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THE Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has established a specialist council for the independent motor vehicle repair and service sector to provide a “unified national voice” in tackling issues such as skills shortages, technological change and access to data from car companies.

Designed to complement rather than compete against state-based industry bodies such as the Motor Trades Associations and Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural Automotive Repairers Council of Australia (ARCA) comprises a 13-member committee made up of industry heavyweights across the sector.

These include Kmart Tyre and Auto Service Vic/ACT division manager Gavin Hosmer, Ultra Tune Australia operations director Hamish Murdoch, JAX Tyres chief executive Jeff Board, Bridgestone Australia national manager of automotive services Stuart McLean, Repco Authorised Service Vic/Tas business development manager David Lyall and GUD Automotive CEO Guy Nicholls.

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National focus: Big players in the independent vehicle repair and servicing market such as Kmart Tyre and Auto Service have put their weight behind the AAAA’s new specialist council.

Other members include Ron Atkinson (Future Auto Group), Nigel Oborne (First Class Automotive), Mark Geraghty (Automotive Brands Group), Maurice Donovan (Allautos Advance Tuning), Joe Musolino (Hendon Automotive Services and Repairs), Deyan Barrie (Barrie Auto Electrics) and Anthony Dack (Anthony’s Car and Head Centre).

The ARCA has also appointed Perth Ultra Tune franchisee Mike Smith as convenor, managing day-to-day operations.

Stuart Charity

Stuart Charity

In announcing the establishment of the new council, AAAA executive director Stuart Charity said the independent repair and service sector was facing a variety of challenges that stem from “the rapid pace of technological change, skills and training gaps, and the anti-competitive behaviour of the car companies”.

He said the ARCA would operate outside the confines of a state-based organisation “to provide structure and much-needed formal links to the rest of the automotive parts and accessories supply chain”.

“ARCA has been established to open doors to increased automotive knowledge and business expertise, protect competition and choice in the market, and ensure a strong and unified voice to government on behalf of Australia’s independent service and repair workshops,” Mr Charity said.

“This is a great sector of the automotive industry. If we want a healthy future, we must work collaboratively. ARCA was created to deliver that opportunity to work together.”

The ARCA joins other industry councils that come under the auto aftermarket association’s umbrella, including the Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council (APMEC) set up in 2015.

By Terry Martin

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