Dealers of new automobiles are a valuable part of the provincial economy.
In 2015, there were 574 full-time and 22 part-time jobs in this sector, with an approximate payroll of $14 million.
The 42nd Annual Statistical Review for 2015 reports the value ($243 million) and number of new vehicles sold (7,978) were at an all-time high.
“New automobile sales represent 24 percent of retail trade on PEI. The automotive sector is a huge part of the provincial economy, both as a retail-driven economic builder and retail tax generator, as well as a large employer,” says Lisa Doyle-MacBain, Executive Director of the PEI Automobile Dealers Association (PEIADA).
PEIADA acts as the provincial voice of its Dealer Members, representing their collective views, opinions and needs. It watches over and protects the interests of Dealer Members, serving as an advocate to government, industry, and the media. PEIADA seeks cooperative action in advancing the common purposes of Dealer Members. It fosters equity in all their relationships with the general public, employees, and other branches of the automotive industry and among the dealers themselves.
Through its advocacy, PEIADA ensures that government is hearing dealers and that the best interests of consumers are considered, when government is creating and amending legislation, regulations, polices and directives, and fees.
The Association represents 20 automobile dealerships on PEI, and it is the only provincial automobile dealers’ association to boast 100 percent membership. “It puts us in the enviable position of being able to say we truly represent the views of all new automobile dealerships on PEI,” says Lisa.
“We work with the Department of Transportation, Workers’ Compensation Board, and other government departments and agencies, plus the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.”
There are 45 associate members of PEIADA from the accounting, insurance, banking and other fields. One associate member, the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, has included PEIADA on various committees to get its input on issues affecting business. “Many of our members belong to the chamber, so it’s a way to strengthen the dealers’ business through endorsement by other businesses and promotion in general,” says Lisa.
“Our affiliation with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association helps us with federal government matters. Through their group benefit plans, dealerships and employees can get better rates for liability and garage insurance, health, dental, home and auto insurance, and retirement savings.”
The association offers two entrance awards to high school students taking a Holland College business program or automotive technology program.
“PEIADA encourages more students to take the automotive technology program and wants to let business students know about the many opportunities at dealerships. It’s not just about selling and fixing cars – you can be a Chief Financial Officer or General Manager or work in marketing or human resources, for example – it’s big business.”
Supporting the community
Lisa says since 1987, PEIADA has chosen to support Special Olympics PEI as its charity of choice. Annual fundraisers (April Car Campaign, Annual Golf Tournament and Lobster Dinner) are hosted to contribute to this charity and strengthen the tradition of supporting the community.
“PEIADA dealer members proudly and generously support charitable causes throughout the province on a regular basis, invest money in the community, and provide local employment. Many dealers are active in local organizations, charities, hospitals, sports and cultural organizations.”