The Board of Directors and members of the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA) met in Toronto on January 23, 2019 to hold it’s annual general meeting and to engage in a strategic planning workshop intended to start the process of more clearly defining the future of the association. Since 1947, the NATA has represented the needs of the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada. The associationis also one of four signatories to the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS), an agreement between industry and automobile manufacturer associations developed as a voluntary agreement in Canada to ensure Canadian technicians have access to vehicle repair information and training on the same level as automotive dealers.
Earlier the same day,two NATA directors appointed to the CASIS Task Force met with the rest of the Task Force members to review activities and issues specific to their CASIS responsibilities. NATA was pleased to reinforce its commitment to the CASIS agreement and to work with its partners on the Task Force to continue to ensure access to vehicle repair and security based information. A separate communication from the CASIS Task Force will provide further information about their meeting.
Prior to the NATA meeting,the association sent invitations to all provincial automotive associations to participate and Mr. Dale Finch, from the Western Canadian Automotive Business Association (WCABA) accepted. NATA is encouraged by responses from other associations who have indicated that although they were unavailable forthe meeting, they would like to continue discussing possible engagement with the association. With an expanded membership to include WCABA, and with the assistance of an independent facilitator, the NATA reviewed its mandate and considered the future of the association in light of the expected needs of the industry that the association is well suited to deliver. A new mission statement was drafted along with significant progress on a new strategic direction. The details of the plan are still under development and the NATA Board of Directors lookforward to communicating the outcomes of its planning in the coming months.
The members of NATA are excited about the progress that is being made and feel the direction the association istaking will ensure that its provincial partners and, ultimately, the thousands of valued technicians in this country have effective support and advocates representing them at the national level.
“The role of NATA in recent years has been to ensure that there is fairness and equity in the automotive repair industry so that the aftermarket’s ability to compete is not hampered when it comes to access to vehicle repair information and training,” said newly-elected NATA president, Ronald Tremblay, an independent mechanical repair shop owner from B.C. "We are encouraged by our relationship with manufacturer associations and I am confident that the needs of technicians is in good hands through the CASIS Agreement. With respect to the future direction of NATA, there is a very committed and experienced group of professional industry experts who take their role in support of industry very seriously. I look forward to working with my fellow NATA directors and members to bring strategic focus to the Association and to engaging other provincial associations in this important work.”