Auto Service World
Feature   January 1, 2010   by Auto Service World

Vehicles Need $200 More Work Per Visit Says “Most Important Study To Date”

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Aftermarket Demand Study says consumers are chronically under-maintaining their vehicles.

The study, “Hidden Potential Unmasked,” was officially released at a press conference during the Las Vegas AAPEX show. Association president Marc Brazeau called the study “the most important study to date” for the association.

The study, which details the per-job potential of unperformed maintenance nationally and by region, is the first study to break down the dollar figures for market potential in this way, rather than only as a combined multi-billion-dollar total.

“The future looks a lot better than you may think,” he said. “This market, if fully realized, could almost double the size of the aftermarket.”

“We’re talking about $10.33 billion of repairs that the industry is missing out on right now,” said outgoing association chair John Watt. “It is a big number, but if it may seem unrealistic, you must realize that this is for the entire vehicle fleet of 21 million.”

Breaking it down, he says, results in a total of $239 per vehicle, per visit of unperformed maintenance for vehicles four to 12 years old.

“If the work is found and communicated to the consumer, they will have the work done. The $10.33 billion doesn’t mean anything to the shop. They can’t relate to it. This is why the breakdown is so important,” Watt said. “If I am in Edmonton and have an eight-year-old vehicle coming in, I wonder what the benchmark is.

“This study allows a shop to see what should be done in Edmonton. It also allows a shop in Lac St-Jean to do the same.”

The study, conducted for the association by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, includes a series of metrics designed to reveal the market potential for aftermarket service providers.

The study includes aggregate market totals, such as the market potential for vehicles in five age ranges: one to three, four and five, six and seven, eight to 12, and 13-plus years old, as well as average spend figures for vehicles in this range. For example, the average annual spend for four-and five-year-old vehicles is estimated at $1,322, while it is $1,550 for vehicles 13 years old and older.

Accordingly, the study reports that the average invoice in Toronto should be $450, while it should be $420 in Halifax due to the difference in average door rates.

Average invoice values actually being generated by aftermarket service providers are generally lower than this, said Watt.

“How come? The answer is simply a lack of focus, a lack of process, and, I believe, a lack of knowledge.”

The Demand Study, he says, provides concrete justification for the owner to address any inspection and communication shortcomings of his service provider business.

“He’s got to connect the dots and improve his average transaction. I know a shop in Quebec City. If I go back 10 years, his average transaction was $218. What he said was that people in Quebec City don’t buy like people buy in Montreal.

“But today his average transaction value is $418. What a car needs a car needs.”

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