CARS • TRUCKS • JOBBERS C-STORES • INSTALLERS • RECYCLERS
CARWASHES • SERVICE STATIONS DEALERS • GARAGES • BODY SHOPS
ATLANTIC CANADIANS BRING FLORIDA
HARDWARE HOME! (STORY ON PAGE 22)
NS AUTOMOTIVE FACES OF SUCCESS (SEE PAGE 12)
NAPA ELMSDALE GROWS
(SEE PAGE 16)
MANY2017 $E4.95 WNNECEWWUSDYTEEOAAMLRSE,,RS!
RED IS THE NEW BLACK!
(SEE PAGE 36)
A RUST CHECK SWAG BAG OF GOODIES OR A STANLEY 123-PIECE SOCKET SET FROM NAPA!
WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR ATLANTIC AUTO DEALERSHIPS
GUESS & WIN
DETAILS ON PAGES 45 AND 46!
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VOLUME SIXTEEN • ISSUE 3 • MAY • 2017
Page 16 Page 20 Page 22
Page 36 Page 42 Page 45 Page 46
NEW YEAR, NEW CUSTOMERS: What Lies Ahead for Atlantic Auto Dealerships – This cover story by Jon Barry, sheds light on new sales methods that are making headway in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.
FACES OF SUCCESS IN THE NOVA SCOTIA AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY – There’s lots of opportunities for a career in the motive trades…hop aboard and start looking for your best fit for you! By Kory Harrington
NEWEST NAPA HAS A LONG HISTORY as a ‘Go To’ Parts Shop in Elmdale NS – Andrew Skaling has the latest business to “take on the brand.”
2017 HONDA CIVIC NAMED GREEN CATEGORY WINNER – An honour that’s awarded to vehicles offering green attributes with mass market appeal. This baby’s got it all!
ATLANTIC CANADIANS BRING FLORIDA HARDWARE HOME – 16 Canadians, 14 from the Atlantic Region go to the Sunshine State. Three bring back trophies. Much celebrating follows…by Tim Terry
RED IS THE NEW BLACK – Carter Hammett observes the birth of the green automotive-minded social enterprise, Red Propeller
PETTY RELEASES 2017 SCHEDULE – And the crowd goes wild! Stock Car Racing season is almost here!
WIN BIG! Rust Check Jacket, hat, touque and winter package, or a Stanley 123-Piece socket set from NAPA in our contests!!
may 2017 n autoatlantic.com
Letter from the Editor
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
By Carter Hammett
EVEN BEFORE THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF ACTOR ANTON YELCHIN LAST SUMMER, THERE HAD BEEN CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT FAULTY GEAR SHIFT DESIGNS IN NEW CARS.
You’ll recall the Star Trek performer passed away after a freak accident that saw his Jeep Grand Cherokee roll down his driveway and pin him against a fence. Official cause of death was reported as traumatic asphyxiation. The Jeep was recalled by Fiat Chrysler—along with about 800,000 vehicles to assess shift-related rollaway risk that had been linked to over 40 injuries.
In March of this year the New York-based Consumer Reports lambasted several automakers for ranking style over substance after accusing them of installing buttons, knobs and wheels to increase interior “sexiness” in exchange for safety and consumer confidence.
In its annual review of auto brand
4 autoatlantic.com n may 2017
rankings, several vehicles were docked in scores because of substandard designs. Brands noted included Acura, Lincoln and Cadillac which were considered potentially confusing. Meanwhile shift designs in brands like Audi and Chrysler among others, failed to include countermeasures to limit or prevent rollaway accidents.
The magazine went on to say the problem has been compounded since new gear shift designs –knobs and buttons mounted on the center console to move through drive modes among other issues, was cited as being potentially dan-
gerous-- have begun appearing in mainstream vehicles, after trickling down from the luxury brands. The new designs have resulted in confusion and led to accidents and in some cases, worse.
