Hiring and Promotions

AutoCanada names new president, SVP resigns


Following a few moves on its board of directors this spring and into early summer, AutoCanada announced on Tuesday the appointment of Michael Rawluk as group president, as well as the resignation of senior vice president and chief operations officer Mark Warsaba. 

AutoCanda said that it thanks Warsaba for his years of service. 

Rawluk joins the group, following his most recent role as chief operating officer of Birchwood Automotive Group's 22 dealerships in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“We are very excited to have Michael join AutoCanada,” group president and chief executive officer Steven Landry said in a news release announcing Rawluk’s appointment. “Michael's unique operational experience and skill-set will be invaluable as we work towards fully integrating our stores to unlock the value within each store as well as that associated with our scale.”

In his new role, Rawluk will head AutoCanada dealership operations, in addition to other related business intelligence, marketing and human resources functions, according to the group.

“We are delighted to welcome Michael to AutoCanada,” AutoCanada board chairman Paul Antony said in a news release.

“AutoCanada has rapidly grown since its founding, and we will continue to selectively acquire stores that fit our criteria for excellent performance and enable us to further diversify our brand portfolio and geographic reach. However, the company has yet to attain its goals for superior operational performance and Michael will help us build out the operational muscle within AutoCanada.

“We look forward to seeing Michael's proven track record in managing a large and diversified group of dealerships translate into operational excellence for AutoCanada,”  said Antony, the former CARPROOF CEO who was named AutoCanada board chair last month.

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ADESA Canada appoints new dealer sales VP

CARMEL, Ind. - 

A new vice president is now in charge of implementing the ADESA Canada dealer sales strategy, ADESA, a business unit of KAR Auction Services, announced Wednesday.

The company has chosen Steve Langdon, who has already spent 15 years at KAR, to serve as ADESA Canada VP of dealer sales.

Langdon was most recently senior director of business development at ADESA and OPENLANE. In addition to discovering new growth opportunities, in that role he was responsible for fully integrating additional ADESA services into new and subsisting business relationships such as ADESA Data as a Service.

“We didn’t have to search far to find our new leader of dealer sales at ADESA Canada. Steve Langdon started with the KAR family 15 years ago and has more than 20 years of automotive industry experience,” ADESA Canada chief operating officer Trevor Henderson said in a news release.

Furthermore, Langdon brings sales team leadership skills, as well as expertise in digital channels that can help further advance KAR integrated digital, mobile and physical auction services ADESA online and TradeRev. 

“He brings a strong background in new auction technologies, a wealth of industry knowledge and many very strong relationships throughout the industry that will result in a smooth transition for our customers,” Henderson added.

Additionally, ADESA said Langdon has also grasped extensive bilingual skills that can be instrumental when connecting with sales teams throughout Canada in his new role.

Prior to joining KAR, Langdon was as a bilingual service adviser with Groupe Samatas at Excel Honda in Montreal.

CADA survey finds top jobs Canadian auto dealers need filled


Within the next 12 months, Canadian automotive dealers say that they mostly need to fill positions in service, sales and leasing, and just about 45 percent plan to fill six to 20 positions, according to a nationwide survey.

Just about 84 percent of Canadian dealers told the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) that they are looking to hire service technicians, in a survey on dealership human resource demands and hiring projections associated with the new Auto Career Start program recently launched by CADA.

According to CADA, 70.5 percent of the same group of dealers revealed that they’ll be hiring for sales and leasing positions, and dealers also shared the need to fill positions in management, parts and service, administration, accounting, marketing, IT, finance and HR, as well.

“The survey reveals what we have been hearing anecdotally: that dealers across Canada will need to fill a variety of positions over the next several years, and in some cases, the need is already critical,” CADA marketing specialist Astrid Mauger said in a news release. “Dealers across Canada are actively looking to hire and will be continuing to hire in large numbers in the foreseeable future.

“Our message is clear: Whether you are a recent graduate or have previous work experience, consider applying for a position at an auto dealership – a workplace which offers stable, well-paying jobs and in need of fresh talent to meet its growing business opportunities,” Mauger continued.

Along with the survey results illustrating that 44.7 percent of dealers plan on hiring six to 20 Canadians within the next 12 months, of the dealers surveyed, 99.5 percent plan to fill at least one to six positions, and close to five percent plan on filling more than 20 positions throughout the next year.

