New Car Dealers of BC Recommend Putting Pedal to the Metal
June 5, 2020
For Immediate Release
Recommendations to Rev-Up Economic Recovery in the 2021 BC Budget Submission
Victoria, BC – As British Columbia phases in a re-start of the economy, the New Car Dealers of BC (NCDA) can be a significant part of the solution. And they will be in a better position to do so if government accepts recommendations to further incentivize consumers and address key obstacles – and in doing so, drive local economies across the province.
During a virtual appearance before the Select Standing Committee on Finance, as part of its pre-budget consultation, NCDA President and CEO Blair Qualey made several recommendations to spark consumer spending.
The recommendations include adjustments to the luxury tax on vehicles, which applies to all vehicles over $55,000. Right now, B.C. car buyers pay seven percent PST on vehicles priced below $55,000. That rises to eight percent for vehicles priced between $55,000 and $55,999, to nine percent on a price of $56,000 to $56,999 and 10 percent for vehicles priced more than $57,000. In 2018, additional super taxes were added for buyers of vehicles with MSRPs between $125,000 and $149,000 requiring a 15 percent PST, while cars priced at $150,000 and higher come with a 20 percent PST hit. These luxury vehicle surtaxes have had the unintended consequence of a 33% decrease in PST remittances, as many buyers are traveling out of province to make purchases.
As an urgent measure, the NCDA recommends removing the tax on all work trucks, which applies to pickup trucks starting at this price.
The NCDA is also recommending an ongoing funding commitment to the highly successful CleanBC-Go Electric Vehicle Purchase and Scrap-It BC programs, to incentivize consumers to purchase greener vehicles. BC’s electric vehicle adoption was the highest in North America in 2019, with 10% EV sales compared to all new vehicle sales – compared to 7% in Quebec and 8% in California. The NCDA recommends additional funding to continue this trend and encourage British Columbians to get moving again and drive recovery for tourism, hospitality, and retail industries. In lockstep with vehicle purchase incentives, continuing investments in charging stations around BC where consumers live, work and play continue to be important.
The NCDA also recommended the continued investment in skilled trades training in the province. As more and more consumers are choosing to drive EV’s, cars and trucks are becoming more technically complex, it is imperative that continued funding goes into programs like the newly developed EV Maintenance Training Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
“There is no doubt that the auto industry in BC has endured a significant economic impact because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Blair Qualey, President and CEO. “The auto industry is a huge driver of the economy and acting on these recommendations will help get people and business moving again as quickly as possible.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact for the economy and the auto industry was no exception. Through these challenges all 390 new car dealerships remained open, thanks in part to the tools and guidelines offered by the NCDA – which helped build confidence with consumers and dealers alike.
BC’s New Car Dealers provide over 30,000, well paying, family-supporting jobs and contribute more than $675 million in total tax revenues annually for all three levels of government.
About the New Car Dealers Association of BC: The NCDA is the provincial industry association that represents more than 390 new car and truck dealers in 55 communities throughout British Columbia. Members of the Association provide over 30,000 family supporting jobs for British Columbians and are responsible for over $16-billion of retail sales in the province. The Association speaks on behalf of the retail new automotive industry to the public, media, and government, and deals primarily with the legal, environmental, and consumer issues relating to vehicle sales in BC. The NCDA owns and manages the Vancouver International Auto Show, which was postponed due to COVID-19 health orders.
Dealer Members with New Car Dealers Association
We represent more than 390 New Car Dealers throughout British Columbia.