Part of the problem occurs if the car doesn’t automatically return to park after the engine is turned off. Consumer Reports noted that unconventional gear selectors make it difficult for many drivers to select the correct gear and therefore function differently than some are used to. For example, in a Mercedes Benz GLC, the electronic shifter always
returns to the center making it difficult to determine what gear the driver is in. Putting it into park mode is simply a button at the end, which is blocked by the steering wheel.
However, some brands including Honda, GM and Lincoln all automatically return to park after the door opens with the engine on. The magazine’s response to confusing shifters is to deduct points on vehicles that fail to include mechanisms that prevent roll away accidents. So far, over 50 cars have had reduced scores because of the baffling shifters, including models by Chrysler and Lexus. The magazine recommends drivers always doublecheck their cars when it’s in park mode, and use the emergency brake if you step out and away from the vehicle. Incidentally, in case you’re wondering which brands made the top 10 in annual rankings, Audi was declared best auto brand for the second year running, while Tesla entered the ranks in eighth place, making it the top US brand.
Porsche, BMW and Lexus were the top luxury brands while Audi shone with outstanding scores in owner satisfaction, road test and reliability categories. Subaru topped the non-luxury brand, slipping to fifth place overall, down from second spot
the previous year. Buick was the only other
US brand to make the top 10. Fiat ranked dead last hampered by poor road test and reliability. Rounding out the rest of the worst were Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Dodge.
The Fiat brand ranked last, hindered by poor road test and predicted reliability. Jeep ranked 30th while Mitsubishi, Land Rover and Dodge rounded out the five worst-performers. “FCA US acknowledges the observations of Consumer Reports and is reviewing its shifter strategy,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement.
Closer to home CAA has an annual campaign that targets Atlantic Canada’s worst roads. In 2016, some of these included Point Lance in Branch NL, Lake Road in Tatamagouche NS and Scott Siding Road in Canterbury, NB. Both the campaign and the magazine rankings serve as staunch reminders that safety can nev-
er be compromised..
NEW YEA NEW CUSTOMER FOR ATLANTIC
6 autoatlantic.com n may 2017
AR. NEW DEALS. RS: WHAT LIES AHEAD C AUTO DEALERSHIPS
By Jon Barry
WITH MUCH OF THE AU-
INDUSTRY IN A PE-
RIOD OF TRANSI-
TION, AUTO DEAL-
ERSHIPS WILL BE NO DIFFERENT.
NEW CUSTOMERS WILL ENTER THE
MARKET WITH DIFFERENT PREFER-
ENCES FROM PREVIOUS BUYERS.
Dealerships will adopt new methods to market their product and explore new ways to reach customers. New technologies will allow dealerships to differentiate themselves from their competition and new digital tools will create modern conveniences that will help retain business. With all this evolution within an old school industry, dealers themselves will have to become updated and educated to be ready to take on the next generation of automotive buyers.
One of the largest factors that will impact the evolution of the dealership industry has nothing at all to do with the product: it’s about the buyers. The millennial generation is beginning to enter the car buying market at a rapid pace. Onein-three car purchases are already by individuals under the age of 35 and a JD Power report estimates that by 2020, Millennials will represent 40% of the buying market.
This rapid shift has already caught some auto dealers off guard with millennial buyers having drastic differences automotive and consumer preferences than their parents. The JD Power report found that millennials on average are more satis-
fied consumers than their baby boomer predecessors but seek strong value for their money. They have a low tolerance for product errors or delays and demand quality customer service. Many dealers are taking steps to get out ahead of this impending shift by understanding the automotive needs of their new buyers and creating inventive new ways to market to them.
The millennials have been late to the buying table for a variety of reasons. A key set of factors have pushed or pulled millennials away from the making their first car purchase. The recession and subsequent economic downturn combined with massive increases in student loan debt made financing new purchases nearly impossible for many. Further, the trend of millennial generations living in urban environments with public transportation systems and the rise of ride sharing apps have made the practicality of a personal automobile less apparent. Now that the millennial generation has aged and they are beginning to start families with disposable incomes to spare, understanding these experiences will be crucial for dealerships to comprehend the needs, wants and fears of these new buyers.
