The August 2018 issue of Canadian AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of Canadian AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
How much our world has changed in the past few months. Not too long ago, we thought the biggest uncertainty, in terms of the auto industry, would be NAFTA. Today, with talks of tariffs, the uncertainty is growing exponentially.
Tariffs are such a real concern that you’ll find a number of our columnists and writers focusing on the subject in this issue of Canadian AutoJournal, and you can rest assured we’ll be keeping an eye on the subject moving forward.
With the U.S. and Canada so closely knit in terms of trade, especially when it comes to the auto industry, you can’t help but wonder what kind of impact tariffs will have on the manufacturing sector, dealerships, and all other businesses related to our industry.
And when you look at it from an even broader perspective, if these tariffs lead to layoffs and job losses (a foregone conclusion), both in our industry and others, what kind of economic impact will that have on the Canadian economy in general? Are we talking recession? Worse?
The great “tsunami”
John White, President & CEO of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) used the word “tsunami” to describe the economic fallout we would suffer if the Americans were to impose the double-digit tariffs they’re talking about. That’s a stark picture of the future. Hopefully one that won’t be realized.
In the meantime, what can we do to prepare? How does one plan for a tsunami? Preparing for a rain storm or even a flood is one thing, but a tsunami is one of those cataclysmic events that’s hard to put contingency plans in place for.
Fortunately, most of the experts I have heard addressing the possibility of double-digit tariffs are finding it hard to believe that we would ever see those kinds of tariffs come to fruition. The opinion seems to be that both sides understand how double-digit tariffs would impact both economies. Neither the Canadian nor the American economies exist in a bubble. Hit one, and you impact the other.
Prepare for the worst?
While no one wants to think about the worst case scenario, we should all prepare for it. What that means in your business is up to you. Is this the time to stock up on certain parts, supplies, vehicles, etc.? Is it time to cut back on hiring? Is it time to get out of the business altogether? Or is this the time to hunker down, calculate what resources you have at your disposal, and get ready to weather the storm, determined to come out on the other side stronger and more resilient?
Like it or not, the ball is now in each of our courts, so to speak. Let’s hope for the best, while we prepare for the worst.