The Education and Employment References Committee (Senate Committee) announced on 7 October 2020 that it has resolved to investigate the regulation of the relationship between car manufacturers and car dealership models in Australia. The Senate Committee has called for submissions which must be submitted by 30 October 2020.
The Senate Committee’s investigation will include:
- practices employed by manufacturers in their commercial relations with dealers, with specific focus on:
- investment required and tenure provided;
- termination and compensation practices;
- performance requirements;
- behaviour around warranty claims and Australian Consumer Law;
- unfair terms in contracts; and
- goodwill and data ownership;
- existing legislative, regulatory and self-regulatory arrangements;
- current and proposed government policy;
- dispute resolution systems and penalties for breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct;
- current and proposed business models in selling vehicles;
- legislative, regulatory and self-regulatory arrangements found in international markets; and
- the imposition of restraints of trade on car dealers from car manufacturers.
This latest investigation into the automotive industry follows the announcement by the Senate on 27 February 2020 that it would refer to the Senate Committee for inquiry and report the announcement by General Motors on 17 February 2020 to withdraw the Holden brand and operations from Australia.
Further information can be obtained from the:
Senate Education and Employment Committees
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6277 3521
Fax: +61 2 6277 5706
This article was written by Evan Stents, Partner.