400 Canadian stores included in CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Awards Program


Management at Brian Jessel BMW Pre-Owned in Vancouver described what it’s like to be a part of select group of stores recently hailed by CarGurus.

The shopping website announced its inaugural list of CarGurus Canada Top Rated Dealers, a collection that includes more than 400 stores.

Awards are being presented to a select group of dealerships that have received the highest average ratings from shoppers who have submitted dealership reviews on the CarGurus platform. CarGurus uses shoppers’ dealership ratings as well as comprehensive valuation analytics to help shoppers search their local marketplace and find great deals from top-rated dealers.

“Brian Jessel BMW Pre-Owned is proud to be recognized as a Top Rated Dealer,” said Diana Zoppa, marketing manager for Brian Jessel BMW Pre-Owned. 

“Providing exceptional customer service is a priority for us and since our separation from new car to be the first and only standalone pre-owned dealership in Canada,” Zoppa continued. “Our sales have accelerated year over year. We’re honored to be recognized by our customers and look forward to continuing to provide them with top-of-the-line service.”

CarGurus invites shoppers to review and rate dealerships with whom they have interacted during their car shopping experience. Dealer ratings and reviews are visible to the public on the site, and they are also factored in the algorithm that CarGurus uses to rank search results for shoppers.

According to recent CarGurus poll, 78 percent of shoppers say they will not buy a vehicle from a dealership without first seeking out reviews of that dealer from other shoppers.

The Top Rated Dealer program can help dealers leverage CarGurus' trusted and verified consumer reviews and provide their customers with independent validation that they are getting a good deal from a great dealer.

“CarGurus is proud to recognize Canadian dealerships who are prioritizing exceptional customer service and earning excellent ratings from shoppers,” said Sam Zales, president of dealer operations at CarGurus.

“Dealers receiving the Top Rated Dealer Award demonstrate exemplary practice of what is most important to customers, such as prompt response to inquiries, a deeply knowledgeable staff and a stress-free, no pressure environment at the dealership,” Zales continued.

CarGurus also helps dealerships connect with customers through programs that provide additional brand exposure and drive customer leads with high ROI. More than 22,000 car dealerships in the U.S. currently partner with CarGurus on such programs.

Canadian dealers wishing to activate their inventory on CarGurus and learn more about other advertising programs should visit or call (855) 534-5411.

Toyota dominates Vincentric’s Best Value in Canada awards


Toyota Motor Corp. has won a total of nine Vincentric Best Value in Canada awards this year, including three for its luxury vehicle division Lexus.

Lexus received Vincentric’s brand award for best luxury SUVs and crossovers, in addition to model awards for best luxury hybrid, luxury compact SUV/crossover and luxury mid-size SUV/crossover.

Toyota’s non-luxury models took home Vincentric's subcompact, hybrid, mid-size SUV/crossover, large SUV/crossover and small pickup awards.

Following Toyota, Honda, Vincentric's second most awarded automaker this year, received the non-luxury SUV, crossover and van brand award and four model awards.

This year’s other brand award winners include Mazda, BMW and Ford. Each of the three brands claim brand awards for the second year in a row.

Vincentric Best Value in Canada 2017 Brand Award Winners

  • Passenger Car Brand: Mazda
  • Luxury Car Brand: BMW
  • SUVs, Crossovers & Vans Brand: Honda
  • Luxury SUVs & Crossovers Brand: Lexus
  • Truck Brand: Ford

“We saw numerous repeat winners this year,” Vincentric president David Wurster said in a news release. “When manufacturers measure and manage a vehicle’s total cost of ownership, they are able to consistently deliver high value to consumers year after year.”

Vincentric uses a statistical model and considers eight ownership cost factors: depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs.

“Each vehicle was evaluated in all 10 provinces the Northwest Territories using a range of annual kilometer intervals and insurance profiles,” the data provider explained.

For more information regarding all of this year’s Best Value in Canada award winners and Vincentric’s methodology, visit .

Mazda Canada awards its top performing dealerships


Mazda Canada recently named the recipients of its Dealer of Distinction award program, which recognizes dealers who have efficiently run all facets of their dealership's operations.

"The Dealer of Distinction award is one of the highest honors a Mazda Dealer can earn," Massey Kondo, Mazda Canada's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.  "Each of these 30 winning dealers have excelled in delivering outstanding customer experience and have demonstrated their strong commitment to the Mazda brand."

