Recovery from a semiconductor shortage that’s hammering new-vehicle inventory, is just one issue at hand. Electric vehicles are also expected to propel the agenda this year as the industry lobbies the federal government to lay out a clear road map to its target of 100-per-cent EV sales in Canada by 2035.
The year began and ended with the Canadian auto industry still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. From plant shutdowns and microchip shortages, to soaring used-car prices and consumers hoarding cash, the virus continued to dominate headlines. As the year went on, however, slivers of optimism began to poke out from under the doom and gloom.
Automotive manufacturers are doing a better job of providing a work-life balance to attract younger women — the so-called millennials — but have to continue marketing themselves as workplace destinations to address the gender imbalance on the factory floor, according to four women executives in the industry.
A study that showed progress in advancing female representation in Canada’s automotive retail workforce slowed dramatically in 2020 is the result of the pandemic and not necessarily indicative of where the sector is headed, according to the study’s lead author and industry representatives.
A key gap in the online car-shopping shopping process — digital credit applications and approvals — appears to be closing, answering the demands of Canadian dealers seeking to satisfy what they see as a growing appetite for completely virtual transactions.
For the Canadian market, Honda’s global transition to producing only zero-emissions vehicles by 2040 begins with a step backward before taking two leaps forward with the 2023 CR-V Hybrid and the 2024 Prologue, a full-electric crossover.
Whether forced to move to appointment-only selling or touchless drop-offs for vehicle service — which has depended on the level of retail restrictions at any given time — dealers interviewed by Automotive News Canada said they aren’t looking back.