.g. locking filing cabinets/offices) • updated technological tools (e.g. new passwords, encryptions, firewalls)

• organizational controls (e.g. security clearances, limiting/monitoring who can access personal information, staff training) New Legislation – Bigger Fines and a Private Right of Action The Federal Government introduced Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020 in November, 2020 which, if passed, will essentially overhaul and replace most of PIPEDA with the new Consumer Privacy Protection Act (“CPPA”). The CPPA will mirror the principles from PIPEDA, but also introduce stiffer penalties of up to $10,000,000 or $25,000,000 for breaches or offences, and give a private right of action to individuals to sue businesses in respect of violations of the CPPA. While this new legislation will not be enacted for some time, businesses should make sure adequate privacy policies are in place in anticipation of this legislative change and the greater potential for regulatory and civil liability. Conclusion Now more than ever, sensitive personal information is being held in a variety of places: in the office, at employee home offices, or on internal or sometimes external employee devices and servers (e.g. personal employee phones). The risks of misuse and data breaches of personal information are much greater, and businesses should reassess their privacy policies to ensure they are upto-date within the new landscape that their business operates in. Businesses will not only suffer potential legal liability in the future if they do not have adequate privacy policies, but may also risk reputational damages from customers and the public at large for potentially mishandling personal information. As attitudes shift towards a greater emphasis on privacy, businesses can also utilize their commitment to privacy as a competitive advantage over their competitors. ■

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MARKET TRENDS Canada’s auto industry grapples with supply-and-demand imbalance Ontario residents who have not been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic have money to spend, and they’re not shy about showing it. As we write this, Ontario is in the middle of a six-week stay-home order aimed at lowering coronavirus infection rates and reducing the burden on the province’s overstressed health care system. And with travel off the table, Ontarians whose employment has been stable throughout the pandemic are looking for other ways to part with their cash.

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There’s evidence of that in many areas of the economy: Real estate values are up, with homes selling for well over their asking prices. Meanwhile, those who aren’t looking to move are taking on home improvement projects, causing supply issues at hardware stores, where prices for building materials like lumber are similarly elevated. Canada’s auto industry continues to grapple with its own supplyand-demand imbalance. Some car manufacturers are scaling back new-vehicle production due to shortages in raw materials. The one making the most headlines is a lack


MARKET TRENDS | AUTHOR? about the pandemic’s impacts on the health of the economy and the people who power it.

of semiconductor chips needed for computerized components, but there are also shortfalls in items like seat foam, and rubber producers could be next to sound the alarm. With fewer vehicles rolling off assembly lines, some new-car dealerships are having a hard time finding the vehicles their customers want, forcing unsatisfied shoppers to turn to the nearly-new used market to find their next car or truck – and that’s the trend behind a turnaround in wholesale values that began earlier this year. Wholesale values are up in 2021 and show no sign of stopping In February 2021, Canadian Black Book (CBB) noted the first uptick in wholesale prices after 18 straight weeks of declines. And what started as a modest increase has turned into a serious rally: Black Book marked a 0.25% per cent increase in wholesale values market-wide for the week ending March 6, 2021, and prices have only climbed since, though the upswing had begun to flatten by the end of April, according to the latest figures available at the time of this writing.

records set since 2018 – and when CBB announced the winners of its annual retained value awards in March, it noted that the four-year-old vehicles eligible for the awards retained an average of 61.5 per cent of their original MSRP – another record high. To put into perspective just how much used-vehicle supply is being squeezed, all these record increases come as a CBB-commissioned poll shows that most Canadians are driving less and say they’re actually less likely to buy a vehicle now than they were before the pandemic. Consumer confidence continues to climb Improving consumer confidence could be at least partially responsible for Ontario’s ever-rising wholesale values. According to Nanos Bloomberg survey data measuring the economic mood of Canadians, consumer confidence has been climbing since the Spring of 2020, when the country was in the throes of the pandemic’s first wave. And while that confidence index cooled slightly with the onset of a third wave of infections, auto industry analysts think the consumer outlook will remain positive, thanks to what we now know

“We expect further increases in confidence as vaccination distributions in Canada continue, and consumers feel we are well on a path back to normalcy,” said David Robins, Canadian Black Book’s Principal Automotive Analyst and Head of Canadian Vehicle Valuations. “These won’t be dramatic increases, because we have seen the largest dip early in the pandemic and a rebound from there, but we still expect further increases to occur.” A series of financial aid packages issued by the federal government has also helped many Canadians stay above water and maintain a more optimistic outlook despite a loss of employment income which, in turn, has bolstered the economy. “That adds even more fuel to this fire on the demand side, where people would normally gravitate a little more towards used cars anyway,” said Tom Kontos, Chief Economist for KAR Auction Services. “Then you’ve got the amount of liquidity the government has provided. There has been fiscal support of the economy, and that’s helping many people to make big-ticket purchases when otherwise they might have been reluctant to do so.” Kontos said those economic supports from the government, along with lenders being more forgiving of car buyers having trouble making payments, are also helping to keep repossessions low. “A shortage of used-car supply is going to incentivize dealers in the U.S. to look

That upward trend has also showed up in Canadian Black Book’s other used-vehicle price measures. The organization’s used-vehicle value retention index set a new all-time high in February – the latest in a series of

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MARKET TRENDS | AUTHOR? everywhere they can for inventory,” said Kontos. “U.S. buying activity is still at or above levels from before the Canadian dollar started to strengthen. Dealers are hungry for inventory, and if they’re not finding it in the U.S., they’re searching for it in Canada, and that’s driving activity as much or more than the exchange rate.” When will Canada’s used-vehicle marketplace stabilize? Kontos said the Canadian marketplace is also still feeling the effects of the 2008 recession – or, more specifically, the economy’s recovery from it. In the years following that economic downturn, many Canadians switched away from leases to long-term purchase financing. So even though Canada’s auto industry enjoyed strong sales in the late 2010s – including a record 2 million new-vehicle sales in 2017 – Kontos said a relatively small percentage of those were leases, which meant fewer late-model vehicles coming to the used-vehicle market as lease returns. Neither Robins nor Kontos foresees balance returning to the country’s usedvehicle market anytime soon, even with Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination drive well underway and an end to the pandemic in sight.

Robins said it’s reasonable to expect a bump in sales at new and used dealerships when Ontario emerges from the six-week stay-home order put in place in April; there have been predictable jumps in sales after every lockdown-type measure has lifted, but he said those increases have been smaller each time, as dealers and consumers have adapted to the pandemic and government-mandated safety measures.

And until the vehicle production issues are resolved and more new cars and trucks reach the marketplace, usedvehicle prices could keep climbing, especially with the hope that the pandemic could begin to ease this summer and allow the economy to open up again.

Of course, more sales mean more pressure on Canada’s already tight supply of new and used vehicles, and that situation doesn’t look like it’s going to change in a hurry.

“The rest of this year looks iffy for that to happen,” said Kontos. “The used-car shortages, I see those being extended beyond this year because the rental car ramp-up won’t happen for a while. Off-lease volumes have either reached a peak or they’re stable, so there will be a steady influx of off-lease vehicles, but not necessarily any growth.” ■

“We don’t have specific targets on when supply issues might be resolved,” said Robins. “We have been speaking to OEMs and other industry partners, trying to get a read on the situation, but it’s a difficult one to figure out exactly when (that will happen).”

Robins doesn’t think there will be any meaningful easing of wholesale values until 2022, and Kontos agrees.

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VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 | 35


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