The automotive aftermarket sector is celebrating with the Federal Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar announcing that the draft legislation that will require car companies to share all motor vehicle service and repair information is only weeks away.
Speaking at the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) Industry Leaders Forum, Sukkar also said there would not be a lengthy consultation period before it goes before Parliament as the issue has been subject to considerable and lengthy consultation for almost a decade.
AAAA CEO Stuart Charity, said the Minister's comments were a game changer for the 30,000 independent repairers and the 150,000 technicians in Australia looking to service vehicles.
"It has been a long 10-year battle involving literally hundreds of meetings with politicians from all sides, as well as two major inquiries and an 18-month ACCC investigation with two rounds of extensive stakeholder consultation," he said.
"This is a landmark decision. It means consumers will not be forced to get their car serviced at a car company dealership.
"We are incredibly grateful to the Minister for getting this done. He just got it right from the beginning."
The new law is designed to provide a fairer playing field for the repair and service of the 74 automotive brands available in Australia in an industry worth $25 billion annually. The law will compel car manufacturers to share all mechanical repair and service information with the independent auto repair sector on 'fair and reasonable commercial terms'.
"No car owner should be forced to take the car back to a dealer because the car manufacturers have artificially manipulated the market by withholding software updates and reinitialization codes," Charity said.
He said many other countries were watching with considerable interest to see what happened in Australia. â€œIt's great that we are leading the way in the Asia Pacific region."
Geoff Gwilym VACC CEO outlined the role VACC played in assisting MTAA including gathering insights from businesses and arranging workshop visits for many parliamentarians and stakeholders: "VACC congratulates Minister Sukkar on his leadership in finalising government's response to this crictical issue and in addressing a recommendation of the ACCC for a mandated prescribed scheme," Gwilym said.
"The industry has committed to working with government and each other to finalise input into legislation and the Australian automotive sector's role in making the law work," he said.