Monday, September 24, 2007
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Market research conducted by AIA Canada has identified an alarming misconception among Canadian motorists which is costing the aftermarket $1.3 billion in lost revenues annually. 41% of motorists in Canada believe that it is mandatory to take their vehicle to a dealer for maintenance services in order to maintain warranty coverage. This confusion limits freedom and convenience for consumers, while aftermarket companies miss out on service opportunities for newer vehicles.
Currently there are $3.2 billion spent annually in maintenance work on vehicles under warranty in Canada. If 41% of these owners believe they HAVE to take their vehicle to a dealer for their maintenance work, it translates to $1.3 billion in potentially lost business for the aftermarket.
New car dealers are increasingly aggressive in advising consumers that they are the only choice for service and maintenance while the vehicle is under warranty. Informing consumers about the aftermarket alternative is imperative to protecting consumer choice.
AIA Canada’s Retail Council has developed an industry-endorsed statement assuring Canadian vehicle owners that aftermarket shops are equally qualified and capable of maintaining a vehicle while it is still under the manufacturer’s original warranty or an extended warranty.
The Notice to Consumers, now available as a printable PDF document at www.aiacanada.com, tackles two key issues. It confronts the dealer assertion regarding who is allowed to do the work and its impact on warranty coverage. It also addresses the issue of qualifications and the ability of aftermarket shops to provide service and repair during the warranty period.
AIA Canada’s Right to Repair efforts as well as our ASP accreditation initiative are two ways the Association is working as an industry to address this misconception. Both initiatives will help improve consumer confidence in the aftermarket and improve viability of the independent repair facility. To learn more about how to take advantage of this opportunity to educate your clients join AIA at this year’s AXIS event on Friday, November 23rd. Dave Meunier, President of TACT, will talk about his Warranty Manager software and process which allows shops to build a relationship with existing customers who purchase a new vehicle to keep that customer coming back even while the vehicle is under warranty. And John Watt from Petro-Canada Certigard will discuss the merits of the MAP Canada program and how it can improve your customer satisfaction levels.