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Car, heavy truck industries important to province of Alberta: report


CALGARY, Alta.–A new report on Alberta’s automotive industry shows just how important the new car and heavy truck industry is to the province. A new MNP study looked at the economic and social impacts of the MDA’s 351 new car and truck dealers; what it reveals is an industry whose economic output is four times larger than all annual travel and tourism to the Rockies, and whose 16 billion dollars in capital expenditures in 2014 created a chain reaction of economic and social stimulus felt in industries and communities across the province.

The report found that the systemic injection of 16 billion dollars in operating costs, put back into the marketplace, acts like gasoline for other industries, keeping the wheels turning on everything from logistics to commercial real estate, to bank financing, legal and media services. This same ‘buoying’ effect can be seen in the full-time employment numbers of over 36,000 full-time employees, making motor dealers one of the largest employers in the province, it said.

“Our industry helps drive other industries, while connecting people in essential ways,” says Darin Schotanus, Chairman of the Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta (MDA), and a second-generation auto dealer. “When you’re doing over five million repairs a year on cars and trucks across the province, you can see the important role dealers have in keeping things moving for millions of Albertans.”

Being essential, says Denis Ducharme, President of the MDA, also includes less immediately tangible, but equally important, long-range investments in post-secondary training, partnerships, and charities that strengthen communities. “When the MDA was established in 1951, the mandate was to invest where we live,” says Ducharme. “That’s why our dealer members continue to donate millions for post-secondary scholarships and equipment, and millions more to Alberta charities, including a 30-year partnership with Special Olympics. Alberta dealers have kick-started fundraising for the floods in Calgary, and now for the people victimized by the Fort McMurray fire. What you see through all of the big numbers here is a passion and dedication from our dealers to build a better Albertaon a day-in, day-out basis in communities right across this province.”