Since AADA reformed in 2013 we have massively increased the amount of advocacy work we do on behalf of Dealers. We have formed relationships with governments and with regulators such as the ACCC and ASIC.
Thanks to these relationships AADA has had a real say in government and regulatory approaches to vital issues such as used and parallel imports, and finance and insurance, resulting in better outcomes for Dealers in these areas.
In 2018 AADA has been working hard in the communication and stakeholder engagement areas of the organisation. Since the start of the year, AADA has carried out a number of communication and advocacy activities to increase awareness of the organisation, build relationships with stakeholders and government, and improve the organisation’s communication with members to ensure they are kept informed and updated on key industry issues.
AADA has generated a quarterly report to demonstrate all the work that has taken place across digital communications, face-to-face meetings, media activity and government relations.
In the first three months of the year AADA was involved in 15 political meetings, 36 member/AMDC meetings, had 121 mentions in the media, 1,193 website views, made 25 social media posts, published three newsletters, two media releases and five Dealer bulletins, and made three submissions to government on behalf of our members.
In our policy and advocacy work on behalf of franchised new car Dealers, one of our uppermost objectives is to always ensure we are never so far apart from our industry colleagues and regulators that communication is impossible.
To this end we constantly engage with the AAAA, MTAA, FCAI, AAA, ANCAP and other groups, as well as the key teams at ASIC, ACCC and with government and opposition leaders communicating on our updated Vital Five:
- Automotive Industry Code
- Access to Service and Repair Information
- ACL Review (changes to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010)
- ACCC Add-On Insurance Review
- Affordability Issues – LCT, Import Duty, State Duties and Taxes
On all these topics we never want to hear any of these important industry partners ask the question, “Why have we not heard from you?”
Other policy issues in which AADA is extremely active include the Takata Airbags Recall; Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Measures; Luxury Car Tax; Vehicle Emissions; Skills & Training; Company Tax; Passenger Vehicle Tariff, and Automated Road Vehicles.
AADA has made submissions to government on crucial issues pertaining to new car retailing, including the ACCC’s New Car Retailing Study; the power imbalance between automotive manufacturers and new vehicle Dealers; the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment; the Road Vehicles Standards Bill; annual Federal Budgets and the Consumer First Review Motor Vehicles.
You only have to look at the roll call of speakers at AADA National Dealer Conventions to see how well-regarded your association is in the corridors of power: Paul Keating; Peter Costello; ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims; various Federal and State Government Ministers, and other respected leaders, have all thought highly enough of AADA to give us the benefit of their experience and expertise.
AADA represents around 1,500 new car Dealers covering about 3,500 new vehicle outlets. Our membership base ranges from small, family-owned businesses (96.5 percent of automotive businesses are small and family-run enterprises), to publicly-listed companies operating in the capital cities and regional areas of every state and territory in Australia. There are 72 vehicle marques operating in Australia – a total that is among the greatest number in any of the world’s markets.
The new vehicle retailing sector makes a massive contribution to the Australian economy. With total turnover/sales of more than $65 billion, the estimated total economic contribution is almost $15 billion. The industry also generates over $6 billion in wages and $4.7 billion in tax revenue; it is a source of significant taxation revenue for governments, incurring and collecting a number of taxes, including Stamp Duty, Tariff Duty, Fringe Benefits Tax, Luxury Car Tax and GST. The industry employs more than 69,000 Australians directly and its indirect contribution to employment and the wider economy is massive.
This transformation has not escaped the attention of our regulators and legislators. Much of the ‘education’ of these groups has come via our secretariat. Hence the people who represent us every day on matters with these bodies have become well-respected by these regulators and legislators. In fact, we are often invited to closed sessions to help them better understand not only our industry but also the role we play as businesses and the problems we sometimes face.
We have invested heavily in our secretariat to make it as effective as it can be. The dividends of these investments are flowing and represent great protection for our business model.
AADA has become a powerful voice in Australia, but an association such as ours is only as strong as its membership. The AADA secretariat does a power of work on behalf of Dealers, but we need you to support us as we support you. We need your voices, opinions and input. We need your participation, both on the ground in your own areas to lobby and influence politicians and decision-makers, and also through your attendance at our marquee event, the 2018 AADA National Dealer Convention.
Together we are stronger and better able to advance our shared interests. We are becoming a major player on the Australian political stage, as befits our size and impact as an industry. Now is the time to consolidate our position and continue to grow our influence. We need your commitment for that to happen. See you at AADA 2018.