Globe and Mail: Auto-dealership jobs not on millennials' radar: survey

March 7, 2018

Canadian automobile dealers are launching a national recruiting campaign next month after a poll suggested that millennials aren't keen to pursue careers in a sector that has seen vehicle sales reach a record high.

"There's a lot of young Canadians...(for whom) it's not even on their radar," said Catherine Fortin Lefaivre, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.

She said research and anecdotal evidence suggests there's a perception that auto-dealership work is mainly about sales and parts.

"The car dealership of 2018 is one that requires a lot more business people, a lot more marketing people, people with a background in innovation increasingly as the way cars are built is changing," she said in an interview.

Opportunities are also available in finance, IT and management roles at more than 3,200 car and truck dealerships across the country that employ 150,000 people.

An Abacus Data survey released during the Montreal International Auto Show found that working in an auto dealership isn't on the radar for 68 per cent of people aged 18 to 37.

One quarter of the people surveyed said they have considered working in various capacities in an auto dealership, while seven per cent said they have worked in a dealership.

Men were more interested in such careers than women.

In addition to millennials, the association plans to target women, immigrants and veterans over the next three years.

Light vehicle sales exceeded two million for the first time last year, pushing revenues to above $120 billion. Strong sales are expected to continue.

The online survey of 2,000 millennials was conducted Dec. 22 to Jan. 8. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is considered accurate plus or minus 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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