January 9, 2002

Dying Japanese auto dealer association donates B2B web-site to Canadian dealer associations

Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Association of Japanese Automobile Dealers (CAJAD) which chose to dissolve after its funding was withdrawn by Japanese automakers is donating its sophisticated software for a B2B web portal to dealers. The Association previously tried to sell the web-site.

Prior to the decision to dissolve, CAJAD had built a powerful web portal as a mechanism through which auto dealers could exchange ideas, news, information and products and gain access to best of breed web services offered by suppliers. It was also designed to allow the association and its members to communicate with one another more efficiently.

Dick Buckley, President of CAJAD said in a letter to the other associations: “The heart of the effort was a conviction that a neighbourhood and marketplace of dealers on a site that they “owned”, would yield them more control of their business futures. The ability to band together would mean influence over the way the retail business operated and would allow dealers to stand strong in the face of solutions which others might try to force upon them.”

Brian Caldwell, CAJAD’s Executive Director said: “This project was perhaps ahead of the market, and the Board concluded after a significant effort that we weren’t positioned politically and financially to see it through. To get a critical mass of use by dealers will take some time. The other new car dealer associations, with their ongoing stability and direct access to a larger pool of dealers should be able to evolve something of great value to all dealers.”

CAJAD represented the interests of Japanese brand dealers in Canada since 1982. Its decision to close reflected changes in the structure, politics and market of the auto industry which made the maintenance of a common front impossible. Assets of the Association – other than the B2B programs – will be liquidated and divided amongst the members as quickly as possible.

Mr. Buckley said: “The CAJAD Board hopes that these associations will choose to build upon our B2B concept; there is a real opportunity to strengthen the entire auto retail industry”.

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