The Millennial on a search for a new car is largely looking for three things from their automotive dealers: Connectivity, Practicality, and Personal branding. As the generation of digital natives enters the auto market, connectivity and smartphone integration will be a must for all new cars. Millennials want the ability to stay connected socially to friends and family while being professionally mobile. The purchase of a car without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is almost a non-starter says GM Canada President Stephen Carlisle: “Apple CarPlay wasn’t in many cars a year ago. If you don’t have it now, you are
behind the curve.” speaking at the Globe and Mail’s Auto Summit in February.
Millennials are also looking for practicality when it comes to their new car purchases. They care less about fancy bells and whistles and are more focused on whether the product is going to get the job done. The automotive industry already misjudged the upcoming millennial demographic once and paid for the consequences. Back in 2013 automakers and dealers had staked their bets for new car sales on stylish new designs and compact cars and sedans. The new designs were left with little fanfare and the small sedans were left on the dealership lot. Instead compact utility vehicles soared to the top of the market and became the largest selling car segment in Canada representing 22% of the market to the compact cars 17%. Kia Canada’s Chief Operating officer Ted Lancaster told the Globe and Mail’s summit that he is making sure his company does not misjudge the new demographic: “We need to provide vehicles that serve their purpose – whether that means smaller vehicles, more hybrids, more electric vehicles, more of what they’re looking for.”
While practicality is a driving factor, personal branding will also be important in new car purchases for the Millennial generation. Millennials are more consumer conscious than their baby boomer predecessors, especially when it comes to environmental concerns. Much of Tesla’s dealership success has been in there preorder sales, where consumers are not only purchasing a car, but they are purchasing a pass to be part of a consumer movement that is revolutionizing the concept of a new auto purchase. The more dealerships can tie their brands and products to the technological and environmental revolutions in the industry, the more likely
may 2017 n autoatlantic.com
From the Showroom Floor
they will be to attract the next generation of buyers.
But finding and reaching these new customers is proving to be its own struggle. Many dealerships exist in a digital wasteland that are behind using modern technologies to get customers in the door. Many dealerships are building their own digital platforms or partnering with other companies to reach out to buyers and get the purchasing process going long before the customers reach the dealership. Toronto based Unhaggle.com allows customers to search for their desired car, provides them with factory invoice price reports and then sends out requests to its network of dealerships on the customer’s behalf to find the lowest price. By integrating with online platforms, dealerships can have Unhaggle do the work of finding new customers for them.
Some Canadian electric automotive dealerships like EVEN are taking a different approach to reach customers by using pop up shops to market their cars rather than traditional brick and mortar store. Customers visit the pop up stores at various retail outlets and then choose a vehicle from a screen that displays multiple different models. The customers desired vehicle can then would then be delivered directly to the customers house for a test drive. While companies like EVEN are making these new pop ups a large part of their marketing strategy, they still have not forsaken the traditional model. EVEN are opening a traditional dealership store in St John’s followed by a second store in Halifax.
Other dealerships are taking an even more digital approach with virtual reality showrooms and behind the wheel VR experiences. California’s Evox Images, widely known for creating 360-degree images of dealership floors used for online virtual tours has now built an app for Samsung’s
Gear VR device to showcase the driver seat experience. The app allows you to place your smartphone into Samsung’s virtual reality headset and then take a virtual tour of the inside of the Volkswagen GTI. The customer can look around and view the internal space of a vehicle and even swipe on virtual keyboards to change the interior to different colours or add in other preferences. Virtual showrooms are not a replacement for traditional dealerships, but rather as another tool to simplify the buying process and get the buyer into the dealership to check out the real thing.
