4th June, 2018 · CEO Message

CEO Message No. 33

2 minutes to read

The story of Moses and the Ten Commandments is well known to most people.

Think about the scene at the foot of Mount Sinai: after seven days up in the clouds, a slightly deranged and wild-eyed Moses descends with stone tablets bearing immutable laws which, he says, were inscribed directly by the hand of God.

I can’t help but imagine that somewhere at the back of the mob that greeted this manic, messianic figure as he held those tablets aloft, one cynic turned to the person standing beside them and said, “…Here we go again…More nanny state rules…!”

As it turns out, this is not a bad set of principles for civilised society and it has provided us with a reliable moral and ethical framework for a couple of millennia.

Moses descending Mt Sinai

My point about the imaginary cynic is that even if ideas come from an unlikely source – in this case a scruffy desert-wandering prophet – it’s probably best to set aside our cynicism and to evaluate the proposals on absolute merit rather than allow preconceptions and first impressions to cause an expensive mis-judgement.

As the AADA team carries forward the work required to secure a dedicated mandatory code of conduct for the retail automotive industry we meet quite a few cynics like our friend at Mt Sinai. We constantly strive to overcome the pre-conceived idea that we already have the tools we need under the Franchising Code.

The reality is, the redress mechanisms under the Part 4 of the code cannot even protect the small-scale operators of chicken shops and bakeries let alone franchised new car Dealers with many millions of investment dollars at stake. The existing code is unequal to the task given the resources and power of some off-shore automotive Manufacturers with less than stellar track records.

Legislators are constantly required to make astute judgements around needed rules and regulations, balanced against the risks of over-regulation – the so-called nanny state syndrome.

It’s our job at AADA to ensure that the important needed changes to the way behaviours are regulated in our business are well documented. Using fact-based case studies allows us to mount cogent, logical arguments so that our politicians and senior public servants understand the urgent need for enforceable regulations that provide more balance in the power relationships between Dealers and off-shore vehicle Manufacturers.

AADA members will see escalated activity on the topic of an industry code as the Parliamentary Inquiry into Franchising gathers momentum. We are not asking parliament for nanny-state protections, but we do want a fair, equitable and transparent automotive code, with affordable redress solutions and, when needed, meaningful enforcement clauses with appropriate penalties.

Please enjoy this informative and useful newsletter from the team, and please call any of us if you have questions that need answering.

In the meantime, as ever…I wish you all…Good Luck and Good Selling.