Grass Roots

YOUR INDUSTRY IN CRISIS – ACTION REQUIRED

The Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) wants to ensure all auto glass, collision repair and towing industry businesses and any other interested parties are aware of recent developments that threaten the future of these industries. The ARA invites you to take a stand together and attempt to circumvent the crisis.

The Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) has been informed by ICBC senior officials that ICBC is “absolutely looking at procurement” as a method to acquire services from the auto glass industry. The Corporation believes it was directed to take this approach by the 2012 government review.

Auto rental industry then, auto glass now – who’s next? The procurement process for rental car services that ICBC implemented several years ago has had a devastatingly negative impact on many businesses in that sector. Many rental outlets closed, including one entire auto rental chain, and over 300 jobs were lost as a result. The ARA is gravely concerned about the ramifications of ICBC deploying procurement in the auto glass or any other sectors.

Rates paid by ICBC to your industry: If the interim rate adjustments recently announced by ICBC are an indication of what can be expected going forward, it appears ICBC intends to continue to squeeze the automotive repair sector, in effect forcing small businesses to subsidize insurance premiums and government revenues.

Industry must tell the government to intervene. It is now more critical than ever that we ensure our industry’s united voice is heard. We are calling upon all members and non-members to take immediate action. All of our livelihoods depend on it – you, your family, your employees and their families. Tell the government how ICBC policies are hurting small businesses and demand that they intervene.

Any coordinated effort’s success will rely on unfettered communication. To that end, we must be able to communicate with members and non-members alike, with no exceptions, to keep you and your employees aware of new developments in this issue, including countermeasures being deployed in which you may be able to participate. To ensure we have your correct information we ask that you take a moment to complete the online sign-up form. (open to non-members)

Here’s what you can do right now:

MLA Letter:
We have prepared a template letter that you can use to mail, email, or hand deliver to your local MLA.  The goal is that all people who are negatively impacted by ICBC’s rate setting and potential procurement processes will participate in protesting this action by ICBC. Download the letter now:

MLA Letter template January 2014 (Text file (.txt) without formatting). Copy text and paste into your word processor, edit as required, print on your business letterhead as applicable and deliver to your local MLA.

Find your local MLA here.

Ambassadors:
ARA “Ambassadors” are industry people in each of the political ridings in B.C. who are willing to act as “point people” for the purpose of making sure the industry’s message is delivered to politicians and stakeholders in their respective areas. Ambassadors may also assist with holding regional meetings and contacting local businesses, MLAs, etc. If you’d like to step up to the plate, please indicate so on the form and we’ll contact you shortly. More information: www.ara.bc.ca/ambassadors

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To the non-members:

We’d be remiss if we neglected to ask you to recognize amid all of this the value of membership in the association that provides a strong and united voice for your industry, and join the ARA. In fact, the ARA is the only organization dealing with this issue on behalf of the aftermarket auto industry and therefore is the only hope the industry has of reaching a desirable outcome.

As a group of individual entrepreneurs we will never agree on everything 100% of the time, but we are confident that this is one issue on which we do all agree.

Your support benefits you as well as everyone else in the industry. Conversely, failure to support the ARA through membership is detrimental to you and your industry. We have a wealth of programs and services to offer that make membership easier than ever. Talk to us, and you’ll see.

On behalf of the ARA, the Auto Glass Division and indeed the entire B.C. aftermarket automotive industry, thank you for your support.