While dealerships are working to enhance their digital and now virtual profile, much can still be done within the traditional store to attract and retain customers. Many dealerships are redesigning their stores to build sub sections within to create more organized aesthetics to better attract customers and make their stores easier to navigate. Service sectors are separated from the showroom floor which is separated from a quiet waiting area where customers can do work. The goal is to create a “connected service experience”. A Canadian market study by JD Power found that by creating an “app like” experiences, dealerships can create more positive customer interactions. Even free wifi internet will go a long way to retaining customers. JD power found that 53% of customers “definitely will” return to the dealership for service if it is offered. They also found that services advisors that are using tablets when making a recommendation for a customer were 61% more likely to get a positive response compared to 44% for those without tablets. Unfortunately the report also found that only 21% of dealership advisors are using tablets.
While a lot of progress has been made in modernizing the dealership buying process and experience, experts say that dealerships are still not using all of the
tools that they have at their disposal, especially in relation to Customer Relations Management (CRM) software. Janis Showers, specialist in dealership business development says dealerships are losing profits and their relationships with customers is suffering from poor CRM use. Speaking at the DealerTalk Toronto conference, Showers said that dealers are doing a great job collecting data on their customers. They are utilizing website pop-ups and dealership office software to get contact information, but they are not using the data to its full potential. She argues that dealers are not processing or updating this information and that this is resulting in lost profits and damaged customer relationships: “We’ve created these awesome digital tools but we’re dropping the ball when the customer is right in front of us.”
She uses the example of a customer who had to call the dealership multiple times to change the contact name on the account to his name after his wife had passed away. The update was never made and the man stopped coming to the dealership. She also mentions a service customer that was spending thousands of dollars a year on repairs, but he was never referred to the sales department to get a new car. When he stopped coming in, the dealership tried to contact him but their database did not have his correct information.
Software providers VinSolutions and Dealerknows inspected dealership CRM usage and found that the average dealership falls far behind their best in class peers and they have numbers to prove it. Only 44% of average dealers get automated reports from their CRM, where the best performers have automated reports 83% of the time. Average dealers receive an 11% reply rate from emails sent using CRM while best performers have an 18% response. The statistic that is most telling
8 autoatlantic.com n may 2017
From the Showroom Floor
is that the average users of CRM systems will set four fewer appointments per day than their CRM power user peers.
Dealerships in North America will soon be able to combine their online website with two newly merged software applications to create a more connected and app like shopping with Xtime’s online service scheduling tool and Quorum’s dealership and CRM system Xsellerator.
When a customer books an appointment through a connected dealership website, XTime will automatically transfer a repair order into the Xsellerator CRM system before the customer arrives. Some Xtime versions can even allow dealers to predict their customer’s needs and then match them with appropriate promotions and coupons.
So much of the dealership industry is in transition that the demand for further education in the sector has shot through the roof. The new Automotive Dealership Management program at Georgian College in Barrie, ON has been far more popular than anticipated.
The program has a long waiting list and the high demand for the course has
led to pop up classes at hotels in Eastern and Western Canada. The program is designed for current and future dealer principles and general managers to get the most recent and up to date information about the new developments within the industry.
For years many automotive dealers were forced to go south of the border to take similar courses in America. This led to its own problems with travel and hotel costs making the trip less desirable.
It was also a problem for Canadian dealers, who need to operate according to Canadian dealership regulations rather than American legislation. The Canadians studying in the US had to filter out what was applicable and what was not, and then were forced to learn the Canadian aspect of the business on their own.
Now with three class intakes already in progress, the demand for the program is still above the supply of classes. This has led to a plan to expand the intakes to three more locations, including one in Halifax bringing the program to the Atlantic region for the first time.
With all this upheaval in the indus-
try, dealerships will have to use every resource at their disposal to better understand the needs and wants of the future car buyers. By branching out from their traditional avenues of marketing, dealers will begin to reach customers earlier in the buying process.
The buying process itself will become streamlined, with more and more interaction between dealer and buyer happening in digital spaces long before the customer walks into the store.
When the customer finally reaches the store, the physical spaces will be more aesthetically pleasing and more technologically connected to create an “app-like” shopping experience.
Proper Customer Relationship Management software use will ensure that once a customer finally makes it to the store, they will be more likely to return for repeat business.
With all this new information to learn, dealers themselves will have to become updated and educated on the future of the Canadian dealership industry to learn how to put all of these tools to use to best attract and retain new customers.
