Auto Service World
News   October 15, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Battered by the economy, CIAA restructuring under AIA umbrella

AIA president J.F. Champagne and Linda Donnini, AIA’s vice president of member relations, in a Facebook Live session, discussing CIAA’s new association with AIA.

The Canadian Independent Automotive Association, representing about 50 repair shops in Alberta, is undergoing a significant restructuring.

CIAA president Wayne Paulsen, owner of Kingsgate Automotive in Edmonton, said the details should be ironed out by the new year.

“I suspect, from what we’ve discussed there will be a lot of streamlining,” Paulsen said. “We won’t need a big board anymore.”

He said economic conditions had shrunk CIAA’s rolls and had frustrated their plans.

“We were existing, but what good is that for the members if we can’t do anything for them? You can’t change the world if you don’t have the resources.”

The association recently approached the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA) to discuss closer ties and shared resources.

AIA, which has launched an automotive service associate program (ASAP), accepted CIAA’s members as program participants, and heralded “a great new partnership” between the two associations.

“Continuing its ongoing efforts to strengthen the voice of automotive service providers across the country on both a provincial and national level, AIA Canada will offer CIAA members a broader platform to address the issues facing the automotive aftermarket,” said AIA president J.F. Champagne.

In a Facebook Live video, Champagne said the partnership will enable CIAA members to have a national voice and will give AIA Canada greater engagement in the province of Alberta.

“For us it is good to be better connected to automotive service providers, and getting a better understanding of their issues.”

One thing that remains to be clarified is the role that Sean Corcelli, a former Uni-Select executive and currently AIA’s director for western provinces, will take in the new CIAA. Champagne has suggested he could be the association’s point man on CIAA.

Formed in 2004, the CIAA made its mission to change the image of the industry while creating a sustainable aftermarket sector. Its objective was to encourage, support, and promote the advancement of its members, who are independent automotive repair businesses based primarily in Alberta.

“We’ve had our victories,” said Paulsen. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. We’re heading into a new chapter now.”


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