After two years of sharp declines in market value, Canada’s automotive service industry is on track for a strong rebound as Canadians return to the roads, a study by J.D. Power Canada predicts.
The 2022 Canada Customer Service Index — Long-Term Study, which tracks the service needs of post-warranty four- to-12-year-old vehicles, forecasts a market value of $10.9 billion for 2022.
In contrast, the industry’s value plummeted to $6.6 billion in 2021, after registering $9.2 billion in 2020 and $10 billion in 2019.
The study says driving is returning to pre-pandemic levels and pent-up demand for repairs is driving the increase.
“In addition to driving more, some owners are catching up on repairs that were put on hold because of the pandemic, and others are hanging on to their vehicles longer due to inventory shortages and the high prices of used vehicles,” said J.D. Ney, automotive practice lead at J.D. Power Canada.
The study also foretells a decline in customer satisfaction as the industry — like many sectors — struggles to recruit and retain trained, knowledgeable staff.
“While this has not affected overall satisfaction in the short term, we do see some leading indicators in this year’s study, Ney said, pointing to customers’ responses on questions such as whether the vehicle was fixed right the first time or whether they could arrange service on the days they desired.
“Clearly, the automotive industry is not immune to these larger macro-economic issues.”