The peak body representing new car dealers says the ACCC’s new car retail market study report clearly demonstrates the need for a new car retail industry code.
The final report has examined the relationship between new car dealers and vehicle manufacturers and has found a number of issues worthy of further investigation, including:
- Minimum tenure and capital investment requirements
- Non-renewal practices
- Changes to commercial arrangements
- Reimbursement for remedies
“The ACCC’s 18-month long investigation has revealed a structural imbalance in the relationship between Australia’s new car franchised dealers and vehicle manufacturers,” said AADA CEO David Blackhall.
“New car dealers are of the firm view that the only way to address this imbalance is to develop an industry specific code for the new car retail industry,” Mr Blackhall said.
“This relationship is skewed very much in favour of the offshore manufacturers and local dealerships that employ tens of thousands of Australians countrywide are suffering,” he said.
“An industry code needs to address the fact that dealers have no security of tenure; are increasingly being served with non-renewal notices; have ineffective capital expenditure protections; and unfair end of term arrangements,” Mr Blackhall said.
“This report underscores the need for a new car retail industry code and the AADA will be making the case for such a code to Government in order to protect Australian consumers and businesses,” he said.
The ACCC also recommended a mandatory scheme for car manufacturers to share service and repair information with independent repairers.
“The AADA has consistently made the point that any regulatory scheme for sharing of repair information needs to impose strict conditions and safeguards for access to sensitive data, particularly security, safety and emissions information,” said Mr Blackhall.
“We are pleased that the final report has acknowledged this point, especially as we move to an increasingly connected world in which vehicle technology is advancing rapidly,” he said.
The AADA expressed in principle support for the ACCC’s recommendations on consumer guarantees and vehicle emissions labelling and stands ready to assist the Commission and Government in improving consumer information.