The evaluation process used to identify and enhance dealer’s operating efficiency according to Mazda Canada's strict guidelines has been in place since 1993.

Mazda Canada said it collects quantifiable data from all the aspects of a dealer's operations and evaluates them. Specific areas of operation include: sales, service, administration and facilities.

“The criteria required for a dealership hoping to earn the award is a continually moving target in order to challenge dealerships even after receiving the Dealer of Distinction designation.” Mazda Canada said.

Winning dealers will receive a commemorative award for display in their respective dealerships.

Mazda Canada is headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario and currently has a nationwide network of 165 dealerships.

The following dealerships listed are Mazda Canada's 2017 Dealer of Distinction award program recipients:

Courtenay Mazda, Courtney, BC

Destination Mazda Vancouver, Vancouver, BC

Metrotown Mazda, Burnaby, BC

Morrey Mazda of the Northshore, North Vancouver, BC

OpenRoad Mazda, Port Moody, BC

Pacific Mazda, Victoria, BC

Signature Mazda, Richmond, BC

VIP Mazda, Abbotsford, BC

West Coast Mazda, Pitt Meadows, BC

Wolfe Langley Mazda, Langley, BC

Kramer Mazda, Calgary, AB

Regina Mazda, Regina, SK

Highway Mazda, Steinbach, MB

Achilles Mazda of Milton, Milton, ON

Agincourt Mazda, Toronto

Carling Motors, Ottawa

Cobourg Mazda, Cobourg, ON

401Dixie Mazda, Mississauga, ON

Guelph City Mazda, Guelph, ON

Kanata Mazda, Kanata, ON

Kieswetter Motors Inc., Kitchener, ON

Leggat Mazda Burlington, Burlington, ON

Yorkdale Dufferin Mazda, Toronto

Baie Comeau Mazda, Baie Comeau, QC

Beauport Mazda, Beauport, QC

Dubé Mazda, Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Performe Mazda, Mont Laurier, QC

Sept-Îles Mazda, Sept-Îles, QC

Atlantic Mazda, Moncton, NB

Martin Mazda, Edmundston, NB

Women & Automotive panelists offer insight on auto industry, careers & car tech


AuSM Canada has done it again! After a year of industry growth, they’ve built an innovative conference full of leaders and experts ready to share their knowledge and experiences.

With the conference broken into three tracks this year — remarketing, retail and finance — dealers and associates will find it easier to navigate sessions.  

Personally, I’m most excited about sitting on a panel at the  on April 5. I recently connected with fellow panelists, Susan Gubasta (Mississauga Toyota) and Kim Miller (ADESA Toronto) to talk about the industry, career challenges and self-driving cars.

There is no doubt that change is constant, and something both women spoke to when asked what they like about our industry as a whole.

Susan Gubasta (SG): No two days, hours, minutes, weeks, months or years are the same.  It is constantly changing and morphing. Just when you think you have seen it all, something else happens and you think, “Wow, didn’t see that coming!”

Kim Miller (KM): Without a doubt, the relationships. Despite all the incredible technological advances, the industry is still sculpted and driven by an incredible group of professionals.  The automotive world is dynamic and fast-paced, which keeps me engaged in the constantly changing landscape.


With any career, I believe it’s natural when faced with challenges to question your path. I asked both women about their careers and challenges they’ve faced. Both women shared humble insights and advice.

SG: I’ve learned over time that we all have challenging periods in our lives and it is ok to question if what we are doing is right for us.  I learned to not beat myself up and allow myself the time to figure out the answer. There is always a solution and I learned how strong I can be and finally gave myself some credit.

KM: Challenging decisions are a reality, although it may seem cliché I truly believe the best decision are the ones where you are true to yourself. 


Self-driving cars, and technology is of course, a hot topic! It’s clear these women have a lot in common when I asked them what year they think they’ll buy their first self-driving car.

SG: That means I have to give control over to the car … Correct?  I love to drive, so once I get past that, I can’t see myself getting an autonomous vehicle for at least 10 years.  Maybe by then I will be tired of driving!

KM: For me…when I am unable to drive, until that time I enjoy driving too much.


Susan and Kim are great representatives for women in our industry. With recruitment continuing to be a challenge that we face, I’m holding an open casting call for all change-loving, self-loving, and drive-loving females out there!  