Additionally, in conjunction with the recent launch of its nationwide Auto Career Start program, CADA also recently introduced a new online platform that lists hundreds of jobs and auto career resources at what is recognized as the largest outdoor, student-run auto show in Canada.

CADA officially introduced its Auto Career Start program’s website, which is designed to specifically target millennials, women, new Canadians and military veterans, at The Georgian Auto Show, according to the association.

“Dealers are enjoying unprecedented growth and have the jobs to offer," Mauger explained. "Auto Career Start will now provide a much-needed auto career platform. The secret is out: Dealers are hiring – so come learn more!”  

CADA said that the program is designed to promote varying positions open at more than 3,000 new car and truck dealerships throughout Canada.

“The auto sector is experiencing tremendous growth, and as a result, dealers across Canada are in immediate need of new talent to fill a variety of full-time positions – related to marketing, administration, IT, sales, parts, service and management,” said Mauger.

“Our market research, as well as nationwide anecdotal evidence, suggests that qualified job seekers are not aware of the great career opportunities that exist at auto dealerships. We now have a national plan to change that perception, and we look forward to using dynamic marketing methods to connect eager job seekers with quality employers.”

In addition to The Georgian Auto Show, as part of the Auto Career Start program launch from Sunday to Thursday, CADA supported the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) held in Edmonton, Alberta as its official Youth Engagement Partner.

“The goal of this unique national event is to raise awareness about the skilled trade and technology sectors for Canadian youth and their influencers,” said Mauger. “And this mandate is directly in line with Auto Career Start's objectives, as we create awareness amongst Canada's future workforce about the amazing and varied career opportunities that exist at auto dealerships.”

More than 500 students and apprentices at SCNC competed to become champion in their respective discipline to obtain a place on WorldSkills Team Canada, according to CADA.

The association explained that students can compete in one of 44 skill areas, including several that relate to positions at auto dealerships in marketing, administration, IT, sales, parts, service and management.

IARA names Eric Janca as new Canada Committee co-chair


The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance announced this week a new Canada Committee co-chair.

Chosen for the IARA Canada position is Eric Janca, lease maturity and remarketing manager at SCI Lease Corp.

Janca was also a speaker at the earlier this week in Toronto, and offered analysis on insights and intel impacting the remarketing and pre-owned industry today.

Janca said of the IARA Canada news, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as the Canadian Committee co-chair.  Remarketing has always been a passion that has inspired my career. I am looking forward to helping grow and support the IARA during my tenure.”

In this position, Janca will be taking the place of John Paonessa, vice president of remarketing solutions at GM Financial, as he steps down from his co-chair responsibilities.

IARA Canada shared that Paonessa will remain on the IARA board of directors.

“John has been in the co-chair seat for numerous years and has decided that it is now the right time to step back and hand over [the position] responsibilities of the Canadian co-chair lead to another consignor,” said Richard Pasta, national manager strategic accounts at CarProof.

Pasta also currently serves as a Canadian Committee co-chair, and will remain in the position for the foreseeable future.

“There have been a lot of changes that have happened with the IARA Canadian Committee and the subcommittee Leads. We’ve have also seen a restructuring and resurgence of the subcommittees with a lot of great talented people being engaged, and I am excited on the direction the IARA is heading in Canada,” said Paonessa.

In addition to the announcement of a new co-chair, the IARA Canadian Committee also shared that Lori Murtagh, chief risk officer at SCI Ltd.,  will take on the newly appointed second Canadian seat on the IARA board of directors.

Murtagh was also honored at the 2017 Women & Automotive Canada Leadership Forum as a Profiles in Leadership honoree. 


Kijiji Canada names new national head of auto sales


Kijiji Canada recently announced that it has appointed Darryl Hilton to serve as the national head of automotive sales.

Hilton brings 20 years of experience from both the supplier and retail sides of the automotive industry, and he has also specialized in the management of pre-owned programs, the company said.

Most recently, he served as national manager of pre-owned and fleet at Infiniti Canada, where he lead the development and implementation strategy for the launch of the new certified Infiniti program.

