Leave the Scrooge attitude in 2021
By ALLISON ROGERS
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! At least, two years ago, that’s what we would’ve been crooning without a question of whether it rang true. Now, instead, we are bloated with challenges brought on by COVID: material increases, material shortages, rental car woes, wonky communications as we all adjusted to social-distanced ways of life and dozens of other hurdles. Every facility, no matter your location, has dealt with some form of challenge spurred by COVID. All that in mind, you still have no reason to be a Scrooge. The reports between the pages of this publication should shed at least a little light on the optimistic direction the automotive aftermarket is headed next year and beyond.
Featured in this issue are but a few profiles of ever-resilient collision repairers. Roy Pelletier, this issue’s cover star, proudly operates his independent collision centre on Fort Williams First Nation land; Stephen Jainarine and the red tape-ridden headaches he endured to bring his dream Lakeridge Collision to life; Stephane Lachance’s triumphant battle to defend his estimating license—all of these stories showcase the true dedication of Canada’s collision repair industry. No matter how tough the going gets, this industry always has enough passion to ramp things up and get back on the wagon.
As we head into the new year, the cherry on top of the cone remains the fact we’ve finally been given the green light to gather in person. The SEMA Show went off without a hitch and Canada’s own trade shows are set to storm event ventures starting early next year. CCIF Toronto session is set for February; SAAR for March with other gatherings and industryadjacent events coming down the pipeline every day. SATA Canada will soon kick-off an eight-week, in-person painting course at its Ontario offices; Fix Network is once again welcoming students to its network of Canadian training centres. The world is healing.
And, If you’re still feeling down, lost or just plain tired of your work after flipping through these pages, you’re probably not alone. Remember, though, that droves of change are on the horizon for the automotive aftermarket—not just in Canada, but globally. The Canadian government plans to cease the sales of gas-powered vehicles beyond 2035, and someone’s got to fix those cars. It can either be you leading the charge or your successor—take your pick.
All in all, here’s to 2022. May your production floor be ripe with profit, line sheets approved with flying colours and overall operations be streamlined. It’s a new year, after all; let’s aim for Mars. On behalf of the team at Media Matters, Happy Holidays to all, and best wishes in 2022.