J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Tirecraft Auto Centers Rank Highest in Overall Customer Satisfaction with Auto Service in Canada



    Dealerships Gain Larger Share of Off-Warranty Vehicle Service Customers

    TORONTO, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Tirecraft Auto Centers rank highest amongst
vehicle service providers in Canada, according to the J.D. Power and
Associates 2007 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study(SM) released today.
    The study, now in its 10th year, measures the service satisfaction and
loyalty of owners of 2- to 12-year-old vehicles. Overall customer satisfaction
with their vehicle service provider is determined by examining five key
factors: appointment/check-in, service advisor, work quality, after service
and customer orientation.
    Tirecraft Auto Centers rank highest with an index score of 905 on a
1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in all aspects of the service
experience. Mr. Muffler (884) and Autopro (883), respectively, follow
Tirecraft in the rankings.
    "Tire stores generally operate as branded independent facilities, which
allows them to combine the best of the independent repair shop model with the
name and awareness of a corporate entity," said Charles Schade, senior
director of syndicated research at J.D. Power and Associates in Toronto. "This
is the fourth time that a tire facility has been the top-ranked service
provider in the study. Tirecraft's achievement is particularly impressive
considering that dealerships are attempting to re-capture vehicle service
market share by making improvements in customer satisfaction."
    The study finds that customer satisfaction has improved for the industry
overall - increasing by 5 index points since 2006 to 846 in 2007. Twenty out
of the 40 facilities included in the rankings posted improvements, while 17
declined in overall customer satisfaction (three facilities were ranked for
the first time).
    The study also finds that while dealerships gained share in the vehicle
service market from aftermarket facilities from 2001 to 2005, they experienced
a slight decrease in market share in 2006. However, in 2007, dealerships once
again gained share in terms of the volume of service visits (up 1.3%) and in
consumer expenditures (up 2.4%). Additionally, the market share gain for
dealers primarily came from owners of 4- to 7- and 8- to 12-year-old vehicles,
as opposed to owners whose vehicles are still within the warranty coverage
period. With more than 13 million vehicles within the 2- to 12-year old
segment, owners of these vehicles - who spend an average of $850 per year on
service and repairs - account for an $11 billion market.
    "While it is interesting to see dealers targeting this more lucrative,
yet challenging, older-vehicle segment, not all franchises have proved
successful in increasing market share," said Schade. "Ford Motor Company,
Chrysler and General Motors franchises received the most significant
increases, which could be the result of service initiatives undertaken to
protect dealership revenue in the face of declining new-vehicle sales. In
contrast, as their fixed operations capacity struggles to keep up with their
aggressive gains in new-vehicle sales, fast-growing Japanese franchises have
been losing share among 'in-warranty' owners."
    As more choices become available to owners, and the volume of service
activity rises among facilities, the entire experience surrounding vehicle
service has become increasingly important to owners when selecting a vehicle
service facility. In 2007, whether the owner had a good experience during
their previous visit has increased in importance when selecting a service
facility.
    The 2007 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study is based on responses
from 18,962 owners of 2- to 12-year-old vehicles. Owners were surveyed in
November 2006 and April 2007.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is
an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in
key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance
improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality and
satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers
annually. 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 2006 were $6.3 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: Detailed chart available upon request.
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Syvetril Perryman,
J.D. Power and Associates, 2625 Townsgate Road, Suite 100, Westlake Village,
Calif. 91361, United States, (805) 418-8103, syvetril.perryman@jdpa.com; Lynn
Bisnaire, Cohn & Wolfe, 60 Bloor Street West, Suite 602, Toronto, ON M4W 3B8,
Canada, (416) 924-5700 ext. 4036, lynn_bisnaire@ca.cohnwolfe.com

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