“When looking to select someone for this role and join my leadership team, Darryl stood out as an exemplary choice thanks to his industry reputation, passions for autos and years of proven expertise,” Kijiji head of automotive Leanne Kripp said in a news release announcing Hilton’s appointment. “We’re thrilled to have him lead our amazing sales team and have his energy and fresh thinking extend to Canadian dealers’ coast to coast. With his help, the Kijiji Autos team will be able to deliver on our commitment to strengthening connections with our dealers and their consumers better than ever through more integrated product, marketing and sales offerings, ultimately benefiting our greater Kijiji user base.”

In his new role, the company said Hilton will be instrumental in both the internal and external growth of the Kijiji autos team across Canada.

“I’m excited for the challenge this new role will bring, and the leadership focus it will allow me to take within the existing Kijiji Autos team,” Hilton said. “Together, we’ll help build simple but effective sales solutions to improve Kijiji’s business offering and the overall customer experience. I’m excited to work with such a strong and motivated team as we take Kijiji in this new direction, and continue to build meaningful, effective relationships with dealers and our partners,” he continued.

In addition to leading the development of the company’s expanding sales team, Hilton will also serve as a trusted partner to dealers by helping them gain market exposure, generate high-quality leads and deliver on strong returns on investments, according to Kijiji.

Kijiji, which is a sponsor at the upcoming , will be featured in a workshop at the event. Rachel Lee, head of B2B marketing for the company, and Jennifer Gausby of BrandSpark International are presenting a workshop on 

AMVIC announces new CEO


The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council board of directors announced Wednesday that Malcolm Knox has been named as the organization’s chief executive officer, effective Jan. 29.  

AMVIC said Knox is both a highly organized strategic thinker and analytical problem solver with experience in the private and public sectors.

“Mr. Knox has extensive qualifications and executive experience, with a proven track record managing change in regulated business environments,” AMVIC board of directors chair Bill Burnett said in a news release announcing Knox’s appointment. “We are excited Malcolm has agreed to join us as AMVIC continues to emphasize consumer protection while implementing changes to the automotive industry through the Consumer Protection Act (formerly the Fair Trading Act) and associated regulations.”

Additionally, Knox brings strategic leadership, along with effective operation of administrative systems and structures that support AMVIC's mission, AMVIC said.

“AMVIC's priority is consumer protection and having experienced leadership allows AMVIC to focus on a fair and even playing field for Alberta's automotive industry. Malcolm's direction will further strengthen the organization by educating consumers on their rights,” added AMVIC’s interim CEO Doug Lagore.

 AMVIC named Lagore interim CEO back in December of 2016.

The organization said Lagore would serve as CEO and director of fair trading until AMVIC appointed a registrar.

The organization hired for the positions of registrar, human resources manager and legal counsel in October, following recommendations outlined in the commissioned by Service Alberta.

Brenda Chomey was appointed to the newly created position of AMVIC registrar.

Mercedes-Benz Canada appoints Muller to oversee all Toronto, Vancouver stores


Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Wednesday that this year each of its 11 corporate stores will now report to the newly appointed vice president of corporate retail — Robert Muller.

Previously, the company’s seven Toronto Retail Group (TRG) and four Vancouver Retail Group (VRG) locations were managed separately.

In December, Mercedes-Benz Canada announced that Muller would succeed Philipp von Witzendorff as TRG vice president, but under the company’s new leadership structure his responsibilities have expanded to overseeing VRG as well.

The company said Muller will be based in Toronto but will travel to Vancouver frequently in his new role.

The company structure change follows a comprehensive review of Mercedes-Benz Canada, which examined the organizational structure of its retail stores.

“We take pride in being proactive in all areas of our business — whether anticipating our customers' needs or identifying new opportunities where we can excel,” Mercedes-Benz Canada president and chief executive officer Brian Fulton said in a news release. “We are committed to driving organizational change from a position of strength, which is why this was an excellent time for us to take this next step toward making an already strong retail organization even better.”

In addition to streamlining processes, the company’s new leadership structure will also foster a more consistent overall customer experience across its two key markets, according to Mercedes-Benz Canada.

