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In the News: New Car Dealers Association Optimistic about 2016

In the News: New Car Dealers Association Optimistic about 2016

January 21, 2016

250 News Prince George
By Greg Fry

Prince George, B.C. – An uncertain global economy aside, the president of the New Car Dealers Association (NCDA) is still optimistic about the coming year when it comes to new car sales.

Blair Qualey said so during his visit to Prince George this week.

“Well I spend a fair amount of time touching base with a variety of economists and industry prognosticators who have a better crystal ball than I do,” he said. “And economists I’ve been talking to are predicting another record year in 2016. 2015 was a record year too, breaking the 2014 record.”

Why the confidence?

“Consumer confidence in B.C. in many areas continues to be quite strong and we have a provincial government that’s balancing budgets and trying to keep taxes low and doing things consumers see as strong and good things.”

Qualey said the strength of the sector, namely new dealers, have had a significant impact on communities across the province, including in Prince George.

“They are significant land holders, significant taxpayers, significant employers and more often than not community leaders who are often on committees to raise money for local clinics, hospitals, and charities.”

He added they are a billion dollar plus contributor to the province’s economy.

“Last year our members generated close to $11 billion in economic activity, a significant contribution to the GDP of the province,” said Qualey.

“Last year dealers in Prince George sold 4,400 plus vehicles. We also saw significant capital investments by some of our members building some brand new dealerships. Some of them are pretty major investments in this community. Those are great signs for where Prince George is going.”

As for consumers , he noted the low Canadian dollar will likely lead to higher vehicle prices.

“Inventories on dealers lots at the moment were purchased when the dollar might have been a bit stronger than it is today,” says Qualey.

“Ultimately over time many vehicles that dealers have on their lots are priced when they buy them in U.S. dollars no matter where they come from and so of course as the Canadian dollar continues to drop you’ll likely see some impact on price of vehicles. It won’t happen right away but as time goes by you’ll see impacts.”

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