TalkAUTO 2022: Canadian Black Book’s symposium on the state of Canadian auto

December 30, 2022

Sales projections for the Canadian and global auto industry, supply shortages, vehicle residual value trends, electric vehicle growth projections, changing consumer journeys and the need for a more diverse and inclusive workforce were all key topics tackled at the first TalkAuto Canada event to return in person since the pandemic—and the first organized solely by Canadian Black Book.

Yolanda Biswah, Canadian Black Book’s Senior Vice President & General Manager kicked off the event telling the sold-out crowd the event’s theme was “an industry in transition.”  “Today our message on diversity and inclusion is we need to be purposeful in our hiring and all the practices we do,” said Biswah.

The first few speakers took the audience through forecasts for the new and used vehicle markets in Canada, North America and globally.

According to the experts, the picture is decidedly mixed, with the threat of an all but certain recession looming, and other global uncertainty related to supply constraints and disruptive factors like the war in Ukraine making forecasts more difficult than in more normal times.

Several speakers took a deeper dive into trying to assess the EV market, and although projections vary, the underlying message was clear: EVs aren’t just coming, they are here and adoption is going to pick up speed rapidly.

Accelerate Auto, a not-for-profit set up to help promote opportunities for Black talent in Canada’s auto industry was also featured prominently at the event, as a key sponsor and also during a session on diversity where leaders presented new research the organization commissioned to assess the diversity gaps in the auto industry.

That panel discussion was followed by a keynote by Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. He too picked up on the theme of workforce development and skills gaps and the need for the industry to constantly recruit and train new talent.

Other speakers included an engaging panel on the changing consumer journey that was moderated by Stephanie Henry, journalist and Toronto television personality. The high-powered panel discussed changing consumer experiences and expectations, the direct to consumer model, and new purchasing models for new and used vehicles.

Anne Marie Desando and Rebekah Young, from Scotiabank also had an interesting and engaging chat about banking and financing trends and the transition they were seeing in their industry.

About Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips is the editorial director of Universus Media Group Inc. and the editor of Canadian auto dealer magazine. Todd can be reached at

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