Motor Dealers Association of Alberta
Beginning in 1951, the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta has served as the collective voice of its members in promoting positive relationships amongst the provincial automotive industry. The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta is involved with the federal and provincial governments, the industry, suppliers, consumers, and media in offering effective programs and services.
Today, the association stands strong at a membership of 380. “Our members include over 90 per cent of Alberta’s franchised new vehicle and heavy truck dealerships,” reads the association website.
Overcoming industry challenges
Currently, the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta is working alongside various governmental ministries on a variety of projects, including its work on dealer plate regulations. According to Denis Ducharme, President of the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta, the current regulations in place “do not reflect how business is being done [in Alberta].”
Among the primary benefits of the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta, Ducharme feels that the association has also been able to “greatly reduce” compensation premiums that are afforded by dealers. With the recent economic downturn, this reduction helped in further controlling growing dealer costs.
However, Ducharme acknowledged that the recession wasn’t felt as much in Alberta as it was in other parts of the country, with this down time allowing for a period of reflection and revision of the procedures that were and place and how to move forward in a better fashion. According to Ducharme, a majority of dealers have done well and will continue to do so.
Among the most pressing challenges of the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta is the growth of larger dealers, not only in Alberta, but across Canada. Strictly because of the size of these dealers, it serves as a challenge for the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta to provide these larger dealership groups with the required tools and assistance in order for these dealers to achieve the highest of success.
“We’re cognizant of it and it is something we’re presently working on in terms of being able to address their needs and concerns,” Ducharme said.
Developing the automotive industry
The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta has been proactive in further building the benefits of its organization. With a board of directors built up of talented, experienced dealers, the group identifies and addresses industries changes. Professional development and training is key part of the association.
“We’ve established a partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (Calgary) and the New Car Dealers of British Columbia for an automotive management certificate program,” Ducharme explained. The program runs four times a year, alternating between Alberta and B.C., and offers 12 different courses. The program ultimately provides further education and professional growth.
The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta also promotes its industry to young adults, offering the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta Education Foundation. The Education Foundation offers grants to those students who excel at various trade programs and are interested in attending a technical institute or college to further learn the discipline.
“The purpose of the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta Education Foundation is to encourage Albertans to pursue a career in the automotive industry,” states the association website.
“One of the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta’s main priorities is to promote and highlight the numerous career options in a franchised new vehicle dealership. From promoting the industry and recruiting interested applicants at career fairs, motor shows and school events, to working in partnership with educational institutions—the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta is committed to ensuring lifelong learning opportunities for staff at our member dealerships,” the website states.
“Funding for the Education Foundation is provided through the generous donations from dealer members and associate members, as well as ongoing partnerships and profit-sharing agreements.”
The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta has worked on developing this selection of training programs.
Looking toward the future, the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta strives to work even harder to address the diversifying needs of its dealer groups. As Ducharme stated, a new generation will also have different needs. Working in conjunction with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, the Motor Dealers Association of Alberta strives to address the changes in the communities in which it is active.