Key figures from the AADA, FCAI and several OEMs informally met and discussed how an open dialogue will help ensure the strength of our shared industry.
In mid-September, the AADA was invited to participate in an informal dinner which included key members from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) along with the leaders of several manufacturers in Australia – including Ford, Mazda and Jaguar Land Rover.
It was an historical evening – and the first time the AADA was invited to participate in such an event.
The retail motor industry comprises of three distinct groups, including manufacturers (OEMs), Dealers and the independent aftermarket sector. Whilst a level of cooperation between these three groups is essential, they also compete against each other for the consumer dollar.
With major structural changes to the industry underway, communication between the three parties is even more important, especially as the growth of the Australian auto industry is something that relies on the combined efforts of all stakeholders.
For example, brand representation is a joint OEM and Dealer responsibility. Whilst the marketing departments of OEMs must successfully position and promote brands and products, Dealers provide an estimated $17 billion in physical facilities. These promote the brand at the point-of-sale and enhance consumer experience.
The service requirements of the 17.2 million used cars on Australian roads need properly-equipped and trained repairers with access to repair information through the internet, or from data aggregators, at a reasonable cost.
Contrary to some misleading claims, repair information is currently available to independent repairers and FCAI’s members have committed to continue providing and improving the delivery mechanism at a commercially reasonable cost.
With the end of manufacturing in Australia, the main face of the industry post-2017 will be the Dealer network. The FCAI, (no longer representing local manufacturers) will need to have an even closer Dealer relationship through AADA to properly project the brands to both Government and the public.
Meanwhile, Dealers need to be in sync with the FCAI (through the AADA), to manage the process of change, which is revolutionising the way brand representation will be conducted within the next five years.
It’s these upcoming challenges, along with current issues like the threat of mass grey-imports and the misnamed Right to Repair campaign, which made September’s gathering all the more important.
Indeed, the AADA has plenty in common with the FCAI and forging a strong relationship between the organisations could bring plenty of advantages for members. It’s all part of the revitalised AADA’s vision for an open dialogue and greater communication with industry partners, including the independent repairers who are also Dealer customers.