I have to agree with them both when it comes to our industry, career challenges and love for the open road. I can’t wait to meet and connect with more women and men in our industry at the and April 3-5! See you there!


Logan Keirstead is Accu-Trade Canada’s regional account director and an honoree in our Women & Automotive: Profiles in Leadership. She is also a speaker at that conference. Keirstead can be reached at [email protected] or

OpenRoad receives business award for growth, profitability & innovation

RICHMOND, British Columbia  - 

For the fifth year in a row, OpenRoad Auto Group announced that it has been honored with a Gold standard requalification as part of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program, which recognizes Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues above $15 million that demonstrate strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.

“It is a great honor to receive this prestigious gold standard designation once again,” Christian Chia, president and chief executive officer of OpenRoad, said in a news release. “It’s validating to be recognized for the continued efforts of our entire team to ensure that we remain one of the premier dealership groups in Canada.”

The Canada’s Best Managed Companies program has recognized successful businesses since it was established in 1993 and has become one of the country’s leading business awards programs, according to OpenRoad.

Award candidates were evaluated by an independent judging panel comprised of executives from Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums, according to OpenRoad

“It’s more than just financial performance,” Deloitte’s Peter Brown and co-leader of Canada’s Best Managed Companies said. “The ingredients to success also include overall business performance and sustained growth. It takes dedication and commitment from the entire organization.”

On April 19, recipients of Canada’s Best Managed Companies award will also be honored at the annual Canada’s Best Managed Companies gala in Toronto.

New dealership opens

In the past year, OpenRoad announced it opened three new dealerships and acquired Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce in Bellevue, Wash.

The new stores include OpenRoad Volkswagen, OpenRoad Audi Boundary and OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary.

The latter is a Hyundai store in downtown Vancouver  andis the newest addition to Hyundai's expanding Global Dealership Space Identity program (GDSI) that is being rolled-out throughout the country and globally, according to Openroad.

This store, in addition to OpenRoad Hyundai Richmond, are the first Hyundai dealerships in OpenRoad’s portfolio.

"We are pleased to bring the first GDSI Hyundai dealership and a landmark new facility that represents the maturing of the Hyundai brand to Vancouver," Christian Chia, dealer principal of OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary, said in a news release. "The entire OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary team worked exceptionally hard to open the doors and we're excited to be able to serve the Hyundai community at this incredible new state-of-the-art facility."

OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary, which is a $2 million and 30,000-square-foot facilities, has become one of the premiere automotive facilities in the region, according to the company.

"With the GDSI program, Hyundai dealers coast-to-coast are raising the benchmark for what a modern, welcoming dealership can be," Don Romano, president and chief executive officer for Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. said in a news release. "OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary is an immaculate facility that showcases the stylish, high-quality, well-equipped Hyundai vehicles in our line-up. I would like to congratulate the entire team at OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary for their successful opening."

Additionally, the new facility is dressed with a new vehicle showroom that displays 12 vehicles indoors, 18 bays to service customer vehicles along with a service drive-thru, car wash, and indoor vehicle delivery area.

Currently, OpenRoad said it has more than 900 associates and represents 17 brands at 20 full-service car dealerships.


Awards on tap at AR Canada, Women & Automotive

Beyond the educational sessions and networking with peers in the Canadian automotive space, one of the highlights of the and the  is our annual awards.

It’s the chance to recognize some of the many folks in the industry who are making an impact and continuing to emerge as leaders.

Here is a rundown of the awards and honorees that will be spotlighted during the AuSM Canada Conference luncheon and awards ceremony, which is at 11:30 a.m. on April 4.

— Executive of the Year, Presented by Canadian Black Book: Alan Bird, President and Chief Executive Leader, SCI Marketview

 “Alan is the perfect representation of the type of leader and innovator that our industry needs.  His ongoing passion for team building as a step toward growing successful businesses continues today to help make positive change in the automotive space,” said Brad Rome, president of Canadian Black Book.

