What is the CASIS agreement?
CASIS is the Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard, a voluntary agreement entered into by the vast majority of car manufacturers in Canada. The agreement basically states that Canadian automotive manufacturers must share service and repair information with aftermarket businesses on a level equal to that of their own licensed dealers.
All Canadian manufacturers affiliated with the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC) and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association (CVMA) signed the agreement (CVMA). Because these two organizations are responsible for over 99% of all new cars built and sold in Canada, the agreement is fully effective across the country.
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When Was CASIS Introduced?
The agreement was introduced in 2009, and all relevant parties had signed by September of that year. By May 2010, the act had gone into effect, requiring all relevant information on parts, tools, servicing, and repair to be shared with independent repair shops across the country. The CASIS Task Force, comprised of representatives from both the manufacturing and aftermarket industries, supported and enforced the agreement.
What It Means for the Aftermarket Industry
Basically, this agreement ensures that car repair shops can perform servicing, repairs, and replacements to the standards set by the original manufacturers themselves. This allows them to approach car repair more confidently, regardless of a car’s make or model, bringing in more business overall.
Much like how the manufacturers are represented in the agreement by the AIAMC and CVMA, the aftermarket industry is represented by the National Automotive Trade Association or NATA. This organization has over 5,000 members across Canada, covering independent auto shops and garages, but they ensured that the information was shared with the entire aftermarket industry, not just members of the association.
What It Means for Car Owners
The agreement provides benefits to car owners in addition to aftermarket workers. Because of the CASIS agreement, people have far more choices in where they choose to get their cars repaired, meaning opportunities to save time and money have been created for the public. In the past, going directly to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) was the only option, which could take longer, cost significantly more, and be generally less convenient, but with the CASIS, people can support local garages with more confidence.
As the automotive aftermarket and cars themselves continually evolve, one can only hope that the CASIS agreement evolves to reflect the changes in the landscape. As the aftermarket transitions more and more to online platforms, independent garages, and auto shops should work to at least partially digitize their operations in order to avoid falling behind.