Car Dealers Drive BC Economy

You have most likely heard a lot of doom and gloom regarding the automotive industry in the last few years, and with good reason: the economic downturn has clearly affected consumers and the industry. That said, car dealers have rebounded very well in the last year, and recent reports show that they continue to be both an important source of jobs and provincial economic output.

How important? Greater “than the film-and-television industry, greater than agriculture and virtually equivalent to the Olympics in terms of GDP.” That was what Blair Qualey, the president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association (NCDABC) of B.C. told the Vancouver Sun.

“When you see how much they contribute to the economy, it’s pretty staggering,” he said. The numbers he’s referring to come from a new study on the social and economic impacts of the industry. Accounting and business advisory firm MNP undertook the study, entitled the “Social and Economic Impacts of the Members of the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia,” for the NCDABC. It shows that:

  • Auto dealers represent 16 per cent of B.C.’s total retail output
  • Members of the NCDABC (which represents 354 of 382 new car and truck dealers in B.C.) accounted for $9.4 billion in total retail sales in 2010
  • 160,000 new vehicles were sold in B.C. last year, generating $5.4 billion in revenues from new vehicle sales
  • The provincial GDP generated by dealers totals $1.8 billion
  • New car dealers paid $443 million in tax revenues in 2010

These are incredibly large numbers, and like Qualey said, they represent a much larger part of the local economy than most people expect. Just as impressive, however, are the job figures:

  • B.C. car dealers directly employ 14,938 people
  • These jobs pay substantially more than typical retail sector positions, averaging $488 per week more than the provincial average

Clearly, the car dealerships are still very important to the local job market, and these findings illustrate the vast amount of career opportunities throughout the industry. From sales and leasing jobs on the retail side to automotive mechanic careers on the repair end, dealerships continue to provide opportunities for fulfilling, well-paying careers.

The overall outlook for the industry may have been negative a few years back, but this report shows that the sheer breadth of the industry in B.C., and its continued growth, make it a great industry to work in. What are you waiting for? Contact us today for more information on automotive training programs.

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