The Morrison Government will protect Australia’s family-owned automotive businesses and their employees from the growing power imbalance with multi-national car companies by introducing new significant financial penalties for wrongdoing under the Franchising Code of Conduct.
A fine of up to $10 million could be given to international car companies that undertake systemic breaches under the Code, including unilaterally changing contracts, poor compensation and reneging on warranties.
The existing voluntary automotive principles will be made compulsory and a new mandatory automotive code will be strongly considered, following consultation.
The Government will also explore mandatory binding arbitration provisions within this new code, similar to those in the Media Bargaining Code, which were developed to curtail the power of the Big Tech platforms.
Minister for Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said Australia’s automotive dealers employed more than 60,000 Australians, including 4,000 apprentices, and contributes more than $12 billion to the economy.
“This is a decisive suite of reforms for automotive dealerships and the many local businesses, apprentices, charities and broader communities that they in turn support.,” she said.
“By protecting these businesses, we will be protecting the thousands of jobs that rely on the sector, including many apprentices.
“Car sales are surging and it’s further proof that the Australian economy is on the comeback. We need to ensure Australian family-owned automotive businesses continue to reap the rewards of this growth and the support from our supercharged instant asset write-off.”
The new measures announced today will:
“The Government is fully committed to enacting reforms that are impactful and deliver for the nation and regions where transport is integral for economic and social needs.”
“This is a landmark set of reforms for the automotive industry, building on the critical work done by the Government, most recently with the announcement of the automotive principles to deliver for consumers in December 2020.
Member for Barker said that these reforms will help local businesses in Barker.
“We stood up to Big Tech companies and we will stand up to multi-national car companies and back our family-owned Australia car dealers every step of the way.”
“I am committed to ensuring we protect family-owned automotive businesses in Barker, as they are vital pillars of our local communities, major employers, and the lifeblood of our economy.” Mr Pasin said.
In addition, the Government is committed to working further with the automotive franchising sector and will consult on:
Media Contact: Anna Hawkins 8724 7730