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June has proven to be a very busy and productive month for BC’s new car dealers – providing a spotlight on BC’s leadership role in the sale of zero emission vehicles at the provincial capital, recognizing new car dealers who have excelled in the sale of clean energy vehicles, and releasing a report that demonstrates how our sector is driving the economy.

The month began with an event at the BC Legislature where members viewed a number of new zero emission vehicles (ZEV) on display at the front steps of the BC Parliament building in Victoria – to provide elected officials with a sampling of the latest models and innovation.

It also served as an opportunity to acknowledge the successful partnership between our members and government. First quarter sales results for 2022 reveal that ZEVs represented 17% of all light vehicle sales. This follows 2021 results in which 13% of all new light vehicle sales in BC were zero emission vehicles – the highest rate in North America on a per capita basis.

We are proud to administer the Clean BC vehicle rebate program of behalf of the provincial government, where despite the pandemic and supply chain issues, just over 18,000 rebate transactions were processed in 2021 — the highest in 10 years.

One of the ways that we encourage and recognize outstanding work in the sale of clean energy vehicles is through the annual Green Star Dealer Awards, which honour BC New Car Dealers selling the highest number of Clean Energy Eligible Vehicles annually across all brands. Green Star Award recipients for Battery Electric Vehicle Sales (BEV) and Plug-in Electric Hybrid Sales (PHEV) for 2021 include:

Top BEV Sales – Vancouver Island: Victoria Hyundai
Top PHEV Sales – Vancouver Island: Jim Pattison Toyota Victoria
Top BEV Sales – Lower Mainland: Kia West Coquitlam
Top PHEV Sales – Lower Mainland: Open Road Toyota Richmond
Top BEV Sales – Interior: Kelowna Hyundai
Top PHEV Sales – Interior: Kelowna Toyota
Top BEV Sales – North: Northland Hyundai Prince George
Top PHEV Sales – North: Prince George Toyota
Most Improved Dealership – BEV Sales: West Coast Kia Pitt Meadows
Most Improved Dealership – PHEV Sales: Metro Motors Port Coquitlam

On behalf of our Association, I had the opportunity to drive a new model ZEV to attend the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM held in Prince George, where advance planning revealed a higher number of charging sites along the route from a few years earlier – an important consideration for those contemplating the purchase of a clean energy vehicle.

It was at the AGM that I had the opportunity to release a new study entitled The Economic Impacts of Members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC that outlines just how important the auto sector is to the provincial economy.

Key findings of the MNP LLP study include the fact that the New Car Dealers sector generates $15.6 billion in retail activity – $260 million of direct tax revenue and $610 million of total tax revenue for all three levels of government – along with an estimated $1.2 billion in total tax revenue to all levels of government when factoring in the federal and provincial sales taxes paid by consumers on purchases of new cars. On the employment front, the study finds the sector is responsible for almost 27,000 FTEs of total employment in BC, including 18,000 FTEs at the direct level.

In many ways, the report confirmed what we already knew. Our members contribute a great deal to the provincial economy, and to the social and economic fabric in the 55 cities and towns in which they are located.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.