Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 24

24

* FEBRUARY 2018

Skills Ontario introduces
students to skilled trades
as possible occupations.
( P H O T O : S K I L L S O N TA R I O )

Still-strong truck sales
power record January
FCA is the top-selling
automaker; surging
GM edges Ford
for No. 2 spot
By JEREMY SINEK

Training lags frantic pace
of advancing technology
CONTINUED FROM PA GE 1

to be a one-stop shop for
enforcement, regulation
and education. And it just
hasn't been that," he said.
"The government needs to
reset and look at their priorities and put everything
back toward education and
connecting people with
business."
Auto dealers are in need
of skilled mechanics to
work on vehicles that have
more computer technology than ever. As vehicles
become more connected
and autonomous, dealerships will need service staff
who are comfortable working on cameras and software.
Dave Fraser, Ontario
education coordinator at
TADA, said the industry
and governments were
caught off guard by two
concurrent shifts over the
past two decades: the pace
of technological advances
in the average vehicle; and
the shift away from vocational training in secondary education.
"I don't think the
employment environment
has ever changed as much
as it has over the past two
decades," he said. "We just
didn't send enough people through technical colleges."

THE GAP GROWS
The resulting skilledtrade gap costs Canadian
businesses, including dealerships, millions of dollars every year and prevents them from hiring.
For example, the WindsorEssex region loses an estimated $600 million every
year, and 82 per cent of
businesses said they struggled to find qualified workers, according to a report
by the Windsor-Essex
Regional Chamber of
Commerce.
The 2016 OntarioMichigan memorandum
of understanding called
on both sides to share
best practices in promoting skilled trades. The two
governments have said it

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder with students in a joint
Michigan-Ontario robotics competition aimed at increasing interest in skilled trades. ( P H O T O : S TAT E O F M I C H I G A N )

I don't think the
employment environment
has ever changed as
much as it has over the
past two decades.
We just didn't send
enough people through
technical colleges.
DAVE FRASER

Ontario education
coordinator for TADA
is already bearing fruit in
the form of more robotics
competitions and other programs to get students interested.
"It's a friendly competition," Michigan Gov. Rick
Snyder told Automotive
News Canada. "Ontario
is catching up pretty fast
because they're seeing the
value. They're running a
lot of competitions. It's not
about the border. It's how
we see a common program,
a common value that's to
the benefit of both of us."
Douglas George, consul general of Canada in
Detroit, said Canada must
promote skilled trades if
it wants to be a leader in
automotive technology.

SILICON-VALLEY ALTERNATIVE
"If we want to remain
globally competitive, we're

going to be competing for
skilled people," he said.
"We've got some of the
top-notch research groups
around Ontario and
Canada. Canada has two
of the top [artificial intelligence] groups in the world.
Part of my job is to say to
Detroit that you don't have
to go to Silicon Valley. You
just have to go up the 401
[highway] to Waterloo and
to Hamilton."
Fraser said one of the
biggest challenges in promoting skilled trades to
young students is overcoming a misconception
that repairing vehicles is a
low-paying, unexciting job.
That stigma "comes
from parents, teachers,
influencers and people
who grew up with that
so-called grease-monkey conception," he said.
"That's deeply ingrained
in a lot of people."
Fraser said TADA has
worked to encourage dealers to begin co-op and
apprenticeship programs to
bring young, skilled workers into the fold. And he
said the dealer association
has lobbied governments to
put more vocational training back into secondary
education and to change
the notion that attending
university is the preferred
route.
"If we get students at
16, 17 or 18 years old when
impressions have not yet
been fully made for them,
then we have a much better
chance," he said. - ANC

TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

CAR SALES SLUMPED IN
January, but buoyant demand for
light trucks lifted total sales to
a new record, 5.8 per cent above
January 2017.
The light-truck share of sales
was 73 per cent, the result of car
sales dropping 2.9 per cent while
light trucks surged 9.4 per cent.
Total sales of 117,797 cars and
light trucks far exceeded the previous-10-year average of 95,000
sales in January.
Still, Scotiabank Senior
Economist and Auto Industry
Specialist Carlos Gomes isn't yet
revising his earlier prediction
that Canada won't (quite) set a
new record in 2018: "Some moderation in employment and income
growth combined with deteriorating affordability are likely to
reduce Canadian car and lighttruck purchases to two [million]
units in 2018, the second-highest
level on record."
Despite their strength in
trucks, Ford, GM and FCA lost
two points of market share in
January, to 43 from 45 per cent.
The blame doesn't fall with GM
Canada, however, as the Oshawabased automaker's sales spiked
15 per cent in January. That put
it in front of Ford Canada for
the month, despite Ford's news
release that read "Ford remains
the best-selling automotive
brand." The operative word there
being "brand" and not "auto company." Ford, the company, and
FCA Canada, saw their sales sag
four per cent.
Despite its decline, FCA
Canada was the top-selling automaker in January, maintaining
a long tradition of coming strong
out of the gate before being overtaken by (usually) Ford as the

MOVERS & SHAKERS
Compared with the
same month a year ago
Maserati Quattroporte: +457%
Porsche Panamera: +333%
Audi TT: +260%
Genesis G80: +238%
Lincoln Navigator: +220%
Volvo XC60: +220%
Dodge Durango: +201%
Fiat brand: -88%
Lexus RC: -85%
Mazda MX-5: -84%
Genesis G90: -79%
Jeep Renegade: -75%
Ford Flex: -75%
Dodge Journey: -75%
Hyundai Sonata: -74%
Dodge Charger: -72%
Kia Optima: -70%

FULL OF SURPRISES
BMW 5 series: +2,825%
Audi A5: +459%

January sales of the Buick
Enclave nearly tripled when
compared to a year ago.
(PHOTO: GM)

year progresses.
FCA's January results included a breakout performance by
the Jeep Wrangler, as the all-new
model came on stream during the
month. The iconic off-roader tripled its sales to 3,755, a record
performance that vaulted it into
the chart of Top-10-selling nameplates, sixth spot overall, and just
16 units shy of beating the Honda
CR-V as top-selling utility vehicle. The Dodge Grand Caravan
also did well for FCA with a
37-per-cent surge.
But FCA's biggest seller, the
Ram pickup, weakened 17 per
cent, and was in good company: combined sales of all fullsize pickup entries slumped 11
per cent in an overall light-truck
market that grew nine per cent.
Offsetting that: midsize pickups
- a rejuvenated category that
will soon also include the bornagain Ford Ranger - spiked 33
per cent.
Another comeback category
in January: vans. Every passenger minivan grew its sales, ditto
every large delivery van, for segment gains of 40 per cent and
36 per cent, respectively. Vans
significantly outperformed the
usual drivers of light-truck sales,
utility vehicles, which increased
11.5 per cent from a year ago.
Standouts were the Chevrolet
Traverse and Buick Enclave,
which nearly tripled their sales.
Also making a small contribution to utility sales: 115 first-fullmonth sales of Ford's new builtin-India EcoSport subcompact.
On the car side, compacts
continued their comeback
with 8.5-per cent higher sales.
Intermediate sedans suffered the
most: even with a boost from the
new Honda Accord and Toyota
Camry, segment sales slumped
35 per cent. And that was despite
a long-overdue comeback for the
Mazda6, which soared 65 per cent
in January, building momentum
from a trend-defying 24-per-cent
gain in full-year 2017.
Among the imports, it was
nothing new to see Hyundai and
Kia bucking the growth trend
in January. More surprising
was Mercedes-Benz Canada: its
4.4-per-cent decline was largely
driven by a sharp slump in sales
of the B250 and CLA small cars.
- ANC

The Mazda6 soared despite
continuing sedan-sales woes.
(PHOTOS: MAZDA)



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - CT1
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - CT2
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 28
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 29
Automotive News Canada - February 2018 - v2 - 30
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