Annual Survey of Service Industries: Automotive Repair and Maintenance Services

Detailed information for 2000





Record number:


This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to develop national and regional economic policies and programs.

Data release - August 29, 2003


This survey has been amalgamated into Survey number 4720 as of reference year 2001.

This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to produce statistics on the Automotive Repair and Maintenance Activities in Canada. These data are aggregated with information from other sources to produce official estimates of national and provincial economic production in Canada. The estimates are used by government for national and regional programs and policy planning and by the private sector for industry performance measurement and market development.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Unified Enterprise Survey program (UES). The UES program has been designed to integrate, gradually over time, the approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The UES aims at collecting more industry and product detail at the provincial level than was previously possible while avoiding overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content. The unified approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts.

This survey is part of the Service Industries program. The survey data gathered are used to compile aggregate statistics for over thirty service industry groupings. Financial data, including revenue, expense and profit statistics are available for all of the surveys in the program. In addition, many compile and disseminate industry-specific information.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: From September to October


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Repair and maintenance

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all statistical establishments (sometimes referred to as firms or units) classified as Automotive Repair and Maintenance Services according to the North American Industry Classification System 1997 (NAICS 1997) during the reference year.

Instrument design

The survey questionnaires comprise financial characteristics such as revenue broken down by the sources of revenue; expenses showing the breakdown between wages paid to employees, purchased services expenses and non operating expenses; number of employees and distribution of revenue by type of client.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The target population consists of all statistical establishments (sometimes referred to as firms or units) classified as offering Automotive Repair and Maintenance Services according to the North American Industry Classification System 1997 (NAICS 1997) during the reference year observed.

The basic objective of the survey is to produce estimates for the whole industry, incorporated and unincorporated businesses. The data come from two different sources: a sample of all businesses with revenue above or equal to a certain threshold (Note: the threshold varies between surveys and sometimes between provinces in the same survey) and administrative data for businesses with revenue below the specified threshold. It should be noted that only financial information is obtained from administrative sources e.g. revenue, expenses, depreciation and salaries, wages and benefits. Characteristics such as revenue by type of service are collected only for surveyed establishments.

The frame is the list of establishments from which the portion eligible for sampling is determined and the sample is taken. The frame provides basic information about each firm, including address, industry classification, and information from administrative data sources (as discussed above). The frame is maintained by Statistics Canada's Business Register, and is updated using administrative data.

Prior to the selection of a random sample, establishments are classified into homogeneous groups (i.e., groups with the same NAICS codes, same geography (province/territory), and same business type (incorporated/unincorporated) attributes). Quality requirements are targeted, and then each group is divided into sub-groups called strata: take-all, must-take, and take-some.

The take-all stratum represents the largest firms in terms of performance, based on revenue, in an industry. The must-take stratum comprises units selected on the basis of complex structure characteristics e.g. multi-establishment, multi-legal, multi-NAICS, or multi-province enterprises. All units in the take-all and the must-take stratum are selected to the sample. Units in the take-some strata are subject to simple random sampling. Finally, the sample size is increased, mostly to compensate for firms that no longer belong in the industry; i.e., they have gone out of business, changed their primary business activity, they are inactive, or are duplicates on the frame. After removing such firms, the sample size for the survey on Automotive Repair and Maintenance Services was 2320 collection entities.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data are collected through a mail-out/mail-back process, while providing respondents with the option of telephone or electronic filing methods.

Follow-up procedures are applied when a questionnaire has not been received after a pre-specified period of time.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data are examined for inconsistencies and errors using automated edits coupled with analytical review. Several checks are performed on the collected data. These checks look for internal consistency such as: section totals must be equal to the components; if employees are reported, wages and salaries must be greater than zero; the main source of income must be consistent with the assigned NAICS code.


Several checks are performed on the collected data to verify internal consistency and identify extreme values. Where information is missing, imputation is performed using either a "nearest neighbour" procedure (donor imputation), using historical data where available or finally, using administrative data as a proxy for reported data.


As part of the estimation process, survey data are weighted and combined with administrative data to produce final industry estimates.

Quality evaluation

Combined survey results are analyzed for comparability; in general, this includes a detailed review of: individual responses (especially for the largest companies), general economic conditions, historic trends, and comparisons with other data.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

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