Glory to OARA: Recycler convention and trade show held in Mississauga, Ont.

Mississauga, Ontario — Various verticals of the automotive industry were in Mississauga for the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) annual Convention and Trade Show, which saw more than 400 attendees—not including the last-minute registrations at the venue.

While OARA did not officially kick off until Friday morning, plenty of delegates arrived a day early for the Automotive Recyclers of Canada’s (ARC) EV Roundtable to discuss the implications of electric vehicles on the automotive aftermarket. Steve Fletcher, managing director of the ARC; environmental consultant Maria Kelleher; Jeff Haltrecht of Call2Recycle and Ryan Mandell of Mitchell International delivered information on the current electric vehicle before opening the floor for questions from more than 75 attendees.


Stay tuned to Collision Repair mag for exclusive footage of the ARC EV Roundtable. 

The OARA Board held their annual general meeting bright and early Friday before the speaker sessions kicked off at 10 a.m. Steve Fletcher and Greg Woodbeck were first on the stage to deliver an update on OARA happenings and trends in the industry.

Next up was Rob Rainwater, a regular speaker at OARA and consultant for Profit Team Consulting, who discussed ways auto recyclers (and other automotive businesses) can take control of their business’ perceptions among customers.

“Perception is a mental impression of something that defines how you see it,” explained Rainwater. “Regardless of the truth.”

Rob Rainwater, industry consultant.

A key way to ensure your business is perceived well? Constructing a business promise and sticking to that manifesto.

“Your whole team must be on board with the perception of the company—otherwise, you cannot deliver on your promise.”

And there goes your planned perception—you’re “feeding into it,” said Rainwater.

Ryan Mandell of Mitchell International was the next on the stage, who discussed the effects of electrification on the auto recycling, collision repair and auto insurance claims.

He began by letting the audience know that loss ratios, inclusive of paid claims and adjustment expenses, are trending upwards; as are premium costs.

“People are changing insurance carriers more than [in recent past],” said Mandell. “About four percent of consumers switched auto insurance carriers in Q4 2022.”

Ryan Mandell, Mitchell Infernational.

Further, Mandell laid out the numbers on parts prices, as per Mitchell’s platform, revealing data that OEM parts prices increased 12.44 percent; aftermarket parts prices increased 18.20 percent, he said.

Slides from Mandell’s presentation will be distributed to the OARA attendees, said Steve Fletcher.

Next, the U.S.-based Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) welcomed Shan Lathem and Eric Wilbert, who delivered an update on the American industry.

Finally, the “Future of Auto Recycling” panel took the stage for a thought-provoking conversation that lit the conference floor with conversation. David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers; Dalbert Livingston, Island Auto Supply; Mandell and Lathem sat on the panel, while Rainwater moderated.

David Gold, Standard Auto Wreckers, and Dalbert Livingstone, Island Auto Supply, on the Future of Recycling panel.

Gold pointed out that, when you do research on the future of auto recycling, the majority of articles discuss the recycling aspect—but hardly any mention reuse.

“It’s all about recycling,” he said. “What about reuse? That’s a concern, to me.”

Mary Poirier of Valley Automotive Recyclers addresses the panel from the crowd, advocating for her Pembroke, Ont. family business.

A trade show opened at noon Friday. Stay subscribed to our daily e-zine for exclusive interviews with exhibitors.

After a charity social on Friday night, guests were back in the conference room Saturday morning for further panels on human resources, with Lathem of ARA, Michael Carcone of Carcone’s Auto Recycling, Fallon Clarke of Plazek’s Auto Recycling and Natalie Miller of Miller’s Auto Recycling; another panel on making sales, with Rainwater, Clarke, Sean McCooey of Miller’s Auto Recycling, Logan Hagerman of Woodbeck Auto Parts and Dustin Vetere of Dom’s Auto Parts.

A keynote speech from Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan, performance consultant to the NHL, NBA and Olympians, was a treat to the audience, who listened to her talk with awe.

Two more presentations—one on e-commerce, with Theresa Colbert of Car-Part.com, and a buying and inventory panel with JC and Holly Cahill, Matt Henderson of Carcone’s, Bill Noack of Valley Automotive and Derek Nissan of Hank’s Auto Wreckers—rounded out the Saturday discussions.

OARA also raffled off two complimentary trips—one to the United Recyclers Group (URG) and another to ARA’s Convention in Kansas City.

Check out our photos from the event below, and stay tuned for exclusive video interviews with exhibitors.



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