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Automotive news collected from sources near and far 

AIA Canada Partners with the Government of Ontario to offer new Electric Vehicle Training

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada), in partnership with the Government of Ontario and St. Lawrence College, is delighted to announce a new and innovative automotive aftermarket industry training project. 

Made possible through the Ontario Government’s Skills Development Fund, the goal of the program is to address two challenges facing Ontario’s automotive aftermarket industry: a shortage of automotive tradespeople and the need for automotive tradespeople to be upskilled so that they can service electric vehicles (EV).

Technology is changing the future of automotive repairs, including the type of work that automotive tradespeople do and the skills that they need. As vehicle technology evolves, continued investments into the skilled trades will be critical to meeting necessary upskilling requirements and securing gainful employment in the automotive aftermarket industry. 

“It is important that industry, with government support, implement solutions to meet our industry’s labour needs, which includes ensuring that automotive tradespeople are properly trained to service electric vehicles and raising awareness to break stigma and attract more people to the industry,” said Jean-Francois Champagne, AIA President. “We are thrilled to be working with Minister McNaughton, the Government of Ontario and St. Lawrence College on this initiative.”

The project will consist of the development and delivery of two training programs. The first is an EV upskilling training program open to incumbent workers and apprentices in the automotive trades. The training will bridge the gap between what today’s curriculum offers, and the skills that tradespeople need to service modern vehicles. The second is an 8-week training program that gives job seekers an opportunity to explore a career in the automotive trades.

“For the first time in more than a decade, automotive manufacturing jobs are returning to Ontario as we position the province to be a leader in electric vehicles for generations to come,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why we are investing in innovative programs like this with AIA Canada, which will ensure workers have the skills to advance in their careers, earn bigger paycheques, and build better lives for themselves and their families. We will once again make Ontario’s automotive sector one of the most competitive in the world.”

Automotive tradespeople that work in the aftermarket industry provide Ontarians with essential vehicle repair and maintenance services that keep Ontario’s more than 10 million vehicles in road-safe condition. AIA Canada looks forward to continued collaboration with the government and our post-secondary partners to ensure the industry is ready to service the vehicles of tomorrow.

SeaFort Capital Announces Investment in Parts for Trucks

 SeaFort Capital announced June 1 that it has made a majority investment in Parts for Trucks, Inc. 

Based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Parts for Trucks is the largest independent heavy duty aftermarket parts distributor and provider of truck and equipment service in Atlantic Canada. The company operates a network of 16 locations across Atlantic Canada and in Ontario. 

Corey Miller, CEO of Parts for Trucks, commented, “Our executive team chose to partner with SeaFort given their strong values and proven track record of successfully growing companies. We are very excited to work with the SeaFort team to pursue strategic growth, which will provide exciting opportunities for our staff and allow us to further enhance and broaden the strong support we currently provide to our valued customers”. 

Rob Normandeau, SeaFort’s Managing Partner and President, commented, “This is the first platform investment for SeaFort Capital Fund II and represents the type of Canadian mid-market investment we target. We are pleased to invest in a long-established successful Atlantic Canadian-based business and excited to partner with a strong, proven management team and company as they continue to execute on a well-delineated growth strategy.” 

The partnership will focus on continuing Parts for Trucks’ growth strategy by introducing new products and services and pursuing expansion within Canada through greenfield initiatives and strategic acquisitions. The existing senior leadership team will continue to drive the business following the investment by SeaFort.

Atlantic Truck Show returns this fall to N.B. 

The Atlantic Truck Show returns to the Moncton Coliseum Oct. 20-21 with a new name and broader focus as the Atlantic Transportation and Logistics Show.

The biennial event owned by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) and produced by Master Promotions was originally scheduled for this spring. But the new date aligns with APTA’s annual general meeting and conference.

The 2022 show is also going to include a “renewed focus” on trucks for all trades including construction and building supply vehicles, dump and forestry trucks, and logistical technology, the organizers say.

“We felt it was necessary to also incorporate the transportation and logistics side of our industry,” said national show manager Mark Cusack in a release. “This event isn’t just about the fleet, but also the technology and equipment drivers need in order to successfully complete their trips.”

CADA reveals Laureate finalists for 2022

This year the dealership community has faced unprecedented challenges, as well as opportunities, while navigating uncharted waters. The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association Laureate nominees this year were successful in overcoming obstacles, and are great examples of the resilience of the auto retail industry in Canada.

This exclusive designation of CADA Laureate is handed out to only three individuals per year, out of many hundreds of entrants submitted from across the country.

The Laureate award is unique, and has a rigorous nomination process. It is industry-wide, spanning all franchises and all geographic regions. Dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, and provincial associations participate in the confidential nomination process. Dealers can’t nominate themselves, so it is a true peer-driven award.

An independent industry panel selects 15 national finalists – five per category – from hundreds of nominations each year, based on criteria established by a special industry committee.

“The exceptionally strong group of nominees we received made it more challenging than ever to choose the 15 finalists this year,” said Tim Reuss, CADA President and CEO. “The number and quality of nominees reflects the high level of talent, business acumen and community support shown by our industry in the face of a continued challenging retail environment.”

The Laureate recognizes the career achievements of one exceptional dealer in each of three categories – Ambassadorship, Business Innovation, and Retail Operations.

In the category of Ambassadorship, the 2022 CADA Laureate finalists include: Frank Howard, Capital Auto Group, St. John’s, NL and Peter MacDonald, MacDonald Auto Group, Charlottetown, PE

The winning CADA Laureates will be revealed in a CADA Newsline article that will include a video announcement. The winners will then receive their CADA Laureate jackets at a special dinner to be held in their honour.

The CADA Laureate award is the most exclusive recognition a dealer can receive over the course of their career. Only three individuals among more than 3,200 new car and truck dealers across Canada are recognized annually.

iA Dealer Services has been the exclusive sponsor of the Laureate program since its inception in 2005.

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