Christian Chia awarded CADA Laureate for 2012 Innovator of the Year.

Markham, ON, 2012

Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) Chairman Al MacPhee has announced that Christian Chia of OpenRoad Auto Group in Richmond, BC has won the CADA Laureate dealer recognition award for 2012 in the category of Business Innovation.

The Laureate award is considered to be the highest honour a new car and truck dealer can receive over the course of his or her career. “It’s a true industry award,” said MacPhee. “Hundreds of nominations are received from industry stakeholders across Canada – from fellow dealers, industry suppliers and automobile manufacturers. But only three dealers win the Laureate award each year, from among more than 3,200 dealers in Canada. So it’s an exceptionally exclusive and prestigious honour.”

CADA’s partner in the Laureate program, Alnoor Jiwani, Senior Vice-President, Industrial Alliance – SAL Group, observed that “Christian Chia is taking auto retailing to a higher level. The list of innovations implemented by his OpenRoad Auto Group is extensive and impressive and each one enhances the OpenRoad brand. Whether it’s the in-house development of new shop software or a home-grown management development program, Christian is always looking for new and better ways to develop staff, serve customers and build the OpenRoad brand. It’s a winning combination.”

From a group of 15 national finalists, Laureate award winners are selected by the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. In the category of Business Innovation, Professor June Cotte said, “Christian Chia and the OpenRoad Group really distinguished themselves in this category. Engagement with customers in real-time and on social media is the next obvious customer responsiveness innovation. Creating an umbrella brand, and then leveraging it into a lifestyle magazine, seems a particularly powerful approach. Strong revenue growth was achieved, while significant investments were made in an in-house 2.5 year leadership development program, with strong completion rates. These sorts of varied innovations are likely at the heart of why Christian was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and why the OpenRoad Group is one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 50 Canadian Employers.”

Mr. Chia was notified of his award via a personal telephone call from Chairman MacPhee. Upon hearing the news, Mr. Chia said “It’s truly an honour; my organization is going to be ecstatic. There are many, many qualified and deserving dealers to win the Laureate award. I am joining an esteemed group of dealers, but also people who are near and dear to me. A lot of organizations focus on employees and we follow that credo. We look after our people and they look after our customers. We want to change the stigma that remains associated with our industry.”

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association is the voice of the new car and truck dealers in Canada, with headquarters in Markham, Ontario and a government relations office in Ottawa. Its wide-ranging mandate includes helping member dealers to improve their overall operations and to implement initiatives that strengthen the relationship between new car and truck dealers and the members of the communities they serve.

For more information contact:

Ben Lovie
Director of Marketing
OpenRoad Auto Group ltd
mobile: 778 580 5765