As we delve into a new year that is bound to bring with it more innovation, growth and changes to the remarketing industry in Canada, let’s take a look back at what topics and news shaped the business in 2015.

Auto Remarketing Canada took a look at it’s analytics for the 2015 year on and picked out the top 10 stories that were most popular with our readers on www.autoremarketingcanada.com. The stories range from curbsiding and recalls, to new offerings from Cox Automotive Canada and ownership shifts in the vehicle history report market.

Other topics that were top-of-mind for many in the industry in 2015 included:

  • Tight used supply at auction
  • The VW emissions scandal and its impact on dealers
  • Regulatory crackdown on unlicensed dealers
  • The threat of increasingly long-term auto loans
  • Dealership consolidation and the growth of dealer groups
  • Low oil prices and the impact on the Western Canadian economy

As we gear up to cover another year of impactful remarketing news, we want to know what’s top of mind for our readers! If you want to hear more about these topics, or know of any other hot stories you want to learn more about, tweet suggestions to us @autoremktingCAN. Or, of course, you can reach out to Editor Sarah Rubenoff at srubenoff@autoremarketing.com.

And as you start thinking about what trends will impact your business the most this year, take a look back at some of the stories that garnered the most interest in 2015:

10. 9 honored by AJAC as best new vehicles on road

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Hayato Mori, senior manager of product planning for Honda Canada, left, is presented with the award from Michel Deslauriers of AJAC, right, after the Honda Civic (sedan) wins the Best New Small Car category.

TORONTO (Nov. 30) — Auto dealers: Here are nine new cars you might want to begin focusing on in your sales department.

The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada has released nine “Best New” category winners for 2016, including double wins for both Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.

The nine vehicles are now in the running for the overall Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year awards, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February.

9. Selectbidder announces real-time trade-in bid solution

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MONCTON, New Brunswick (Sept. 14) — One auto tech company aims to make the auction a part of the trade-in process.

Selectbidder officially announced its new platform for real-time bids on dealer trade-ins, aiming to connect auctions, dealers and dealer customers in a way to streamline the trade-in process.

Currently rolling out its platform to independent auctions across North America, the Selectbidder At-Trade platform has completed its testing phase at the Great Northern Auction in Moncton, New Brunswick, where it has been put to the test since the spring. GNA piloted the program with three dealers last April and moved the application into full deployment with its dealer network in May.

8. Automotive Properties REIT completes $75M initial public offering

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TORONTO (July 23) — The Automotive Properties Real Estate Investment Trust has completed its initial public offering of 7.5 million trust units at a price of $10 per unit.

The REIT will focus on speeding up consolidation and acquiring dealerships in Canada and potentially the U.S.

Dealership consolidation has been on the mind of many in the industry as the dealership population ages, with many choosing to sell to third-parties, such as the larger dealer groups like Dilawri, AutoCanada and others, rather than organize succession plans.

7. FCA Canada to re-enter leasing market

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TORONTO (Nov. 16) — FCA Canada Inc. is returning to the leasing business through a partnership with Ontario-based SCI Lease Corp.

The two companies will be offering a leasing option for shoppers on all FCA nameplates: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo.

FCA Canada and SCI Lease Corp. have been working over the course of year to design a program they say can “greatly assist consumers and their automotive financing needs.”

6. Cassels Brock to dole out $45M in damages to GM class-action dealers

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TORONTO (July 14) — A final ruling has been made in the class-action lawsuit filed against General Motors of Canada in regards to actions taken to close dealerships amid the economic downturn. With that, the claims against GMCL have been dismissed.

That said, Justice Thomas McEwen has come down hard on the law firm Cassels Brock, which has close ties to all parties involved, for breach of contractual and fiduciary duties, calling for a payout of $45 million for damages to the dealers involved in the closings.

5. VW Canada stops sales of models involved in emissions-testing scandal

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TORONTO (Sept. 22) — The hammer is falling on Volkswagen in both the U.S. and Canada. VW Canada told its dealers in September to stop selling diesel-powered vehicles involved in an emissions-testing scandal that recently came to light.

This statement comes just a few days after the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency and the California Air Resources Board revealed its findings that allege five of the automaker’s diesel-powered vehicles include “defeat device” software that circumvents emissions standards for certain air pollutants late last week.

4. Dealership, cafe, housing: all in 1 complex

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Downtown Automotive Group has launched a project in southeast Toronto that will include six dealerships, condos and commercial venues.

TORONTO (Nov. 5) — Mixed-use developments are popular these days — think apartments over commercial properties such as cafes and restaurants.

But, add automotive dealerships to the mix, and you have Downtown Automotive Group’s new project in the works: Riverside Square.

The new development, located in the southeast end of Toronto, will combine six dealerships —  the part of the project which has been dubbed the Autoplex — over 800 condos and commercial venues.

3. Cox Auto Canada launches new dealer-to-dealer platform

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TORONTO (Dec. 16) — Cox Automotive Canada, along with its Manheim Canada operations, announced it has partnered with XLane to design a new dealer-to-dealer online auction tool.

The dealer-to-dealer online multi-platform, InstantAuction, is crafted to make the process of buying and selling vehicles easier, quicker and more transparent.

Through the platform, buyers and sellers can see who is viewing the listed vehicle as well as who is bidding. It also features a “buy now” option, as well.

2. Carfax parent company buys CarProof

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (Dec. 28) — IHS, the parent company of Carfax, announced in late December it has purchased CarProof Corp. for $650 million CND, which translates to about $460 million USD.

CarProof is a vehicle history report provider in Canada. IHS bought Carfax in July 2013.

Jerre Stead, chairman and chief executive officer of IHS, said: “Like Carfax, CarProof is a high-growth business and gives IHS the opportunity to expand our vehicle history report services into Canada.

“By combining the capabilities of CarProof and Carfax, we also will accelerate product development to better serve the needs of our customers. This acquisition will add a highly accretive revenue-growth and EBITDA-margin business for IHS, and provide significant room for further growth.”

1. OMVIC cracks down on ‘elaborate’ vehicle export scheme

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TORONTO (Aug. 28) — The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council announced in August it is cracking down on a BMW salesperson for what OMVIC management is calling an elaborate vehicle export scheme.

George Chan — a salesperson employed as a business manager at a BMW dealership in Markham —  has been charged by OMVIC for falsifying information and furnishing false information, which violates the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA).

OMVIC alleges Chan creates false bills of sale using the names, addresses and contact information of dealership customers, in order to facilitate the purchase of vehicles for export to China.

Another way to stay up to speed with the top news in the remarketing industry is to attend one of Auto Remarketing Canada’s events, where industry experts gather to share best practices and insights.

Coming up on April 4-5 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto is the 2016 Auto Remarketing Canada Conference.

And new this year, parent company to Auto Remarketing Canada, Cherokee Media Group, will present Women & Automotive, a symposium on diversity in the automotive industry, scheduled for April 6, to also be held at the Westin Harbour Castle.

And stay tuned to Auto Remarketing Canada as we aim to cover the latest and most relevant remarketing news for your businesses in 2016.