10 a u t o a t l a n t i c . c o m n m a y 2 0 1 7
FACES OF SUCCESS IN THE NOVA SCOTIA AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
By Kory Harrington
MANYAGENCIES HAVE IDENTIFIED A SHORTAGE OF SKILLED TRADES, INCLUDING MOTIVE POWER IN NOVA SCOTIA. ONLY ONE IN TEN STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A SKILLED TRADE IN NOVA SCOTIA ARE ACHIEVING RED SEAL OR JOURNEYMAN STATUS.
Students are dropping out at staggering rates, leaving employers with aging workforces and no succession planning. It is the responsibility of industry to recognize these issues and develop a plan to address them by helping youth identify career opportunities and achieve goals through common recognition of effort. Employers must go the extra mile to reward employees for a job well done or provide recognition of staff.
Automotive Service Technicians, Motor Vehicle Body Repair Technicians, Heavy Duty Technicians, Truck and Transport Technicians, and Automotive
Glass Technicians as well as many other careers in the automotive industry provide exceptional opportunities for long term sustainable careers. From Yarmouth to Sydney, the automotive industry is in need of skilled employees. Reaching out to youth today and informing them that there are many opportunities for sustainable employment in Nova Scotia is necessary for employers today and only one of the tools needed for a more positive automotive future.
The good news is that Nova Scotia offers many opportunities to live in the province and work in a sustainable career.
OVERALL COLLISIONEMPLOYEESCHRISHENDSBEE, MARK WHYNOT, SCOTTWHYNOT, DOUGWHYNOTAND TRAVIS ROMA
12 a u t o a t l a n t i c . c o m n m a y 2 0 1 7
Interstate Batteries • 593 St. George Blvd. • Moncton,N.B. • (506) 386-6777
CHRIS HENDSBEE, MOTOR VEHICLE BODY REPAIR TECH
Mark Whynot owner of Overall Collision/ Custom/Restoration in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia reveals some opportunities within the Motor Vehicle Body Repair Industry in Nova Scotia. Mark has been self-employed since the age of 19 and has worked in the automotive industry for over 37 years. He has built a successful automotive col-
lision /custom/restoration shop in his hometown. He places extreme value on having the opportunity to work with his three sons in an industry they all have a passion for. Overall employs six full time staff, of which three of them are his sons, Doug, Jeff, and Scott. Overall is also home to Travis Roma and Chris Hendsbee. Mark Whynot provides his employees with the opportunity to learn in a rewarding environment. Building a culture that encourages innovation and rewards success is an important part of the working environment at Overall. In this era of technology, we are too quick to abandon challenges and quicker still to forget successes.
Mark, like many other automotive industry employers, uses a strategic approach to hiring new employees. Mark looks for graduates who have a passion for cars and fits in the work environment. Having the right fit for the shop is key when selecting new employees. Each shop has a unique culture that plays a major role in keeping everything on track when under pressure. Overall Employees, from Left, Chris Hendsbee, Mark Whynot, Scott Whynot, Jeff Whynot, Doug Whynot, and Travis Roma. A program Mark created and
MARK WHYNOT, OWNER, OVERALL COLLISION
m a y 2 0 1 7 n a u t o a t l a n t i c . c o m 13
is very proud of is “The Overall Experience” where he selects a youth from Nova Scotia to race in the Legend car league at Scotia Speed World. He operates as a car owner accepting applications from youth across the province to drive his car for the season. “The Overall Experience” is now preparing to enter the third season and is still the only car racing experience program in the Maritimes and can be accessed on Facebook for more information.
Chris Hendsbee of Overall Collision in Dartmouth, graduated from Nova Scotia Community College in 2013. Chris is enrolled in the Motor Vehicle Body Repair program and is creating a means to a rewarding career. He is preparing to write his third and fourth block examina-
tion this year. He is on his way to journeyman status. Chris fulfilled one of the many shortages in the Motor Vehicle Body Repair trade across the province. Hiring technicians has become a challenging aspect of the automotive industry due to major shortages, leading to employers paying star employees above average wages in order to build long term relationships. Building trustworthy relationships with the next generation of car enthusiasts has proven to be a key to success.