“I look forward to working closely with our Canadian own retail management team in Toronto and Vancouver. Together, we'll identify opportunities to maintain our leadership position, engage our staff and, most importantly, continue to exceed our customers' expectations,” said Muller. “It is exciting to be leading this new chapter for Mercedes-Benz Canada's corporate stores. I am confident that the new structure will make our own retail organization even stronger.”

Muller joined Mercedes-Benz Canada in 2006 when he was brought in to serve as a service manager at the Mercedes-Benz Maple dealership.

New Audi Canada president comes aboard in January

AJAX, Ontario - 

When 2018 begins, a new leader will be at the helm of Audi Canada.

The automaker announced on Tuesday that Giorgio Delucchi will be joining Audi Canada as president on Jan. 8, succeeding Daniel Weissland, who has been promoted to managing director of Volkswagen Group Canada. Delucchi is presently the sales director for Latin America and based in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Audi highlighted that Delucchi has held increasingly progressive roles in service, aftersales and sales for the company.

Presently Delucchi has been serving as the sales director for Latin America since June 2014. He has been accountable for the overall performance of 30 markets in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Mexico.

In his second year, Audi Latin America achieved 15-percent sales growth, reaching the premium No. 1 position in the region with respect to sales, as well as customer and dealer satisfaction for the first time ever. 

Policaro Automotive Family names Francesco Policaro CEO

OAKVILLE, Ontario - 

The Policaro Automotive Family announced the appointment of Francesco Policaro as the company's new chief executive officer Wednesday.

Francesco brings over 20 years of experience with the company to his new role.

Francesco began his career as a part-time vehicle detailer at the age of 11 and has since held positions such as parts adviser, service adviser, parts delivery driver, pre-owned sales consultant and new-vehicle sales consultant, according to the Policaro Automotive Family.

“It is truly an honour for me to be entrusted with our family business,” Francesco said in a news release announcing his appointment. “Our new structure will allow for our organization to move forward with renewed purpose. It is an exciting time for our company with new dealership openings, construction projects and imminent launches of new and diversified businesses. I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

In 2002, Francesco transitioned to Northwest Lexus to serve as general sales manager where he oversaw the design and construction of the new retail operation and its launch.

After completing the NADA Dealer Succession Program, Francesco was named general manager of Northwest Lexus in 2005. While there, he led the dealership to its first of three consecutive Award of Excellence designations.

In 2011, Francesco left to open Porsche Centre Oakville, where he was once again responsible for the construction and organization of the new dealership.

The Policaro Automotive Family currently operates seven franchises carrying seven brands including Acura; BMW; Harley-Davidson; Honda; Lexus; Porsche and Toyota.

ADESA Canada promotes 2 to VP roles

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Monday that it has promoted Eddy Cusan to vice president of commercial sales and Wesley Kent to the newly created position of vice president of programs and operations for ADESA Canada.

In 2007, Cusan started as a program director at the Internet-based business-to-business automotive remarketing company OPENLANE, which KAR Auction Services acquired in 2011. He was responsible for leading several North American private label programs and transitioned into an executive sales role for ADESA following the acquisition.

Since 2015, Cusan has taken on additional responsibilities concerning sales team leadership and the comprehensive sales strategy for KAR entities in Canada.

In his new role, Cusan will oversee the executive sales team that manages ADESA Canada commercial client relationships and sales efforts.

“As the automotive industry evolves, we are focused on delivering broader benefits to our client base,” ADESA Canada chief operating officer Trevor Henderson said in a news release. “Eddy has a proven track record of working with our clients to identify and implement end-to-end remarketing solutions using our entire suite of advanced products and offerings while elevating the customer experience with superior analytics and service.

“Wesley led the team responsible for launching DealerBlock and LiveBlock and bringing upstream private label platforms to market for ADESA commercial clients. Their leadership will be invaluable as ADESA Canada continues to improve the customer experience,” he went on to say.

Kent started at ADESA Halifax where he served as an online coordinator in 1999. He moved to the ADESA Canada corporate office in 2001 to join its eBusiness team.

In 2012, he was promoted to senior director of online operations to oversee ADESA Canada’s internet remarketing initiatives, which included the integration of OPENLANE.

As ADESA Canada vice president of programs and operations, Kent is responsible for enhancing the customer experience across the ADESA Canada platform with technology and service improvements, according to ADESA.