Driving Industry Excellence
The ARA represents the automotive industry in B.C. We’re here to ensure the key issues and needs of our dynamic industry are being addressed so our members can focus on their own business growth and success. Our core commitments include:
Industry advocacy and leadership: Communicating on behalf of the automotive industry with key government agencies, suppliers, insurers, stakeholders and the media. We look at industry issues and needs, and ensure they’re being represented. Examples of the bodies we liaise with include ICBC, WorkSafe, taxation authorities and government ministries.
Group health insurance and preferred vendor discount programs: The ARA offers members a group benefits program whereby small businesses can have a health insurance plan at attractive rates. As a buying group the ARA has negotiated special discount programs with a number of suppliers. Through participation in these programs ARA members can easily save more money than what it costs to be a member.
Knowledge and information: We conduct industry-based research on key issues and provide our members with the updates they need to stay informed. This includes trends and information surrounding compliance with government regulations. We also foster networking on many levels, through our meetings, councils, conferences, tournaments and events, to ensure information is shared.
Development and training: The ARA supports and develops automotive training infrastructure to help our industry meet the changing needs of today’s market, and better serve the public. Our commitment to training helps to attract and develop young industry talent and meet market labour needs. The ARA is in partnership with multiple providers in the automotive training industry in B.C., including colleges, technical institutes, schools and industry training authorities.
Business excellence: We promote ethical and professional standards among automotive businesses to improve the business climate in our industry. We also offer important services to our members to help their businesses succeed, such as our Group Benefits Program, and a variety of cost saving programs (see membership benefits for more information).
Size and scale
The ARA is the largest trade association of its kind in Canada, with over 1000 business members across British Columbia. While we represent the industry within British Columbia, we also participate at a national level too with our counterparts in other provinces, as part of the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA). The ARA has played a lead role in NATA since its inception in 1947.
The ARA represents the automotive industry across 8 key divisions:
- Automotive Glass
- Auto Rental
- Automotive Recyclers (BCAR)
- Collision Repair
- Licensed Motor Dealers
- Mechanical Repair
- PowerSport Dealers
- Towing & Recovery
Who is the Typical ARA Member?
ARA members are automotive industry businesses – large and small. In short, they are businesses that see the extensive benefits of membership, and want to ensure their voices are heard on key issues. The average ARA member has around five employees. They work hard and invest long hours in their businesses. They don’t have the time or resources to go to battle on industry issues on their own, which is why they look to the ARA.
Structure of the ARA
The Automotive Retailers Association has eight divisions, each representing a different segment of the industry. Each division has an elected Chairperson and an Executive Committee, who report to the ARA Chairperson and President. The divisional Chairperson and Committee teams are ARA members and business owners themselves. They volunteer their time to work on issues relevant to the division and to provide leadership and guidance.You can view a detailed organizational structure here.