— CPO Dealer of Year Presented by NCM Associates: Performance BMW

— Remarketing’s Under 40 (in alphabetical order by first name):

Alex Kinney, Volvo Cars New Brunswick/Fredericton Mitsubishi
Brian Long,
Claudio De Angelis, Foss National Leasing/LeasePlan Canada
Danny Lynn, AutoVIN
Doug MacIver, Ride Time
Esmond Park, ADESA Canada
Gerry Johnson, Manheim Canada
Heather Coy-Robinson, CARPROOF
Jeff Gallon, Dealertrack Canada
Joey Cappello, Autonum Capital Inc.
Karl Tremblay, TradeHelper
Karolina Strazewicz, Redline Auto Sales
Martin Douglas, TradeRev
Nevade Coombs, ADESA Canada
Nick George, Automotive Resources International
Nick Basile, LGM Financial Services
Nimalan Bala, Facebook
Patrick Huibers, Honda Canada Finance
Rosita Chakardan, Dilawrti Group of Cos./The Dilawri Foundation
Shim Mannan, White Clarke Group
Stephanie Mathon, Manheim Montreal
Stephanie Turner, Cox Automotive
Teresa Yeager, CARPROOF 

— Independent Dealer of the Year sponsored by DealerSocket: HGregoire

Meanwhile, the luncheon and awards ceremony at the Women & Automotive: Canadian Leadership Forum will take place at 11:45 a.m. on April 5.

During that session, we will recognize the 15 women highlighted in our Women & Automotive: Profiles in Leadership features.

Those honorees (in alphabetical order by first name) are:

Alba Henderson, Bickley Ford
Jill Hadfield, TRADER/
Julie Oliveira, Riverside Ford Sales
Karey Davidson, RSR Global
Kim Miller, ADESA Toronto
Leanne Kripp, Kijiji Autos
Liliane Dubois, Equifax Canada
Lisa Church, Honda Canada Finance
Logan Keirstead, Accu-Trade Canada
Lori Murtagh, SCI
Maria Soklis, Cox Automotive Canada
Michelle Mullins, Impact Auto Auctions
Mylène Pagé, CDK Global
Ruth McBride, Scotiabank
Susan Gubasta, Mississauga Toyota


Toronto auto service providers earn consumer experience driven award


Greater Toronto Area dealerships and other service providers in the automotive industry have been honored with the Consumer Choice Award (CCA), an honor spanning three decades designed to go to businesses consumers rate highly.

Toronto consumers were asked about their opinions, perceptions and expectations of service providers based on their experiences during visits last year.

CCA said it gathers responses of thousands of consumers and businesses across the GTA and its surrounding areas.

“All winners have gone through a rigorous selection process conducted by a third party research firm to ensure only the most outstanding service providers are the winners within their respective industry,” CCA said in a news release.

The award also recognizes the quality service delivered by providers of the business solutions, construction, health and home and lifestyle industries.

“This is the only organization in North America to recognize business excellence by conducting third party market research of both the consumer & business community with statistical accuracy. The research method determines all the service providers, ultimately selects the top ranked companies and establishes the winner within each industry,” CCA added.

For more information about the awards methodology visit the .

Below is a list of the Consumer Choice Award winners in the Automotive and Transportation industry category.

Bell Auto Inc.  

Bob Bannerman Chrysler Dodge Jeep                    

Birchmount Collision Inc.

Concord Trailer Rental         

Don Valley North Toyota Scion        

Hitch City

Lease Busters Inc.          

Lexus of Oakville      

Macgyver Autobody & Collision

Monster Plowing Company        

Oil Changers       

Ontario Truck Training Academy

Sunwing Airlines       

The Brimell Group     

Thorncrest Sherway Inc.

The Tire Butler          

Town + Country BMW

Subaru & Land Rover awarded best in residual value by ALG


ALG has named the winners of its 9th annual Canadian Residual Value Awards, where the Subaru and Land Rover were awarded honors for top Mainstream Brand and Premium Brand, respectively. ALG also named 27 vehicle segment winners. 

Recipients were chosen from 2017 model-year vehicles that have are forecasted to offer superior value in their segments.

Mainstream-brand winners are those expected to retain the highest percentage of MSRP after four years, and premium-brand winners are those project to retain the most after three years. 

“Residual values are a key indicator of the overall market success and health of a vehicle and brand,” Jim Nguyen, president of ALG said in a news release. “And with vehicle leasing on the rise, resale values have never been more important to both consumers and automakers.”

Subaru received the top mainstream brand award for the second year in a row.

The brand earned a total of four segment awards which include the Subaru Outback in the Midsize Utility - 2 Row segment.

“Consistent product execution and practical sales strategies have resulted in back-to-back Residual Value Award wins for Subaru among Mainstream Brands,” ALG said.

This is Land Rover’s third consecutive win. The top premium manufacturer, according to ALG, has been in high demand in both the new and used markets.

