The two relationships that have the greatest effect on an industry’s economic value are an industry’s relationship with its customers and an industry’s relationship with government. AIA Canada’s government relations department is responsible for building and maintaining relationships and sharing information with decision-makers at both the federal and provincial level to advance the needs and interests of Canada’s aftermarket industry. Government relations are particularly critical for the aftermarket industry because of the power and influence that automakers and their tier 1 suppliers wield with government.
What is Government Relations?
Government relations (GR) focuses on business-to-government interactions. When an organization interacts with, or attempts to influence government decision-makers on policy, programs and budget priorities, it is considered GR. An effective GR strategy presents decision-makers with win-win outcomes; those that meet the organization’s interests and those of the greater public interest.
Government Relations at AIA Canada
AIA’s GR department deploys a number of tactics to build and maintain relationships with government. Tactics include lobbying, information sharing and participating in government consultations.
In its interaction with government, the GR department focuses on two topics:
- Maintaining competition and consumer choice in the aftermarket industry
- The industry’s workforce
Why is Government Relations Important for the Aftermarket Industry?
GR is particularly important for the aftermarket industry because the industry is downstream from the powerful automakers and their tier 1 suppliers. Automakers and their tier 1 suppliers have more clout with decision-makers which can leave the aftermarket as an afterthought. Because of this, the aftermarket has to distinguish itself by raising awareness among decision-makers about the industry and its specific needs and interests.
The Aftermarket Industry is Important to the Economic Health of Canada
In 2019, businesses in the aftermarket sector employed approximately 491,800 Canadians, accounting for nearly 2.9% of total employees in Canada. This is on par with the number of employees in Canada’s mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, real estate and rental and leasing sectors combined. In 2019, the sector generated an estimated total of $38.8 billion in real GDP, accounting for approximately 2% of the national GDP; making its GDP contribution on par with the contribution of the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector