The challenges in outlining the impact that BC’s new car dealerships have on the province’s economy rest primarily on how wide-ranging their influence really is. The New Car Dealers Association of BC represents over 400 new car dealers across our expansive province, reaching into 55 communities – and affecting the economy on a local, regional and provincial level in the process.
For a sense of scale, we should first take a step back and take a national perspective. Since employment is considered one of the key metrics for economic growth, it is significantly noteworthy then that one in seven jobs in Canada are in the auto industry.
Taking a closer look at BC, there are over 30,000 family-supporting jobs in the auto industry located in every corner of the province, a 22 per cent increase since 2010. To measure the indirect effect these jobs have on our province’s economy would be a supremely complex task at best, but one thing is clear, communities across BC depend on the new car dealers for stable, well-paying employment – all the more pertinent during a global health crisis that has thrown many into uncertainty.
To get a sense of scale we can also look at the number of new cars and trucks that were sold in BC prior to the global pandemic. Since COVID-19 wreaked havoc on supply chains and industries across the world, looking at 2019 figures is necessary in order to paint a more accurate picture of “normalcy” for the industry. Over 200,000 new cars and trucks are sold per year in BC, or approximately 10% of all cars sold in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.
The new car dealers seem to pack quite an economic punch, representing more than 19% of total retail sales in all of British Columbia. The NCDA’s dealer members also generate a substantial $16 billion in economic activity, in addition to pumping $2.9 billion net GDP directly into the province’s economy. Taken as a whole, our dealer members ultimately generate over $675 million annually in total revenue to all levels of government.
It’s clear that British Columbia’s new car dealers support their local communities, whether that’s through philanthropic efforts such as collectively donating millions to the Special Olympics or spending $154 million annually on new dealership construction and renovations – which further expands the scope of the economic impact of BC’s new car dealers.
Beyond the numbers, BC’s new car dealers have a long and storied history of generating jobs, revenue and a lasting impact on the communities that they so dutifully serve.
Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected]