People on the Move

Susan Gubasta

The Most Influential Person in the Auto Retail Industry

Susan grew up around the automotive business but never set her sights on being part of the family business. Having chosen a path of her own, her father finally convinced her to join the family business to work alongside him and her brothers.

Once she was in the family business, she knew it was in her blood and started to learn and work in the various departments learning the operations.

In 2004,upon the loss of her brother in a tragic racecar accident, Susan became the General Manager of their Toyota store and has never looked back.

Today, Susan is the President and CEO of Mississauga Toyota, a medium/large dealership and oversees 70+ employees. Susan is also the newly appointed President of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) – an organization of nearly 1000 new-automotive dealerships in Ontario that focuses on industry issues and government advocacy. Susan is the first woman to hold this position in the associations’ 110-year history. Susan will also become the President of the Canadian International Auto Show next year.

One of Susan’s top goals as President of TADA is to educate youth and millennials that there are rewarding jobs and careers in the retail automotive industry – everything from marketing, business, and engineering, to computer science.

“It’s more than just selling cars and changing tires in today’s modern dealership” says Susan.  “We need savvy marketers, business-oriented professionals, high-tech workers and engineers for the increasingly computerized and complex vehicles of today and of the future”.
Since taking the reigns of TADA in April, Susan has been working on raising awareness of the industry by aligning more dealers and auto affiliated businesses to build relationships with schools and colleges.
Susan believes that the first step is to educate the youth of the opportunities in the automotive retail industry. Susan has also been a part of two successful job awareness campaigns: Cars and Jobs: www.carsandjobs.com/ and Auto Career Start www.autocareerstart.com . Cars and Jobs is an Ontario-based job resource for the automotive retail industry. Auto Career Start is a national platform for job searching, education opportunities, and career planning.

“At the 2018 Canadian International Auto Show, the TADA’s exhibits and interactive displays opened many peoples’ eyes to education and careers that they did not know existed. It is thrilling to see a parent or student discover the many career opportunities and possibilities and get excited about our industry”.

Susan is also working on the Trillium Automobile Dealers Foundation Committee. Each year, TADA contributes to Ontario based charities something they have been doing for many years. Susan has been apart of this process and says: “we look to partner with organizations that touch the majority of our communities in Ontario and where we can assist to make a difference in our members back yard”.     

On top of being the President of two organizations, Susan finds the time to write a weekly column in the Saturday Wheels Edition of the Toronto Star to inform, educate, and speak to topics that surround the automotive world. The topics she covers are thought provoking and engaging, giving us an interesting perspective into this world. 

Susan’s personal mantra: “never give up” has brought her through personal hardships and has given her the perseverance to go on to be a successful business woman and a role-model for others in the industry and for those looking for their next career move.