Mandatory Data Sharing Law Locked In For Australia

The Australian government has announced that it will introduce a mandatory data sharing law. The data sharing law will allow independent workshops access to all motor vehicle service and repair information for a price.

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) says the law will provide a level playing field in the sector and allow consumers to have their vehicle safely repaired by the repairer of their choice.

“This is an incredible result for our members, who came to us with their concerns, put competitive rivalries aside and fought alongside us to have the law changed for their customers, their businesses and the wider industry,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.

“This announcement has been a long road and is the culmination of tireless work by the AAAA team to push for government action to address this important competition issue. We have personally met with over 75 federal MPs, facilitated hundreds of workshop visits by MPs all around the country and had countless early morning and late-night discussions with ministers and other industry stakeholders.”

The announcement is also a huge moment for the AAAA who has long championed the Choice of Repairer campaign on behalf of their members and the wider industry.

“It is also an important win for consumers,” said Charity. “Our Choice of Repairer campaign has sought to increase community awareness around consumers’ right to choose their repairer and their new car warranty and servicing rights.

“This has been an industry wide effort and I would like to acknowledge the invaluable role played by automotive industry associations – Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA), Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), Australian Automobile Association (AAA), and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

“I’d like to personally thank the Assistant Treasurer Hon. Michael Sukkar for his leadership on this issue and commitment to introduce a mandatory data sharing law that will benefit small businesses in the automotive service industry as well as every Australian car owner.

“We look forward to seeing progress on an exposure draft and we will review every word to ensure that car manufacturers are not able to wriggle though any loopholes that would prevent or restrict consumer choice and ultimately harm competition.”

AAAA To Work With Joint Select Committee On Road Safety

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) says it has welcomed the formation of the government’s new Joint Select Committee on Road Safety.

The committee will inquire and report on steps that can be taken to reduce Australia’s road accident rates, trauma and deaths on the country’s roads, aiming to present an interim report by 30 March 2020 and a final report by 31 July 2020. The AAAA says it wants to engage with the committee on the role that vehicle servicing plays in road safety.

While newer vehicle designs, construction and new safety technologies are major factors in reducing crash numbers, serious injury and death on our roads, the AAAA says it’s regular maintenance and servicing that ensures vehicles continue to operate safely on the roads for years to come. With the longer-term trend of lower new car sales and consumers holding on to their cars for longer, regular servicing is more important than ever.

According to AAAA research, 30 per cent of vehicles are not receiving regular or required services, increasing the risk of component failure or other issues that directly impact vehicle safety. The cost of servicing remains a key reason behind this statistic, so ensuring servicing remains affordable and that consumers have a choice is the best way to increase the number of vehicles that are regularly serviced.

“We are eager to provide the Joint Select Committee information around affordable measures that encourage owners to have their vehicles regularly serviced and maintained, including a mandatory data sharing scheme for independent workshops,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of AAAA. “The AAAA has long championed a mandatory data sharing scheme on behalf of independent service and repair professionals across the country. Denying consumers their choice of vehicle service provider is a threat to competition and safety.”

According to the AAAA, Australia lags behind other countries in relation to data sharing, with Europe and the USA having regulations in place to encourage regular vehicle servicing and consumer choice. However, the association says it’s confident that a mandatory scheme is forthcoming, continuing to work with the government on behalf of the automotive service industry to make sure the implementation of this scheme is achieved in a timely manner.

The AAAA says it will work proactively with the Joint Select Committee to highlight the importance the vehicle service and repair industry has on road safety outcomes, and outline how the association can assist the industry in playing their role in reducing the nation’s rising road death toll.

AAAA Innovation Labs Supporting The Future Growth Of Australian Automotive Manufacturing

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has announced the establishment of two automotive Innovation Labs based in Victoria and South Australia.

Co-funded by federal and Victorian government industry development grants, the operation of these new Innovation Labs will be led by the AAAA, with the association saying they will provide Australian automotive product designers, manufacturers and start-ups with the tools, technology, vehicles, expertise and collaborative environment required to innovate, design, test and manufacture for local and export markets.

Advanced manufacturing services including 3D scanning and printing, measuring sessions, technology transfer, Computer Aided Design and prototyping will be provided. Advanced product development and testing facilities will significantly reduce the time and cost in developing innovative new products for local and global markets.

According to AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity, the establishment of these Innovation Labs will grow an industry that is already punching well above its weight on the global stage.

“Australian automotive aftermarket industry manufacturers are currently producing parts, components and technology worth more than five billion dollars each year.

“Our companies are world leaders in the design and manufacture of specialty products with a technological advantage such as 4WD, high performance and motorsport components. These products are purchased on innovation, performance and features rather than on price. Our businesses have been successful because they have made significant investments in R&D and capital equipment and have a strong export focus.

“Establishing this collaborative infrastructure will position our industry for future domestic and export market growth by providing the innovators of the industry with the leading-edge technology and expertise needed to take Australian automotive industry innovations to the world, regardless of how large or small their businesses are.”

The AAAA has appointed automotive industry engineering specialist Luke Truskinger to the role of Innovation Lab Project Manager. Along with his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, the AAAA says Truskinger brings extensive local and international OEM experience to this new role and a history of supporting the Innovation Lab project, understanding the critical role that the labs will play to support the future growth of Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry.

