The peak body for Australia’s motor industry, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, has called for a fair and balanced discussion on consumer law and related issues in its response to a recent draft report into new car retailing produced by the ACCC.
The FCAI has expressed its disappointment in the ACCC’s lack of constructive engagement with the new vehicle distributors and manufacturers in the development of the regulator’s draft report and has again extended an open offer to provide the level of technical detail and expert insight which it believes will better inform the ACCC on the overall operation of the Australian new vehicle market.
Tony Weber, the FCAI’s Chief Executive, said the Australian new vehicle industry is one of the most competitive in the world, with some 65 brands competing in a market for nearly 1.2 million annual sales. This equates to around 18,000 new vehicles sold per brand, compared with 255,000 sold per brand in the US.
“In a competitive marketplace such as ours, brands have to deliver outstanding customer service and support – and are doing so,” Mr Weber said.
“This competitiveness extends not only to the competition between brands and dealers, but also to the highly competitive servicing and repair sector where specialisation is becoming a real benefit to consumers.”
The FCAI has urged the ACCC to work with the new car industry to better understand the key features of a complex and competitive market.
“The existing warranty and consumer protection mechanisms are working well, and the FCAI provides examples of that in our response,” Mr Weber said.
“Australia’s new car industry has hundreds of thousands of very happy customers but their voices are unheard. All the industry asks is for a fair and balanced hearing from the regulator but to date, that hasn’t happened.”
“We look forward to that opportunity.”
The FCAI’s full submission can be viewed on the FCAI website here.