As we reflect on 2022 from a AADA perspective, it has been another successful year. Most importantly, it has been a good year for the industry as strong demand for vehicles has persisted.
A new Labor Government was elected in May, and with it a number of changes in priorities at the federal level. State Governments have again had an active regulatory year, resulting in the secretariat engaging in consultation processes across federal and state or territory governments on nearly 15 separate topics.
There was less local disruption for Dealers since this has been the first COVID-19 lock-down free year since early 2020. Demand for new and used vehicles remained strong and order banks have potentially never looked better for some. Supply chain issues continued, creating a strong market and good profit margins for many of our members.
Looking ahead to the new year, many are predicting the good times may begin to slow down. An inflation economy and increasing interest rates may affect consumer demand and we are already seeing signs of the supply situation changing.
OEMs are clearly considering their distribution strategies, with a watchful eye being kept on the performance of Mercedes-Benz and Honda in Australia. There are signs in overseas markets that other OEMs are considering the move to an agency sales model. Early 2023 will see a decision from the Federal Court in the lawsuit by Dealers against Mercedes-Benz which could also play a role in any decisions made for the Australian market.
In the regulatory space, the hot topic is increasing the sales of zero and low emission vehicles. How to achieve the aim of lowering carbon emissions from passenger vehicles has been much debated since the election of the Albanese Government and we should be prepared for further significant work to be done on EVs. We also expect additional incursions into finance & insurance, and more potential consumer law changes on the horizon.
From the AADA secretariat, thank-you for all the strong support from Dealers and associated automotive industries throughout the year. We are looking forward to continuing to work hard for our members and the industry as a whole in 2023.