Trillium to discuss auto retail issues with MPPs

The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association has prepared a list of priorities to help strengthen Ontario’s auto retail sector and plans to discuss these crucial issues with members of the provincial parliament, which are currently in session at Queen’s Park. The key points are:

Passing Bill 3: the Cutting Red Tape for Motor Vehicle Dealers Act. This bill would allow automotive dealers to licence and register the cars they sell directly from their dealership rather than transporting paperwork back and forth to the licensing office.

Since 2002, the province of Quebec has offered the same program to its car dealers, according to Frank Notte, the Association’s Director of Government Relations.

“[In Ontario] it’s frustrating that we’re still dealing with this in the technological age that we live in,” Notte said. “You can pay your mortgage online, you can buy stocks online — every other aspect of our lives is moving towards digital, but for some reason we’re stuck in the 1970s with dealers having to licence the vehicle through transporting paperwork back and forth.”

If passed, Bill 3 would also allow consumers to drive off the lot in their new vehicle within minutes of signing the paperwork.

Advocating for tax relief (Bill 148): this is another priority for Trillium and it’s meant to offset the new costs to small- and medium-sized businesses like automotive dealers. A first step would be for the government to reduce the corporate income tax rate by 1.5 per cent, thus allowing it to fall to an even 10 per cent.

Quicker turnaround times on electric vehicle rebates through the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program. Dealers will often provide the amount of the rebate upfront to the consumer when they purchase the vehicle. They will then fill out all the paperwork and send it to the government to process in order to receive the money back, according to Notte. But they can wait anywhere from three to five months for the rebate to be issued.

“We find the wait time is extremely long, so we’re pushing the government to say dealers are essentially losing money because they’re providing an interest-free loan,” Notte said. “Then they [the dealers] can’t deploy that money into the dealership for wages or anything else they need to spend money on to run the business.”

Electric and hybrid vehicles represent less than 1.5 per cent of the market in Ontario, according to a 2016 article by The Globe and Mail.

As of Monday, the Ontario Legislature is currently in session.

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