The $2.6-billion hit to the automotive service industry — and an apparent shift toward aftermarket repair shops from dealerships — appears to be a one-time event caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, industry executives say.
J.D. Ney, director of the automotive practice at J.D. Power Canada, said that on both counts, he’s waiting for another year’s worth of data before calling this a trend. The data was highlighted in the J.D. Power 2021 Customer Service Index Study.
“We’ve run the survey every year for 25 years, and I’d say it’s the biggest shift of service market share, calculated in revenue, away from new-car dealers toward the aftermarket,” Ney said. “That reverses about a decadelong trend.
“I don’t want to make it out as though the aftermarket had a great year. Nobody did.”
J.D. Power Canada found the service market in Canada shrank to $6.6 billion in 2021 from $9.2 billion in 2020. The study linked the $2.6-billion drop in total service billings to fewer kilometres driven as people worked from home during the height of the pandemic.