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We’re on a road to nowhere with another ‘New Car Plan’

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) today slammed the Labor Party’s ‘New Car Plan for the 2020s’ as a policy pronouncement worthy of the in-flight napkin it was obviously written on.

AMIF CEO, Richard Dudley, said the ‘new’ plan should be seen for what it is – a thinly disguised attempt to buy votes in marginal electorates; a distraction from the lost jobs, lost sales, cancelled orders, industry instability and uncertainty, caused by proposed changes to FBT rules; and a disguise for an ongoing lack of knowledge and understanding of the entire Australian Automotive industry and the unprecedented Change impacting it.

‘This announcement perpetuates the current ad-hoc, dysfunctional policy narrative that starts with car and car component manufacturing and ends with the delivery of the new car to the dealer, only this time it sets new benchmarks for larger buckets of money, over longer timeframes with even less detail for only 25% of the industry,’ Mr Dudley said.

“As in the past, it fails to take into account the unprecedented change impacting the other 75% of the Australian automobile industry, the 100,000 businesses employing a further 320,000 Australians in sectors who sell, service, repair and recycle Australia’s 17 million strong vehicle fleet,‘ he added.

Mr Dudley said it was clear the Labor Party is not content with their past ad‐hoc policy ‘achievements’ with today’s announcement rounding off an Herculean and unprecedented month of incredulous pronouncements and policy on‐the‐run.

AMIF said this approach to an industry as critical as automotive had to stop and repeated its call for a Green/White Paper on the entire Australian Automotive industry.

‘450 automotive businesses on average are closing each year with this number climbing rapidly. The acute shortages of skilled workers are dramatically affecting the productivity and continued viability of many automotive sector businesses, Mr Dudley said.

‘2700 people left car and car component manufacturing in 2011/12 but more than 13,000 people left the automotive service and repair sectors over the same period. Yet recent research showed there is a shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics in Australia now. Where are these issues reflected in the new car plan.

‘Given that the automotive retail, service, repair and recycling sectors make up the largest concentration of small business in Australia, and the depth of Australia’s reliance on the motor vehicle, it is irresponsible to consider any policy mechanism outside of a White Paper/Green Paper to develop comprehensive, evidence based policy to guide and sustain the medium and long term future of the Australian automotive industry.” Mr Dudley concluded.

For further information, please contact Mr Richard Dudley, CEO of AMIF on (02) 6273 8222 or 0412 146 828.

AMIF’s position paper Automotive 2018 - An Industry at Crossroads can be viewed at

Automotive Industry Unites Against Autocratic Policy on the Run

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) and Australian Automobile Dealers Association (AADA) were two of more than 30 organisations that today welcomed the Coalition’s decision to oppose the Rudd Government’s unilateral change to the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) arrangements on salary packaged and employer provided cars.

AMIF, the national voice of 100,000 retail, service, repair and recycling automotive businesses, and AADA the national body of 4600 motor dealers; were among representatives from all parts of the automotive, salary packaging, finance, consulting, legal and tax industries who gave further evidence of the impact of the FBT changes to a specially convened meeting by the Federal Coalition in Melbourne this morning.

AMIF and AADA CEO Richard Dudley congratulated Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb and Shadow Minister for Innovation Industry and Science, Sophie Mirabella, for showing what proper consultation looked like by seeking counsel from the automotive and affiliated industries and making a decision based on fact rather than expediency.

‘The Opposition’s approach stands in stark contrast to the contempt, arrogance and autocracy shown by the Rudd Labor Government on this issue,’ Mr Dudley said.

Some of the impacts of this policy-on-the-run to date include:

  • 75 staff sacked from salary packaging company. Another company remains in suspension on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • Increased job losses reported likely across several industry sectors. A dramatic reduction in new car sales nationwide.
  • The used car industry has also been impacted with reduced sales. Medium sized car retailers likely to incur additional costs of approximately $150,000 p.a not including additional administration costs and loss of sales.No correlation between the figures used by Government and those of industry with the total number of people impacted likely to exceed a minimum 600,000 and more likely one million Australians.
  • The average price of a packaged car is just $34,500.
  • Just 5% of packaged cars are in the luxury category.
  • 35% are made by local manufacturers.Over 70% of drivers with salary packaging arrangements earn less than $100,000 including charity workers, teachers and police.
  • Policy detail appears unavailable - the Australian Tax Office refers callers to a ‘Fact Sheet’, despite complex associated FBT rulings.

Mr Dudley said the industry would do everything in its power and resources to alert members, the industry and the public to the impact of this poor policy.

Richard Dudley CEO AMIF & AADA Contact Number: 0412 146 828

Lack of Consultation on FBT Changes is Worrying Given Forthcoming Federal Election

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) and its Members, are disappointed by today’s announcement that the rules concerning the calculation of Fringe Benefit Tax on applicable vehicles, is to be changed without any consultation with industry, or with regards for the impact of this change.

“It is a disgrace that the Rudd Government has elected not to consult the Australian automotive industry before making its decision to make significant changes to the FBT rules” said Mr Richard Dudley.

“Had the industry been consulted, we could have provided input into alternative FBT arrangements that would have assisted the Government in achieving its objectives towards the ETS, while supporting the domestic automotive industry and continuing to provide surety to small business operators.”

Instead we are left with another policy-on-the-run announcement that provides little detail in terms of the new arrangement’s and the added insult of an immediate extra burden upon consumers and that also increases the compliance burden upon small business.” He concluded.

It is for these reasons that AMIF announced during its recent National Press Club address, that urgent government engagement in the form of a Green Paper, was required to ensure that a cohesive and coordinate response to automotive industry issues and policy can be developed.

In this vein, AMIF is supportive of comments made by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

For further comment, please contact Mr Richard Dudley, CEO on 0412 146 82