THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

The outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted the government to restrict various businesses from opening.

AADA can advise that at this stage, dealerships will NOT be restricted from opening.

The Federal Government’s announcement of a $130 billion package to assist employers to keep staff in employment will see the government fund up to $1500 per employee per fortnight for up to six months. The assistance is worth up to $100,000 per business.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of six months.

The AADA is treating seriously the current and likely future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been working tirelessly on your behalf and engaging the Federal Government to develop and strengthen protections for our industry; and gain better recognition of the critical place of new car dealerships in the business and community life of urban, regional and remote Australia. In some cases, radio interviews such as the one with Alan Jones on 19 March have also opened new avenues of influence with government as he undertook to carry our message of need directly to the Prime Minister.

We have also been engaging with government, both directly and through our advisors in an attempt to:

  • allow businesses seeking to purchase cars to be entitled to the total threshold of $150,000 under the expanded instant asset write off scheme
  • allow dealerships regardless of employee numbers and turnover thresholds to access support mechanisms for their staff/apprentices and investment allowances

This is a sensitive time in which many people and industries are understandably anxious, but AADA will continue to pursue the best possible policies to assist our members during this difficult time.

In summary, our actions so far include:

Media Releases:

Letters to Government:

  • 13 March – Letter to the Commonwealth Treasurer from AADA, FCAI, and NALSPA

We congratulated the Treasurer on his first response package to the pandemic and asked him to monitor sales over the coming months to gauge if additional specific measures were needed to support our industry.

  • 16 March – Letter to the Commonwealth Treasurer

We welcomed the stimulus measures already announced and sought expansion and more clarity on three issues:

  • Clarity on what vehicles qualify under the instant asset write-off
  • Consideration of extending the stimulus measures to all new car dealerships
  • Consideration of incentives for consumers to buy a new vehicle

Another issue remains the Takata airbag recall campaign, with more than 78,000 cars ordered off the road, plus more than 250,000 vehicles yet to have their potentially deadly airbags replaced, as well as numerous other recalls.

“We would further note that our work in effecting the Takata airbag recall is due to be completed by 31 December 2020, and that a number of other recalls, both critical and advisory, are currently underway. These recalls are vital in maintaining public safety but can only be finalised if our service and repair departments continue operating through this current emergency.”

In a letter to state treasurers, we sought specific support measures to assist the automotive industry through measures such as Stamp Duty exemptions for new vehicle sales and Payroll Tax relief for new car Dealers.

AADA will continue to monitor what is an ever-changing situation, and endeavour to keep members informed in a timely manner.

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