With you for the journey



The automotive industry
is in a state of flux.

Technological changes including electrification, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles, offer exciting opportunities and new challenges. At the same time, environmental issues are bringing electric and hybrid vehicles to the fore. The Australian market is hyper-competitive, putting pressure on the traditional sales model. Dealer networks are being rationalised, online sales are increasing and a rising number of manufacturers are looking at selling directly to consumers. Compliance with the ACL remains a hot topic, both in terms of customer complaints and dealers’ entitlement for reimbursement. Product liability and environmental claims, including class actions, continue to grab the headlines.

Sector knowledge

Understanding is nothing if not translated into solutions that help you run your business effectively. This is where we come into our own.

For example:
  • deep understanding of vehicle conversion programmes enabled us to advise Ford on its deal with RMA to adapt F-150 pickup trucks to meet Australian requirements for sale in this country, which Ford described as “the only Ford program of its kind globally”
  • years of experience advising car companies regarding their dealer networks was essential to Peter George appearing on behalf of the FCAI at the Joint Parliamentary Enquiry into the franchising industry
  • understanding how car companies structure their operations was instrumental in us advising Groupe Renault on the appointment of RVDA as its independent distributor in Australia
  • working in the unique regulatory environment applicable to vehicle distribution arrangements, and the commercial realities of the automotive market, enabled us to guide Polestar through setting up its entire Australian operations, including a direct, wholly online sales model
  • sector experience helped us to advise Renault SA on the sales of its distribution business to ATECO and Inchcape Australia in acquiring the distribution rights for Peugeot/Citroen vehicles from Sime Darby
  • understanding of different sales models enabled us to advise Subaru Australia on the implementation of a direct sales model in Melbourne
  • advising car companies regarding their customer claims under the ACL was instrumental in our appointment as independent reviewer/ expert /arbiters under undertakings given to the ACCC by FCA Australia, Hyundai Australia and Ford Australia
  • knowledge of the way dealer networks interact with vehicle manufacturers enabled us to draft, negotiate and roll out new dealer agreements for manufacturers including Honda, Nissan, Peugeot, Polaris and Subaru
  • understanding of the voluntary recall process and how the DIRD and ACCC deals with recalls, enables us to advise on automotive recall programmes decisively
  • our consumer advocates seconded to car company clients enable us to proactively improve ACL compliance.

We could go on……the point is that we don’t just know the law, we know the law in your context.

Focused advice

Of course, we advise our automotive clients on the full range of issues that any large corporate requires, but we advise on the specialist stuff too.

Take a look here for more information on the automotive-specific issues we address and our case studies of how we address them:

  • ACCC s155 notices and requests for information
  • ACL compliance
  • ADR and homologation
  • advertising, brand and promotion, including data and privacy issues
  • connected vehicles advice
  • customer complaints including acting as independent expert reviewer
  • dealer networks, including dealer agreements, acquisitions, divestments and
  • disputes
  • product safety and recalls
  • technology, including online sales, supply agreements and disputes
  • vehicle conversion and modification programmes

Key contacts

Peter George

Managing Partner

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