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Access to Vehicle Data

Vehicle Servicing 101

When you go to an independent shop, one that is outside of the dealership, to have your vehicle serviced, the technician likely plugs into the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port. They do so to pull diagnostic information. This information enables the tech to service your vehicle, giving you the choice of how and where you have your vehicle serviced.

In today’s automotive world, the ability of the tech at the independent shop to pull this data is threatened by the introduction of the digital economy. The digital economy is comprised of economic processes, transactions, interactions and activities that are based on digital technology. The modern vehicle is digital. It is connected; it is part of the Internet of Things.

The connected vehicle can send and receive wireless data and is equipped with handfuls of sensors that collect valuable and immense amounts of data.

Today, automakers and their networks, including dealerships, are privy to the modern vehicle’s communication loop, making them privy to the vehicle data collected from vehicle sensors.

As the automotive digital economy becomes more entrenched, the following aftermarket industry supply chain operations will increasingly go digital:

  • Vehicle diagnostics, maintenance and repair
  • Aftermarket replacement parts and supplies  
  • Customer interactions, including communication and advertising, through the in-vehicle interface (dashboard)
  • Supply chain management

Should automakers maintain their control of and access to the vehicle communication loop and wireless vehicle data, they can become both controller and competitor of the entire automotive industry supply chain (manufacturing and aftermarket). The aftermarket industry, not because of failure to innovate, could largely be shut out of Automotive Industry 2.0.

The aftermarket contributes $32.2 billion* yearly to the national economy and employs 491,800 Canadians. The aftermarket captures 52% of vehicle service visits and provides services at a more cost-friendly price than dealerships.  Independent shops are more likely than dealerships to be found in smaller and rural Canadian communities, making essential vehicle servicing accessible to these populations. The aftermarket produces goods and services that compete on the market, supporting continuous product and service innovation and giving consumers’ choice.  

We ask the Government of Canada to consider the following when developing policies, legislation and regulations that are related to the deployment of future mobility:

  • The traditional role of market competition in Canada to drive productivity, innovation and consumer choice, in contrast to a monopoly-based economy.
  • The expectation of consumer choice by Canadian consumers (constituents).
  • The critical importance of transportation safety.

*Due to changes to methodology and the inclusion of collision and mechanical sectors in the 2020 Outlook Study, revenue estimates are not comparable to those in previous AIA outlook studies.​

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