From June 12 to June 14, 2023, Toronto became the automotive industry hub as it hosted Canada’s Used Car Week. This highly anticipated gathering brought together industry experts, dealers, and enthusiasts to explore the latest trends, technologies, and opportunities in the used car market. With a lineup of workshops, seminars, and networking events, the event offered invaluable insights and experiences for attendees.
This year’s event showcased the diversity, quality and availability of pre-owned vehicles in Canada. From informative seminars on the post-pandemic used vehicle gap and the rising use of AI to workshops on sharpening your sales staff’s closing techniques, Canada’s Used Car Week provided a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities. As an industry leader in data-oriented dealer marketing, Leadbox was there to experience, learn and network with other industry heavy hitters. We asked some of our Leadbox team who attended their key takeaways.
Ian Cruickshank – President and CEO, Leadbox
Ian was a presenter at CUCW this June, helping Dealers learn more about increasing their Dealership’s front-end, back-end, and fixed ops profits using 1st party data to understand their customers better. Here is what he had to say about this years CUCW event.
“The second year back from our pandemic hiatus was a great one. The new location was a positive change based on the survey of those who attended my session.
I was happy to have been invited to share the Leadbox perspective on 1st Party Data and Customer Data Platforms. Dealerships can benefit from a 360-degree view of their customers in so many different ways. Many people focus on marketing communications improvements, which are significant. But, I’m getting increasingly excited about the operational benefits – like increasing profits on the front and back end of your sales. Feel free to take a look at the deck here, and if you have any questions – send me a note.
With a busy show floor, I didn’t get to sit in on many other sessions. However, I was able to take in a super fun session on AI from AutoZen CEO, Olivier Vincent. Always a great speaker, Olivier shared his thoughts on the explosion of AI and its potential to help Dealers increase their operational efficiency. My personal favourite was the mention of “AI Hallucinations.” Hallucinations are the instances that AI (Large Language or Image based) will fill in gaps in their knowledge with very convincing discrepancies or errors. So be careful – not everything Chat GPT says is true. It’s up to you to call BS.
The last stop for me was the Women in Automotive recognition event. As always, Bill Zadeits, Jessica Johnson and the whole AutoRemarketing team did a fantastic job. But the best part was sharing the luncheon with our wonderful head of digital advertising, Isabelle Lavallée.”
Nicholas Bazinet – Director, Digital Operations, Leadbox
“My biggest takeaway from Used Car Week is the industry’s overall acceptance of AI, albeit some have expressed concerns about whether or not it can be trained to be compliant with the governing bodies that oversee motor vehicle sales. i.e. OMVIC.
Otherwise, my favourite part of going to events like these is the overall camaraderie and optimism of Dealers and vendors alike.”
Randy Leal – Sr. Director of Sales, Leadbox
“I had 2 big takeaways from the show. The first is exactly what Nick said, I was literally blown away by the overall acceptance of AI technologies in the industry. As someone who has spent my entire career in the automotive industry, it’s been my experience that new and unknown technologies often take some time to be accepted by dealers. In this case, not only did dealers seem very accepting of the advent of AI in the industry, but they all seemed very excited about what it might bring in the future.
The second takeaway for me was that dealers seemed to be more interested in the importance of merchandising than ever before. They recognize that inventory is normalizing and that good photos, descriptions, and videos are the key to standing out.
When it comes to my favourite part of the show, other than hanging with the team, it had to be the Women in Automotive Awards hands down. I absolutely love seeing more and more women seeing the auto industry for the incredible career that it can be. The speech by Kathy Gilbert was inspiring and had me thinking about how I can do more to make the industry a more welcoming and enjoyable place for women.”
Overall, Canada’s Used Car Week 2023 in Toronto was a resounding success showcasing the vibrancy and potential of the pre-owned vehicle market in Canada. Bringing together industry experts and enthusiasts to explore the dynamic used car market, attendees left the event with actionable insights, new connections, and a renewed sense of enthusiasm to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the used car industry. Canada’s Used Car Week remains a must-attend event for anyone passionate about the automotive industry and Canada’s thriving used car market. Leadbox can’t wait to attend next year!
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