Changes hit small, locally-owned, mechanics
MACKAY mechanic Derek Davis believes mooted changes forcing independent operators to contact larger dealerships to access certain information about particular brands of vehicles could mean the end for smaller businesses.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the body that represents car companies, walked away from negotiations last week with independent operators and issued its own code of conduct surrounding car servicing.
The stalemate could result in independent repairers being blocked from gaining access to maintenance data, computer upgrades, diagnostic equipment and specialist tools to fix modern cars.
Mr Davis, who is the owner of Ezy Mechanical, questioned the motives behind the move.
He said at the end of the day people liked dealing with locally operated businesses they could trust.
"Why would I want to take my vehicle to a dealership for an apprentice to work on," he said.
"I have the best trained mechanics in Mackay working for me.
"I give every customer my personal guarantee and I could count on one hand the number of complaints I have received from customers over the past eight years."
The Australian Automobile Association expressed concern the consultation process had broken down.
Chief executive Andrew McKellar said it demonstrated a level of arrogance and contempt towards consumers, especially those living in regional areas.
"The car brands have sought to protect their own interests and the interests of their franchised dealers by limiting access to a range of service and repair information," he said.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber defended its tough stance, claiming the regulations had been in place for a while.
WHAT THEY SAY:
- Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries: "We have got exclusions around safety, security and the environment for good reasons."
- RACQ: "Mechanics have a right to carry out repairs. Motorists have a right to choose their mechanic."
- AAA: "The car brands are trying to protect their own interests. It is concerning for regional areas."