The AAAA says it will be engaging in extensive discussions with Australia’s automotive parts and accessories industry to build on the significant work already undertaken as part of the Innovation Lab feasibility study. The next few months of the establishment phase will ensure that the equipment and services offered by the Australian Innovation Labs are closely aligned with the current and future needs of the Australian automotive manufacturing industry.

“We look forward to inviting automotive manufacturers to take advantage of the services and facilities that our Innovation Labs will offer to assist in taking their products from concept to domestic and global market success,” said Charity.

To find out more or to register your interest in the Automotive Innovation Labs, contact AAAA Innovation Lab Project Manager Luke Truskinger – [email protected].

Industry Support Results In Autocare Show Sell-Out

In what can only be described as an overwhelming vote of confidence by the industry, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is delighted to advise that the inaugural Autocare 2018 Convention has sold out all sponsorships and trade show spaces.

The Autocare Show welcomes all members of the automotive and collision repair trade to attend this important two-day event absolutely free of charge, to see the latest products and technologies from 100 of Australia’s leading automotive aftermarket companies, take part in live training sessions delivered by local and international experts and benefit from the vast networking opportunities that only an industry event of this size can provide. Members of the automotive trade and their staff can register to attend Autocare 2018 at no charge by visiting www.autocare.org.au

This extraordinary industry interest and involvement has been achieved with just over three weeks remaining before the Autocare Show takes place at the International Convention Centre located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour on May 4 and 5.

An education led event designed specifically for automotive service and repair professionals, parts manufacturers, suppliers and their collision repair industry colleagues, Autocare 2018 has also seen an outstanding number of trade show registrations for this information packed two-day industry event.

According to Stuart Charity, Executive Director of the AAAA, these results are extremely encouraging given that this is the first major automotive aftermarket industry event to be held in Sydney for five years.

“We are more than delighted to see so many leading companies of the Australian automotive aftermarket industry supporting this new and important educational event,” Charity stated.

“The fact that all of our corporate sponsorships and show areas are now sold out reflects the clear intention of these companies to assist their customers, the automotive service and repairers of Australia, as the industry makes the transition to a technology led future. Never before has our industry seen such disruption, innovation and rejuvenation, which is also the theme of this inaugural convention.” He added.

Presented by Platinum sponsor Repco and Diamond Sponsor I-CAR, the inaugural Autocare Show is proudly supported by a host of the industry’s most successful companies including Brown and Watson International, Ryco Group, ASV Euro Car Parts, Burson Auto Parts, Hella, Pedders Suspension, SAPE Group, Lowbake, DNS Technology and CESA Products, together with over 80 Silver and Bronze Autocare 2018 partners.

Autocare 2018 Free Training Programme Released

Visitors to this year’s Australian automotive industry event, Autocare 2018, can look forward to a series of free informative training sessions focusing on the latest collision repair technological advances in equipment, systems and processes, according to the event organiser, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA).

These training sessions will be conducted on the I-CAR Training Stage across the two days of the inaugural industry convention, which takes place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney on 4 and 5 May.

Along with the free Autocare 2018 training sessions, over 100 of Australia’s leading automotive aftermarket suppliers and service providers will also be out in force at this convention (including BodyShop News), offering customer assistance, advice and training. In addition, the free Lowbake Spray Booth will see major refinish companies demonstrating their technology live and interactively during sessions throughout the two-day event on the outdoor deck.

The AAAA said collision repair business owners, panel repairers, technicians and apprentices are invited to join industry colleagues at Autocare 2018 to learn about the latest industry trends and technological advances that are shaping the future of business success.

Autocare 2018’s series of free training sessions start at 9:00am on Friday 4th May and will be repeated on Saturday 5th May on the I-CAR Training Stage. They include the following presentations:

  • UV Paint Curling – GPI Automotive Products
  • Collision Energy Management and New Technology Impact – I-CAR Australia
  • How To Turn Body Repair Into Smart Repair – Henkel Australia
  • Reduce Costs, Not Quality with Akemi – CESA
  • Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor Overview – I-CAR Australia
  • Big Dent Attack – Adhesive Collision Repair Techniques – Smart PDR Tools
  • Gold Class – Everything Explained – I-CAR Australia

To view the full program of presenters and session times, visit https://www.autocare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Collision-Repair-Training-Stage.pdf.

“We are calling all members of the collision repair sector of our industry to take advantage of the detailed training being offered free of charge at Autocare 2018 on May 4 and 5 in Sydney. Never before has the industry faced such an important need to stay up to date with technology as the Australian car fleet continues to grow in size and complexity,” said AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity.

“We are fortunate to have so many companies who are Australian and international leaders in their field taking part in these free training sessions and trade displays, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring that the industry is kept up to date on the rapid developments that are currently disrupting the collision repair sector at an unprecedented pace,” Mr Charity added.

Autocare 2018 is presented by Platinum Sponsor Repco and Diamond Sponsor I-CAR. The convention is also supported by several industry companies including SAPE Group, Lowbake, DNS Technology and CESA Products, together with over 80 Silver and Bronze Autocare 2018 partners. The event also includes a gala dinner sponsored by Pedders Suspension and a special outdoor feature car display at the newly constructed International Convention Centre located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The AAAA anticipates that over 3000 automotive professionals will attend the two-day free entry trade display and onsite training activities, with many also electing to attend the Autocare 2018 convention education programme. More information about the convention key note addresses and panel discussions can be found at www.autocare.org.au. Free registration can also be performed via the preceding website link.