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ACCC TO PUT NEW CAR RETAILERS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

16 August 2017

In an unprecedented move, the ACCC have flagged their intention to bring the actions of new car retailers in Australia, under greater scrutiny.

This action was highlighted in a report released by the ACCC on 10 August titled ‘Market study into Australia’s new car retailing industry’. This is an important step in helping secure the future for more than 10,000 independent automotive workshops in Australia, as well as providing motorists with increased diversity when choosing a repairer.

“Complaints to the ACCC about new car manufacturers have risen to more than 10,000 over the past two years. Our draft report highlights the urgent need to address widespread issues in the industry,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

As a trusted and influential aftermarket brand, RYCO has played an integral role in lobbying the ACCC though their continued support of the Automotive Aftermarket Association of Australia (AAAA).

“The AAAA has been fighting car manufacturers to ensure that car owners have the right to have their vehicle serviced and maintained through the workshop of their choice. Ultimately this helps protect the future of independent automotive repairers throughout Australia,” said Guy Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer - GUD Automotive Division, of which RYCO is a business unit.

The ACCC found problems with the detail and timeliness of technical information given to independent repairers.

“While the car companies continue to withhold service data like codes for clearing faults and the like, they are effectively restricting the ability of independent automotive mechanics completing tasks as simple as logbook servicing,” said Mr Nichols. “In effect that means the manufacturers can pick and choose which models they want to keep in the dealer workshop, leaving independents to fight over the table scraps.”

“This is not a small, industry specific issue,” Mr Nicholls remarked. “There are 17 million vehicles in Australia and almost every household is affected by vehicle repair costs.

If independent repairers don’t have access to information they will increasingly not be able to repair modern vehicles. Reduced competition will not only see the price of car repairs escalate for every motor vehicle on our roads, but it will also result in the closure of many independent workshops.

Mr Simms, ACCC, echoed this statement commenting, “Car manufacturers should be required to share new cars technical information with independent repairers. For new cars to be properly repaired and serviced, independent repairers need access to electronic information and data produced by car manufacturers.”

“This lack of competition hurts new car buyers who have fewer options to get the best deal for repairs and servicing, and restricts independent repairers from competing on a level playing field,” he added. 

To review the complete ACCC Report Visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/New%20car%20retailing%20industry%20draft%20report.pdf

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