Our magazine’s editorial team had an interesting chat about our cover story in this issue, regarding car dealers who give back to their communities.
We’ve run a similar feature for the past few years, showcasing ways in which dealers across the country give back and support local charities, sports groups, and important causes.
The discussion was whether we should continue this series and do it again next year. Most business-to-business magazines like ours have annual regroups where we build an editorial calendar that maps out the features for the year ahead.
The reason this story was on the chopping block is that—just like OEMs have to introduce new models to keep consumers interested—we have to mix up our editorial content to remain relevant to our readers. When you flip through these pages, we never want it to feel like it’s Groundhog Day.
The good news is that the champions of charity story will be back next year. Here’s why:
There are still a lot of stories to tell: There are 3,200-plus franchised new car dealers across Canada. Most of them, if not all, give back in some meaningful way to their communities. In all of our coverage over the years, we’ve showcased a tiny sliver of those dealers and the impact on their communities.
Everyone likes feel-good stories: I listen to a Toronto radio station every morning and one of the popular features is something called “Tell Me Something Good.” The DJ reads positive stories that act as a bit of a counterbalance to the rest of the news, which is generally less cheerful.
Dealers still get a bad rap: It’s an industry that’s in the crosshairs with disruptors who criticize it at every opportunity, and too often dealers and salespeople in particular are the butt-end of jokes regarding bad consumer experiences. The reality is much different for those of us connected to the industry, and that’s why shining a light on the amazing and generous things dealers do is important.
I had the pleasure of recently attending the awards ceremony where Mike Stollery received his CADA Laureate ambassador award.
Listening to all the various people give speeches about the impact that he had on projects in his community reminded me of just how passionate many car dealers are about giving back and, more than that, helping to build their communities. The amazing building the ceremony was held in at the Automotive Business School of Canada would not likely be standing if not for Stollery’s involvement and financial support.
Stollery, like many dealers, don’t give back because they expect any type of immediate return—it’s just what they do. At the end of his talk, Stollery offered some highly personal comments about just how short our time on this planet is, and that if we can make a difference and have some fun along the way, then all the better.
So please enjoy our story about dealers who give back — and let us know how your dealership contributes to your community, so we can feature you on these pages this time next year!