New Player in Town

Out with the old and in with the new

Canada’s home appliance suppliers have a new face to put to the industry association as their former industry association is now shutting down. Everything changes in time, it seems, but is this shift in industry associations a positive thing for the Canadian market or is this new association going simply throwing its weight around because it can?

Last July the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers of Washington, D.C. (AHAM), has set up a Canadian division in Ottawa Ontario. Sounds like great news! However, not everybody is thrilled since this announcement by the AHAM has caused the Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association (CAMA) to close its doors in Toronto.

What really happened here? This quick collapse of the CAMA seems tragic, but why did it lose so many members so quickly? When one examines this new association it is easy to see that the CAMA simply could not compete with the powerhouse producers that the AHAM brings with it. Members of the AHAM include producers such as Electrolux Canada, Whirlpool Canada LP, and LG Electronics Canada Inc. “CAMA’s closure is a direct result of the Washington, D.C.-based AHAM opening a Canadian branch,” stated the CAMA on its latest website post concerning the closure pointing that, at the very least, they were forced out of “business” due to the newer, bigger AHAM. CAMA began losing members that have had long-standing relationship with them as soon as AHAM announced this new move.

The interesting twist here is that the CAMA has been serving the Canadian market in this capacity since 1995, and while it will remain a presence in other industries, they were essentially pushed out of the way by the AHAM despite a long track record of service. This is hard to believe given their long-standing relationship with many suppliers in the area but the fact remains that they are out of the game and AHAM is the new face of the industry association. Does experience and years of service mean nothing anymore?

This story, along with the questions it implicitly brings with it, calls for further thought. Why was CAMA so quickly depleted of members after AHAM’s announcement? Did the CAMA really not hold a candle to the incoming AHAM? Was there nothing that could have prevented such a closure? We ask these questions not to play favorites but to point out that not everything may always be as it seems, and certain questions beg more thought and pursuit even if there is nothing that can be “changed.” It speaks volumes that a long-standing association has no chance of holding members if a big player, filled with an even bigger roster, rolls into town.

However, what it speaks volumes about we leave to you, the consumer, and ask you to remember that you still hold the ultimate power and that even the biggest of producers still need your business.

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