Global Automakers of Canada (GAC) evolved from a sub-committee within the Canadian Importers Association in 1979, to become an independently incorporated, not-for-profit association in 1999. The GAC represents before federal, provincial and territorial governments the interests of members engaged in the manufacturing, importation, distribution and servicing of light duty vehicles. While the Association was initially dedicated to the interests of importers, it has broadened its focus as offshore-based companies have set up vehicle manufacturing plants in Canada.

At present, the GAC consists of fifteen Voting members, all of whom maintain an office in Canada for the distribution of vehicles under their own names: three “Representative” members, marketing vehicles through domestically-based manufacturers; and two “Sustaining” member, offshore-based manufacturers of vehicles and parts.

The GAC liaises with governments on the following issues;

  • vehicle safety and environmental standards developed by federal and provincial governments;
  • reducing barriers to international trade in vehicles, primarily tariffs;
  • legal and consumer protection legislation, primarily at the provincial level;
  • corporate taxation that impacts upon automotive investment and competitiveness in Canada;
  • consumer taxation that impacts vehicle purchase decisions;
  • customs clearance matters and cross border trade facilitation; and
  • regulatory harmonization and mutual recognition of non-Canadian standards.

Additionally, the Association liaises with major Canadian auto shows on issues affecting Auto Show exhibitors; exchanges information on sales volumes; and deals with trucking and rail companies on transportation and logistics problems.

The GAC has representation in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan, an arbitration scheme for dissatisfied consumers of vehicles; the National Automobile Dealer Arbitration Plan, an arbitration program designed to resolve disputes between vehicle dealers and their manufacturers; and the Automotive Business School of Canada, which is the pre-eminent college in Canada specializing in automotive marketing and business administration at the campus of Georgian College in Barrie.

The Association’s Board Steering Committee is comprised of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and Past Chairman, all senior representatives of their companies, along with the Association President, who also acts as the Secretary to the Board of Directors.

The Association’s office in Toronto is administered by a President & CEO, a Senior Director of Safety, Innovation & Regulation, a Director of Federal Affairs, a Director of Energy & Environment and an Office Manager.

For more information, contact Maria Norris at the Association office, at (416) 595-8251 or by email at