AIA Canada’s Quebec Division is pressing political players to address aftermarket priorities in the run up to the provincial election October 3.
Key priorities are ensuring consumers right to choose where to get their vehicles repaired, preparing for the rapid influx of electric vehicles, and providing key initiatives to help bolster the motive power segment of the skilled trades sector.
“In the age of intelligent vehicles, many are now equipped with telematics systems that allow automakers to collect information on the condition of the vehicle and its movements. They are like computers on wheels. They are literally web-connected vehicles that collect thousands of data points on a vehicle’s systems,” says the position paper.
“This data is then transmitted, wirelessly, to car manufacturers, allowing them to control access to it, including which auto repair shops can get it and under what conditions. Without access to this data, independent auto repair shops cannot fix a vehicle.”
The end result is less right to choose by consumers and higher costs if right to repair legislation is not enacted.
“We’re not just talking about engines, transmissions, or other “big ticket items” here, but also the installation of tires, windshields, windshield wipers, etc.,” says Élisabeth Lambert, president of the AIA Canada Quebec Division and Vice-president of Joliette Auto Parts in the submission.
In Quebec, electric vehicles enjoy among the highest rates of adoption. Some 12.7% of all new vehicles sold in the province in 2021 were EVs, second only to British Columbia.
New electronics systems on these vehicles are often inaccessible by the conventional repair technologies, increase the cost and often requiring vehicles to be transported long distances for repair.
The AIA Canada Quebec Division is therefore asking that the fight against programmed obsolescence be extended to electric vehicle components and systems.
Patrick Saint-Pierre, of the Monaco group and member of the executive of the AIA Canada Quebec Division, insists: “Electric vehicles already require more sustained maintenance and many owners, faced with complications and very high costs, are disappointed. In addition, they sometimes have to send their vehicle more than 500 kilometers away for a simple repair. The time to act is now”.
Quebec businesses are struggling to gain staffing levels to meet demand. The AIA Canada Quebec Division is calling for active support in the development of the automotive maintenance and repair trades, as well as improved access to skilled and unskilled foreign workers.
In addition, increased government investment in the training of electric vehicle workers, for example through the EV Skills program, is essential to promote greater access to services in the regions, as well as to encourage electric vehicle owners to opt for safety and therefore perform more regular maintenance on their vehicles.