BURNABY, BC, Aug. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - In response to the recently released audit of the Crown corporation, the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) says that the provincial government has taken a necessary first step in recognizing the serious corporate, structural and management problems at ICBC. According to the ARA, the audit reveals significant management growth, poor cost-containment practices, and a substantial failure to work collaboratively and effectively with the thousands of businesses providing automotive repair services in British Columbia.
"While our association needs time to both study the report and consult with government about its plans, we are nonetheless pleased that the audit recognizes the scope of the structural and management problems at ICBC," said ARA President & CEO, Ken McCormack. "Over the past several years, our organization has raised serious concerns about ICBC's high-handed approach to dealing with issues ranging from substitute vehicle car rental to automobile repair policies, to no avail. This audit shows that our concerns have finally been acknowledged."
For example, in 2008 ICBC entered into an exclusive agreement with a single company to supply most of the auto rentals to policyholders who receive "loaner" vehicles while their cars were being repaired. While this arbitrary policy produces a very modest cost saving to the Corporation, it resulted in a significant increase in customer inconvenience and dissatisfaction, and it undermined local rental companies across the province.
"As a Crown Corporation that enjoys a monopoly on basic automotive insurance, ICBC has an obligation to both provide value to policyholders and deal fairly with the hundreds of small, family-supporting business that provide automotive services in B.C.," said McCormack. "We hope that government will pay careful attention to the issues raised in this audit and work with our industry to ensure that ICBC can provide affordable and needed services to B.C. drivers."
The ARA represents the majority of automotive rental, repair and recycling businesses in British Columbia. The ARA's more than 1,000 member-businesses employ approximately 10,000 men and women in fields ranging from skilled technicians to front-counter hospitality staff. The industry generates more than $700 million in annual sales.
SOURCE: Automotive Retailers Association
For further information:
Ken McCormack, ARA President & CEO