Consumers thrive and get the best prices when corporations have to compete with locally owned businesses by offering affordable rates for services. But what happens when government regulations block local businesses from being able to provide all of the same services as a corporation? That’s the question everyone has to wonder now that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has developed a car servicing “code of conduct” that threatens the very existence of local repair shops. Who is the FCAI? How will the new code affect local repair shops? How can you support local businesses?
The FCAI is an agency which represents the Australian automotive industry. They are the major player in creating policy that affects the automotive industry throughout Australia. Member companies include most of the major auto manufacturers from around the world.
So why will the new code hurt local repair businesses? According to the AAA (Australian Automobile Association), the code will block local shops from being able to keep up to date with upgrades and diagnostic equipment that is necessary for modern vehicles. If you’ve tried to work on your own car in the past decade, you probably realize they are more like a computer than a mechanical device at this point, and that trend will only continue. Blocking local shops from being able to work on these aspects of a vehicle may put local shop owners out of business in a hurry.
There are about 17 million vehicles in Australia that need maintenance on a regular basis. Having 20,000 independent repair shops across the nation allows for a good deal of competition and competitive pricing. What do you think will happen if every vehicle owner has to go to one of the 1,500 dealer service centres across the nation? You can be certain of one thing: Besides shop owners who lose their livelihood, car owners will also be paying the price. Not only will these service centres be able to charge a premium (as if they didn’t already), but you can expect long waits to get your vehicle back from the overloaded shops.
Now is the time to support your local mechanic because there may come a time when such a local business can no longer exist thanks to industry regulations.