Las Vegas, Nevada – A “Conversation with Jim Pattison” proved to be a highlight for delegates attending the Western Canadian Dealer Summit in Las Vegas over the weekend – and was especially memorable for the President and CEO of New Car Dealers Association (NCDA) of BC who played host to the fireside chat along with NCDA’s new Board Chair, Anthony Lunelli (of Kelowna Subaru and Penticton Subaru).
The Summit – hosted by the respective new car dealer associations from BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, took place September 22-24. The event included many notable speakers and educational sessions for Western dealer attendees, but there was little doubt that the fireside chat at the gala dinner featuring an icon of the auto industry was the high point.
“The auto sector has always had a special place in my heart,” said Jim Pattison. “And I was so pleased to be able to attend this year’s Summit and share the company of friends and colleagues who drive the industry in western Canada.”
Mr. Pattison brought Summit delegates to their feet three times as he regaled those in attendance with a series of stories and anecdotes about his love affair with the auto industry, his transition into many other business enterprises, and his personal and business relationships with royalty and political and business giants from around the world.
“I am so thankful to have been born in Saskatchewan and in Canada, a nation that has fought in two world wars to preserve the free enterprise system that has provided such opportunities,” said Pattison. “The automobile business has always been the foundation of our company, and there is huge change coming that will require the sector to be on top of the transition. Fortunately, we have industry leaders who can help guide us through this period.”
Asked if there is one overriding principle that guides his approach to business and people, Mr. Pattison said, “it’s always, tell the truth and be honest – no matter what.”
From one auto dealership in 1961, The Jim Pattison Group has grown to become the largest private company in Canada. With annual sales of $14 Billion and 49,000 employees, The Jim Pattison Group is made up of many operating divisions. These divisions span the automotive industry, as well as other sectors that include advertising, media, agricultural equipment, food, and beverage, forest products, a coal and potash port, real estate, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Guinness World Records.
“In this corner of the world, there is no bigger name in the auto sector than Pattison,” said Blair Qualey, President, and CEO of the NCDA. “It was a pleasure and personal highlight of mine to host the fireside chat and delve into a conversation that gave delegates an insight into Jim Pattison, the industry icon – but more importantly, Mr. Pattison, the person.”
The Western Canadian Dealer Summit featured a host of speakers and sessions, including Google Canada’s Head of Industry, the Canadian Auto Dealer Association’s Lead Economist and Policy Advisory – while policy sessions tacked issues such as making sense of trending technologies and franchise law.
About the New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA):
NCDA is the provincial industry association that represents over 400 new car and truck dealers throughout British Columbia. Members of the Association provide 27,000 family supporting jobs for British Columbians and are responsible for more than $15.6 Billion in retail sales in the province
About the Motor Dealer’s Association of Alberta (MDA)
MDA is the trade association that strives to serve the collective interest of all its members and promote positive relationships with government, industry, suppliers, consumers, and media, by offering needed and effective programs and services. Members include over 90% of Alberta’s franchised new vehicle and heavy truck dealerships.
About the Saskatchewan Auto Dealers Association (SADA):
SADA is made up of 130 strong vibrant dealers across the province. The Association is celebrating 80 years of existence in 2022 and is led by Chairman Rick Ironside from Regal Motors – Rosetown, Saskatchewan.