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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

An Industry at Crossroads - the Australian Motor Industry Federation's plan for the future survival of the Australian automotive industry

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) today demanded an automotive industry Green Paper/ White Paper process be undertaken to address unprecedented change impacting the entire automotive industry not just car manufacturing.

During an address the National Press Club in Canberra, AMIF CEO, Richard Dudley, said the industry was facing a ‘perfect storm’, where every sector of the automobile industry is undergoing generational change.

‘For too long, successive Governments have failed to recognise that the domestic automotive industry does not begin and end with vehicle and component manufacturing and that a new approach is needed that includes the other 75% of the industry who employ 320,000 Australians in 100,000 businesses.

‘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,’ Mr Dudley said:

Mr Dudley said recent research showed there to be a shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics in Australia now. Those shortages, coupled with the effects of globalisation, environmental protection policy, rapid technological advances, shifting consumer behaviour and the maturation or decline of business life-cycles are creating a maelstrom that will have catastrophic consequences on the entire industry and the sustainability of its services to the community.

‘There must be a different approach to policy planning for the future. For too long, successive Governments have failed to recognise that the domestic automotive industry does not begin and end with vehicle and component manufacturing. This is why we continue to see ineffective, ad-hoc policy that fails to address the critical issues all of the automotive industry is facing.

‘Given that the automotive retail, service, repair and recycling sectors make up the largest concentration of small business in Australia, and 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