On January 23, the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO) held its annual general meeting (AGM).
Traditionally, a physical meeting takes place alongside an Expo and trade show event which provides members of the aftermarket to view new products and solutions, receive education through workshops and network.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this year’s event was delivered in a virtual setting. A key announcement was the appointment of Eric Mileham of Green Tree Automotive in Orangeville, Ont., to the position of President, replacing Rudy Graf of Graf Automotive.
Additionally, the following members running for a two-year term were also elected to seven positions on the AARO Board of Directors. These were:
- Mike Adema of Jake’s Auto Service in Georgetown, Ont.
- Rick Callaghan of Callaghan Motors in Beaverton, Ont.
- Darryl Croft of OK Tire & Auto Service in Etobicoke, Ont.
- Tamara Ghosn of Roy Rump & Sons in Ottawa, Ont.
- Mark Lemay of Auto Aide Technical Services in Barrie, Ont.
- Nick Mastromarco of Cooksville Auto Service, Mississauga, Ont.
- James Shields, of Tommy’s Motors in London, Ont.
Besides the new president and board announcements, along with financial and legislative updates, including the incoming changes to Ministry of Ontario vehicle emissions standards, the event also provided two key topics of interest on industry matters.
Managing hazardous materials
One concerned the importance of correctly storing hazardous materials, including gasoline and service repair facilities. Tyler Sayers and Mauro Di Tullio from Federated Insurance provided insight into the classification of combustible and flammable liquids, the types of containers they need to be stored in, the range of vapour concentration for gasoline and how to label and store these substances, including using cabinets and storage rooms as well as suitable underwriting policies to protect the business.
Donny Seyfer from NASTF also provided an update on EPA/CARB regulations pertaining automotive emissions standards and that there seems to be a major lack of information available regarding what standards actually are. Seyfer said that while some resources point to to the fact that emissions regulations in both Canada and the U.S are harmonized (meaning they’re essentially the same, finding detailed information from the EPA, CARB as well as Transport Canada is extremely difficult with many website links either not updated or no longer valid.
Finding repair information
Additionally, it is often very difficult for automotive technicians to find Diagnostic Trouble Code information related to specific vehicles from the OEMs, since it either isn’t available or if it is there, is no formal or consistent way to provide the data or information required. Needless to say, this is an ongoing and serious problem for the aftermarket and is something Autosphere will be diving into further at a later date.