These are some of the faces of success in the Nova Scotia automotive industry. Employers across the province face similar challenges with new hires. The Nova Scotia Automotive Sector Council works on behalf of both New and Used Auto-
mobile dealers, retail gasoline dealers, collision repair shops, recyclers, Canadian Tire and independent repair shops across Nova Scotia.
The Nova Scotia Automotive Sector Council is collaborating with industry and the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency to develop strategies for improving the current conditions in the province. The Youth initiative, TestDrive has been created for youths 16-17 years of age in high school in Nova Scotia, to have the opportunity to explore a career in the industry and earn a wage in the process.
Why not become a part of the solution and be a TestDrive Employer today. Contact Kory Harrington at email@example.com
NEW AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE COMPETITION
AT WCX 17: SAE WORLD CONGRESS EXPERIENCE, SAE IN-
TERNATIONAL AND GM AN-
NOUNCED THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO AND THE UNIVERSITY OF
WATERLOO ARE FINALISTS AMONG
EIGHT NORTH AMERICAN UNIVER-
SITIES WHO WILL COMPETE IN THE
UPCOMING AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE
DESIGN COMPETITION, AUTODRIVE
This new autonomous vehicle design competition will be a three-year challenge to develop and demonstrate a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle. The competition’s technical goal is to navigate an urban driving course in an automated driving mode as described by SAE Standard (J3016) level four definition by Year 3.
The other finalists are: Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech.
“SAE International is excited to expand our partnership with GM to build the future STEM workforce through the AutoDrive Challenge™,” said Chris Ciuca, director of Pre-Professional Programs at SAE International. “Building on our success through programs like Formula SAE, the AutoDrive Challenge™ launches a new platform to engage industry and academia in working towards a common goal
14 a u t o a t l a n t i c . c o m n m a y 2 0 1 7
of preparing young minds for the future of autonomous technologies.”
Throughout the three-year competition, students will focus on autonomous technologies and allow for modification and testing. They will work with realworld applications of sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation and advanced computation methods such as: computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, sensor fusion and autonomous vehicle controls.
“Congratulations to the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo on this wonderful achievement, we are very excited to work closely with them over the next three years,” said Brain Tossan, director, Canadian Technical Centre, GM Canada. “We are proud to support SAE International and initiatives such as the AutoDrive Challenge™; as we look to grow our Canadian engineering base over the next few years, these student competitions are a great source of talent for us.”
“We are thrilled to be selected and look forward to competing,” said professor Tim Barfoot of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. “The AutoDrive Challenge™ builds on our deep experience in robotics and autonomous vehicles, and we look forward to working with mentors from GM Canada to bring our students’ creativity and design savvy to the competition.”
“It is an honour to be chosen as a finalist and a great opportunity for our students,” said Derek Rayside, an electri-
cal and computer engineering professor and AutoDrive Challenge™ faculty advisor at the University of Waterloo. “Student competitions such as the AutoDrive Challenge™ allow our undergraduates to gain first-hand experience while learning from industry leaders like GM Canada.”
GM will provide each team a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform. Strategic partners and suppliers will aid the students in their technology development by providing vehicle parts and software. Throughout the AutoDrive Challenge™ competition cycle, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding.
Year 1, which begins in the fall 2017, will focus on concept selection for university teams by having them become familiar with their sensing and computation software. They will be tasked with completion of a concept design written paper as well as simple missions for on-site evaluation. These simple missions can include straight roadway driving and object avoidance/detection. In Year 2, the teams will refine their concept selections into a solid system development and will have more challenging dynamic events for testing onsite including dynamic object detection and multiple lane changing. Year 3 will culminate with final validation of their design and concept refinement. The teams will navigate complex objectives of on-site testing, including higher speeds, turnabouts, and moving object detection.