Ottawa, January 16, 2019—Connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) vehicles are poised to change the way people and goods are transported, but they will also have a significant adverse impact on the automotive aftermarket and its workforce. A new report by The Conference Board of Canada estimates that the rollout of CASE vehicles could result in a loss of more than 48,000 jobs in Canada’s automotive aftermarket.
“The implications of connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles on the automotive aftermarket have generally been overlooked, despite the sector being a significant contributor to Canada’s economy,” said Roger Francis, Director Energy, Environment and Transportation. “Workforce impacts are among the greatest challenges associated with these disruptive technologies and, as a result, transition strategies for the sector will be required.”
- In 2017, the automotive aftermarket employed close to 400,000 people and generated an estimated $27.6 billion in economic activity.
- A move towards connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles could result in an estimated loss of more than 48,000 jobs, $7.0 billion in GDP, and $5.4 billion in labour income in the aftermarket by 2051.
- Connectivity may have greater adverse impacts than automation and electrification will.
The automotive aftermarket generally includes everything after a vehicle leaves the dealer’s lot, such as parts and accessories merchants, repair and maintenance shops, and gasoline stations. In 2017, the automotive aftermarket in Canada was made up of more than 46,000 businesses, with close to 400,000 Canadians employed in the sector. It generated an estimated $27.6 billion in economic activity in 2017.
The report, A CASE of Disruption: Economic Impacts to the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket, explores the economic impact of automated, connected, and electric vehicles on Canada’s aftermarket sector over the span of 30 years starting in 2020.
The introduction of automated vehicles would likely increase the number of vehicles on the road as they would offer mobility options to individuals who previously did not have a licence. However, since connected vehicles allow the dealer to gather data about vehicle performance, owners are likely to bypass traditional aftermarket businesses and take their vehicles to the dealership for maintenance. Connected vehicles could also go longer between regular maintenance appointments.
Meanwhile, the move to automated vehicles is expected to increase safety by reducing the number of collisions on the road, which will also have a negative impact on the collision sector of the aftermarket. Further, a transition to electric vehicles would have negative implications for gas stations.
The report estimates that at the beginning, the effects of CASE vehicles would be small, as new technologies are introduced gradually. By 2051, the impacts would be much more significant with an estimated loss of more than 48,000 jobs, $7.0 billion in GDP, and $5.4 billion in labour income. If ride sharing were to become much more prominent, vehicle ownership could decline significantly and potentially lead to 77,400 fewer jobs and a $11.4 billion reduction in the aftermarket and in supporting industries by 2051. Occupations most vulnerable to the rollout of connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles are the skilled trades in the mechanical and collision sectors.
A CASE of Disruption: Economic Impacts to the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket was funded by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.