Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

New Car Dealers Association of BC appoints first female board chair

Electric vehicle sales targets, new luxury car tax threshold top new board’s advocacy list
Ann-Marie Clark, owner of two car dealerships on Vancouver Island, has been appointed as chairwoman of the New Car Dealers Association of BC

The New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA) late last month announced the appointment of its new board of directors — and the industry association’s first female board chair in 30 years.

Ann-Marie Clark, owner of two car dealerships on Vancouver Island, has served as the organization’s deputy board chair since last September when the previous chair stepped down.

“The New Car Dealers Association plays a big part in what I do for a living, so first and foremost, I’m honoured,” said Clark.

“I’m no stranger to being part of a male-dominated industry. I’ve been in the car business all my life so being the only girl at the table is something I’m used to. Hopefully, I can make a difference to add a little bit of a different perspective.”

Clark said one of the biggest compliments she has received is that she is the type of leader that brings people together and to find a shared solution. She will lead the NCDA’s board as the organization advocates for its membership of more than 400 new car and truck dealers in B.C. ahead of many changes for the industry.

The top priority for the NCDA is to ask the province to review the electric vehicle sales targets established by the province’s CleanBC roadmap, said Clark. The CleanBC framework requires that by 2030, 90 per cent of all new, light-duty vehicles sold in B.C. are zero-emission vehicles. That threshold rises to 100 per cent by 2035.

“The challenge right now is all the people that were early adopters and knew they wanted to go to an electric vehicle, they’re kind of all taken care of now, and it’s taking a little bit of time for the general population to feel that comfort,” she said.

Many car owners have concerns around the higher prices of electric vehicles, their battery life, and the availability of charging facilities, and it can be challenging for people living in Northern B.C. or rural areas to use electric vehicles to meet their daily needs, according to Clark.

She said putting penalties on manufacturers if they don’t hit these zero-emission vehicle targets could result in them reducing the number of total vehicles they bring into the province, driving up prices.

“Making it more flexible and taking the timeframe out a little bit is going to be one of our biggest conversations with the government that's setting these arbitrary targets,” said Clark.

“They all sound well and good, but … there are so many things on the table that we need to have more conversations around.”

The NCDA will also focus on advocacy efforts around B.C.’s luxury vehicle tax, which kicks in on vehicles priced at $55,000. Clark said it has not been adjusted for inflation and the overall cost of new vehicles.

In B.C., vehicles sold for less than $55,000 will be charged a five-per-cent federal goods and services tax and a seven-per-cent provincial sales tax (PST). The PST rate increases to as much as 20 per cent for a vehicle with a purchase price of more than $150,000.

“An average price of a vehicle is about $66,000 … so here you’ve got young families that want to get a new vehicle to protect their family and they’re not buying a luxury vehicle. It’s a real issue,” said Clark.

Having worked in the motor dealer industry for more than 30 years, Clark said the industry has gone through many changes. It now has more female professionals, better transparency and regulations, and more advanced technologies — but the core of the business has stayed the same.

“It’s still always about people, about getting someone into driving something that they love,” she said.

“It’s never dull. Every service transaction or sales transaction is different; every guest that walks in our door is different. It’s fun to help someone get into a new vehicle or new-to-them vehicle, and it’s rewarding when someone’s got a problem with their vehicle and we can fix it for them.”

[email protected]