31st July, 2018 · CEO Message

CEO Message No. 35

2 minutes to read

Al Gore is a high achiever.

A Harvard graduate who served in the Vietnam War, he not only occupied the second most important political office in the United States – the Vice Presidency – but also jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change. The whole world watched his live presentations and saw the movie An Inconvenient Truth.

This may be the first and likely only time the Nobel Committee has awarded a Peace Prize for a PowerPoint presentation – and a movie!

Al Gore 
45thVice President of the US 1993-2001

In the late 2000s, Al Gore made a series of high-profile statements suggesting that the Arctic sea ice could be completely gone during the northern summer of 2013 or 2014. Clearly, the sea ice is still with us in 2018 and clearly, Al got it wrong.

I mention this not to vilify Al Gore – more than any other individual he placed the risks of climate change on the global political agenda. The failure of his prediction simply highlights the difficulties of forecasting even relatively near-term outcomes.

We see many predictions in the media that jump the chasm between ‘guesstimate’ and accepted fact too quickly.

The automotive industry seems to be a happy hunting ground for a disparate cast of characters prepared to take a fly at calling the future for our business – and the visions they deliver are invariably dystopian – no headlines in forecasting good news apparently. These observations are generally made from comfortable chairs in academia, the media or some think-tank, far removed from the uncomfortable reality of selling cars to consumers.

Take a glance at the many differing predictions around the adoption rates for electric vehicles, the soon-to-be-catastrophic intervention of online direct vehicle sales, the rapid rise of autonomous vehicles, the exponential explosion of ride-sharing and car-sharing – forecasts that are often accompanied by strident warnings about the imminent demise of the franchised new car Dealer.

Unquestionably, these trends are out there. But are the dire conclusions being forecast by some commentators the only outcomes? We’ve shown over many years that new car Dealers are a resilient, inventive and entrepreneurial group of business people – doomsday forecasters take note!

You will find plenty of evidence in this newsletter that suggests our proactive and engaged stance with policymakers and legislators will go a long way towards equipping Dealers with the tools to manage whatever challenges materialise from the many trends already in play.

Some of the highlights provided by the Secretariat in this Edition include insights into politics including the implications of the imminent by-elections, an opportunity to attend a ANCAP crash test, and important thinking around how to improve our diversity scores in the retail industry.

We are also working closely with our Convention Director, Patrick Tessier, to ensure that the 2018 AADA Convention on the Gold Coast is the best ever.

With the Deputy Prime Minister as our headline speaker and other leading industry figures already confirmed, no Dealer should miss this premier industry event.

As we close this Edition, the market continues to run strongly in most key segments.

As always therefore, I wish you, Good Luck and Good Selling.