The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) plans to launch a program for Canadian service shops in early 2019. Through the Automotive Service Associate Program (ASAP), AIA Canada aims to form a closer relationship with shops as they face challenges like vehicle telemetry and Right to Repair issues.
“We’re at arms length from the shops now,” Andrew Shepherd, senior director of industry programs, said. “But, we feel it’s really necessary to build a direct connection.”
AIA Canada members represent the automotive aftermarket supply and service chain. While association bylaws don’t allow for shops to become members, the trade group felt an urgency to bring them onboard as associates, as the success of member businesses and shops is tied.
Details on ASAP’s price and services are still being worked out, but participating shops will likely pay a “cheap” yearly subscription. And, benefits likely will include …
• Technical expertise on vehicle reprogramming;
• A national shop-finder service;
• Specific shop-level research;
• Access to AutoConnex, a database of industry jobs, compensation information, career profiles, and educational resources; and
• E-communications and other news on suppliers, equipment and training.
The organization also wants to hear about political concerns at the shop level, so it can build those issues into AIA Canada’s lobbying strategy, Shepherd said.
ASAP is scheduled to roll out Jan. 2. Shepherd expects around 1,000 shops to sign up in the first year, with more joining as word of mouth spreads. In the meantime, the association has been alerting shops through members and the trade press.