Message From The President & CEO Adrian Scovell

Technological advancements, compulsory trade certification, labour attraction, consumer behaviours, zero-emission vehicles, and regulation changes: just a few challenges the ARA is addressing to drive industry excellence.

The New Year is a time for reflection and planning. Usually not New Year’s Day— that’s for dealing with a hangover—but, soon enough, it is time for reality. While we can never achieve complete control of the future, we can plan for and influence it. The decisions we make now will shape the future of our industry.

Reflecting on the ARA’s history shows how the association has had to adapt and evolve to keep up with changing trends and growing demands. What began in 1951, with gas station owners banding together to fight back against major oil companies, has since grown into an association of multiple divisions representing several sectors and advocating on behalf of those industries. The association has seen many changes—divisions coming and going (some revived later), advances in technology, legal and market demands, increases in the cost of operations, new product introduction, and the list goes on—but the one constant has been the ARA’s e orts to create an environment where industry can invest, pro t, and thrive. We nd ourselves again at a transition point. Maybe the most significant in recent history.

Planning relies on having a clear vision of future factors and trends. We are entering a new decade and it being 2020 is maybe an omen that we need clear vision to move forward. We have gathered a great deal of data and industry is entering, arguably, the most pivotal point it has ever faced. Increasing sophistication of vehicles puts new challenges to repair and service providers. These specifications are critical to the safety and performance of today’s vehicles. They will only become more so in the future. Advances in technology have spurred dynamic change, not only for industry, but also for consumer behaviors when it comes to the automotive sales sector.

Customers now rely more on the Internet than an actual salesperson, so how can dealerships use this trend to improve their business model? The introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), self-driving autonomous technologies, and zero-emission vehicles have changed the dynamics of the automotive industry and revolutionized the way repairs and maintenance are performed. Micro-mobility vehicles have introduced new challenges for ICBC, RCMP, and government. Baby boomers are retiring, making it more important than ever to attract the new generation of automotive technicians. The government has mandated that all new car sales must be ZEV by 2040. We are already feeling the effect of these changes, and this is only the beginning. The ARA has the expertise to address industry’s needs and ensure it remains robust and vibrant. The staff and board have been planning and adapting to put the ARA in the best possible position to create a vibrant future. We are building relationships with major stakeholders who are the partners we need to shape this future. Many of these new partners are old adversaries; however, by working together rather than against each other we can change challenges into opportunities.

We are working across all divisions to address present challenges and pave the way for our members to succeed. This means adapting to the future and not trying to stop change and preserve the past.

This edition of ARA News focuses on what we are doing to prepare for this new decade. Read on to learn more and place this issue in your sta and waiting rooms so your team and customers understand just how much goes on behind each and every repair. The future is now, the challenges are significant, the opportunities are endless, and we are ready. We are making resolutions, ones we will keep, so the industry does not wake up in the future to a nasty hangover.