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The Aftermarket and Why It Matters

The automotive aftermarket, in general terms, involves everything after a car leaves the dealer’s lot. This includes the aftermarket supply chain, consisting of manufacturers, exporters, importers, wholesalers and distributors of replacement parts, supplies and accessories; retailers like Canadian Tire; and independent repair and maintenance shops.

The industry matters to the Canadian economy.

In 2015, the aftermarket was a $21 billion a year industry employing close to 400,000 Canadians (that represents almost half of Canada’s entire auto industry). Across Canada in 2015, there were over 23,000 repair and maintenance establishments and over 4,600 automotive parts, accessories and tire store retailers.

To put the importance of the aftermarket into perspective, consider the following: The aftermarket employs more people than Canada’s agricultural industry and natural gas industry (that’s forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas combined).

The industry matters to consumer choice.

The aftermarket provides consumers with choice as to the parts, supplies and accessories they purchase for their vehicle and where they have their vehicle serviced. The industry provides access to repair and maintenance service providers – particularly critical for vehicle owners in small communities where dealerships may not be located.

The future sustainability of the aftermarket

Innovation is transforming (slowly, but surely) the vehicles that Canadians drive. As vehicles change –so too, must the aftermarket.

Think of it this way; connected vehicles will be outfitted with sensors, cameras, computers, Lidar and radar – very different parts from what soon-to-be traditional vehicles are outfitted with. Technologically complex vehicles will require different skills of those who service them, different tools, equipment and approaches for diagnostics and repair, different replacement parts, etc.

To support the future sustainability of the aftermarket in an era of intense innovation in the auto industry, AIA will focus on two key files in the coming years:

  • Education and Workforce Development: You can’t fix a computer with a wrench.
  • Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) and Telematics: The answer to who will be able to access data transmitted by connected vehicles will determine, to a large extent, the future of the aftermarket industry and the service options available to consumers.

The future sustainability of independent shops is the motivation behind our two key files. Why? Independent shops are the lifeline of the aftermarket supply chain; it’s where all roads lead to. Aftermarket replacement parts, supplies and accessories find their way to the consumer by way of these establishments.

Learn more about each of these key files and why they matter to you, here and here.

Introducing the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada

AIA is the VOICE and RESOURCE of the aftermarket supply chain in Canada – representing more than 800 companies.

AIA Divisions: Our eight regional divisions position the association to understand local issues that are impacting the aftermarket and to connect with stakeholders across the country.

Knowledge is power: AIA shares information with members on issues that impact the industry. Such information with industry stakeholders includes government mandates, policies, programs, regulations and consultations that impact the industry. AIA also offers solutions to the government on issues that are critical to the wellbeing of the aftermarket – and in turn – important to the Canadian economy.

What can AIA do for you?

  • Connect you with industry stakeholders: Do you want to learn more about how local businesses are dealing with innovation disruptors? Do you want to share with your constituents how you are supporting their success? Do you want to learn more about the aftermarket industry in your riding?
  • Provide you with valuable information: Our research and our knowledge transfer resources can inform you about the aftermarket and its value to the Canadian economy and to Canadian consumers.

 Our work

Host Knowledge Exchange Series events across Canada, raising awareness about issues that will impact the industry. Developing AutoConnex, an aftermarket labour market intelligence online tool that will deliver timely and functional labour market information to employees, employers, educators, job seekers and students. Testified before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications on the potential impacts that connected vehicle technology will have on the industry’s workforce and the sustainability of independent shops.  
Released Disruptors in the Automotive Aftermarket, an-in-depth study of technological disruptors and their effect on the aftermarket. Hosted a panel discussion, Not Your Father’s Chevy: The Potential Crisis for Owners of Hi-Tech Vehicles. Panellists discussed the potential impacts of increasingly advanced vehicle technology to the consumer and to the aftermarket.   Host division meetings that bring together industry stakeholders to discuss local issues.

Organisation du panel de discussion, Not Your Father’s Chevy: The Potential Crisis for Owners of Hi-Tech Vehicles portant sur les répercussions éventuelles des technologies toujours plus avancées sur le consommateur et sur le marché secondaire.


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