J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Annual Spending on Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs in Canada Declines Considerably



    
    NAPA AUTOPRO Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Automotive
    Service Providers in Canada
    

    TORONTO, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Average annual expenditures on vehicle
maintenance and repair services have declined by approximately 7 percent from
2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Canadian Customer
Commitment Index Study(SM) released today.
    The study finds that average annual spending on vehicle maintenance and
repair services has declined to $856 in 2009, from $920 in 2008. Further, the
proportion of customers who say they "go to the cheapest place I can find for
service" has increased to 23 percent, from 17 percent in 2008.
    "In a difficult economy, vehicle owners seem to be delaying what they
perceive to be non-essential maintenance or seeking out the lowest-cost
option," said Darren Slind, senior director and Canadian automotive practice
leader at J.D. Power and Associates. "In the long run, this may prove more
costly in terms of vehicle reliability, but in the short term, consumers are
dealing with other spending priorities."
    The study, redesigned for 2009, provides a measure of the service
behaviours, satisfaction and loyalty of owners of 3- to 12-year-old vehicles.
Overall customer satisfaction is determined by examining five key factors of
the service experience: process of getting the vehicle in for service; service
advisor performance; service facility; quality of work performed; and the
process of vehicle return/pick-up. The study examines customer satisfaction
with service at both new-car dealerships and after-market facilities.
    NAPA AUTOPRO ranks highest in satisfying automotive service customers in
Canada, receiving an overall index score of 876 on a 1,000-point scale. NAPA
AUTOPRO performs particularly well in service initiation, service advisor,
work quality and vehicle return. OK Tire (858) and Pennzoil (851) follow in
the rankings.
    The study also finds that new-car dealers continue to lose market share
to after-market service providers. Overall, after-market providers now account
for 59 percent of the estimated $11.2 billion annual service market for
vehicles that are between three and 12 years old, up from 57 percent in 2008.
    "While a two-percentage-point shift may not seem substantial, this
equates to more than $220 million in lost revenue annually for dealers," said
Slind. "Given declining new-vehicle sales - which are down more than 16
percent in Canada so far this year - dealers must rely more than ever on their
service and parts operations. We expect that dealers will fight back
aggressively in the coming year to recapture this lost market share."
    At the segment level, after-market providers tend to perform well in the
areas of service initiation (including ease of scheduling visit and timeliness
of vehicle drop-off) and vehicle return (including timeliness and explanation
of work and charges). New-car dealers perform well in the quality of their
facilities (convenience, comfort, cleanliness etc.).
    "The challenge for dealers is that customers place a higher priority on
the people and process elements of the service experience, rather than the
facility components," said Slind. "In fact, more than one-half of all vehicle
owners - 53 percent - actually leave the facility while their vehicle is being
serviced."
    Although service quality remains the most important driver of
satisfaction overall, customer expectations regarding the performance of their
service advisor have increased significantly during the past year. The service
advisor accounts for 18 percent of overall satisfaction, up from 14 percent in
2008.
    "The importance of the service advisor can't be understated, as they have
such a huge impact on the quality of the customer's overall experience," said
Slind. "The best advisors are great communicators - both with customers and
with technicians. If the advisor has done his or her job well, the customer's
perception of value is solidified, and this greatly impacts their likelihood
to recommend that establishment to others and to return again."
    The study also finds the following automotive service customer trends:
    
    -  When customers were asked how service providers could make their hours
       of operation more convenient, nearly 40 percent cited extended weekday
       (evening) hours.
    -  Satisfaction is significantly higher when customers report their
       service advisor provided a thorough explanation up front (overall
       satisfaction score of 832) than when they were not provided a thorough
       explanation (satisfaction score of 625).
    

    The 2009 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study is based on responses
from 14,388 owners across Canada whose vehicles are between three and 12 years
old. The survey was fielded between April and June 2009.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company operating in key business
sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web
intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction
measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For
more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance,
cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and
Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies

    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading
global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial
services, education and business information markets through leading brands
such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power
and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries.
Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at
http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

    No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

    NOTE: ranking chart available upon request.





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Rebecca Lucas, Cohn &
Wolfe, Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3275, rebecca.lucas@cohnwolfe.ca; Mark
James, Cohn & Wolfe, Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3269, mark.james@cohnwolfe.ca;
John Tews, J.D. Power and Associates, Troy, Mich., (248) 312-4119,
john.tews@jdpa.com

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