“Strong transaction prices on the new side enhances resale performance as consumers queue up for the sleek and modern new designs with the luxurious image that comes with it,” said ALG.

Additionally, among mainstream brands, Toyota earned six segment awards and Honda earned segment awards for four of its models.

Below is the full list of the 2017 Canadian RVA winners:

RVA Overall

Mainstream Brand: Subaru

Premium Brand: Land Rover


RVA Mainstream Segment

City Car: Nissan Micra

Subcompact Car:  Honda Fit

Compact Car: Subaru Impreza

Midsize Car: Honda Accord

Fullsize Car: Nissan Maxima

Sports Car: Subaru WRX

Alt-Fuel Vehicle: Toyota Prius V

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Subcompact Utility Vehicle: Subaru Crosstrek

Compact Utility Vehicle: Honda CR-V

Midsize Utility Vehicle - 2 Row: Subaru Outback

Midsize Utility Vehicle - 3 Row: Toyota Highlander

Fullsize Utility Vehicle: Toyota Sequoia

Off-Road Utility Vehicle: Toyota 4Runner

Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Fullsize Pickup: Toyota Tundra

Midsize Commercial Van: Ford Transit Connect

Fullsize Commercial Van: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Remarketing’s Under 40: Nominations end Wednesday

CARY, N.C. - 

From dealers and entrepreneurs, to auction executives and auto lending professionals — and everywhere in between — the Canadian auto industry is full of young men and women who have achieved massive success at an early age.

That’s why for the third consecutive year, AuSM Canada is honoring “Remarketing’s Under 40.”

And we are now accepting nominations for this year’s awards.

If you know a deserving colleague in the remarketing space who deserves this recognition, simply fill out Remarketing’s Under 40 nomination form.

Potential honorees could include but are not limited to the following fields of the Canadian auto business that impact the remarketing segment: auto auctions, dealers, lenders, technology providers, vendors, trade associations, automakers, governmental agencies, and more.

The nomination period for the awards program opens today and will close Wednesday Feb. 22.

Nominations can be made here

To be considered for the award, nominees must be under the age of 40 at time of nomination and currently work in the Canadian automotive business.

Those selected to receive the award will be recognized during a ceremony at the upcoming , in Toronto at the Westin Harbour Castle, scheduled for April 3-4.

Recipients will also be recognized in the March/April print edition of the AuSM Canada magazine, which is the on-site issue for the conference.

AR Canada’s editorial and conference teams will be following up with recipients regarding the print publication material and conference details. 


Mercedes-Benz Canada recognizes top dealerships


On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz Canada announced the recipients of its 2017 Star Dealer designation, the top ten performing dealers from its national dealer group.

The title recognizes the Mercedes-Benz dealerships who have excelled in the areas of new and pre-owned sales, service and parts during the year of 2016.

"Every dealership in our organization has worked extremely hard to help Mercedes-Benz Canada achieve our overall outstanding results in 2016, including being top luxury manufacturer for the third year in a row. There were however ten dealerships in particular that truly distinguished themselves and as such, we are delighted to award them the 2017 Star Dealer designation," Mercedes-Benz Canada president and chief executive officer Brian Fulton said in a news release. 

"I congratulate them, but more importantly wish to thank them for their role in being the Best of the Best. Not surprisingly, this year we put a more elaborate focus on the Customer Satisfaction component and I am delighted to say that these ten dealers most definitely rose to the challenge."

The annual program was first incepted in 1999.

The award-winning 2017 dealers (from East to West) are as follows:

Peter Santos - Mercedes-Benz Peterborough (Peterborough, Ontario)

Van Malkhassian - Mercedes-Benz Midtown (Toronto) and Mercedes-Benz Markham (Markham, Ontario)

Thomas Hiscox - Mercedes-Benz Thornhill (Thornhill, Ontario)                   

Ken Szekely - Mercedes-Benz Burlington (Burlington, Ontario)

Sylvester Chuang - Mercedes-Benz Oakville (Oakville, Ontario)

Brian Lowes - Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg (Winnipeg)

Perry Itzcovitch and Steven Itzcovitch - Mercedes-Benz Downtown Calgary (Calgary)

Ajay Dilawri - Mercedes-Benz Langley (Langley, British Columbia)

George Taubenfligel - Mercedes-Benz Surrey (Surrey, British Columbia)