On 12 March the Prime Minister made an incredibly important announcement for new car Dealers across Australia. The announcement centred around the franchising protections Dealers had been calling for over many years, but particularly over the past 5 years.
The details of the announcement can be examined in more detail here, but in a nutshell they represent the most important regulatory changes affecting the relationship between Dealers and OEMs.
The fact that they were announced by our Prime Minister is a testament to the value the Government places on our part of the industry. These changes are the result of hard work by many people.
It’s worth making special mention of the AADA Board who about four years ago (well before the Holden withdrawal and the moves by Mercedes and Honda to agency) directed the secretariat to make this the number one advocacy priority. We also need to mention my predecessor David Blackhall who took the initial lead on pursuing this matter and used his exceptional skills of persuasion to put this squarely on the agenda of both major parties and the ACCC.
Most importantly though, I need to acknowledge the Dealers who took the time to fight for their industry. Some spoke or wrote to their local members of Parliament. Some contributed through their membership on Dealer Councils. Some put in submissions, came to Canberra to visit Ministers or participated in Senate inquiries. Members from large, medium and small dealerships all played their part. Members from our capital cities and our country towns got stuck in.
It was a combined effort by so many.
In the end the message got through to the decision makers in Canberra. Our industry and the social and economic contribution it makes is valued. We should fight hard for fairness for this industry and the many Australians that make their living through it.