What is the automotive industry?

17 January 2020

Hint: it’s much more than car-making

Until 2017, when people – politicians and the media, mostly – talked of the ‘automotive industry’ they were usually referring to car manufacturing.

This always irritated me a bit because manufacturing was never the largest part of the automotive industry; that has always been the aftermarket: vehicle sales, service and maintenance, body repair, fuel retailing, parts and consumables retailing, tyre retailing, and specialty services like engine reconditioning and vehicle recycling.

The aftermarket sector is what remains of Australia’s automotive industry.

And lucky for us, it is in very good health.

Nationally, there are more than 70,000 automotive businesses, the industry employs almost 380,000 people, and this contributes $37 billion to Australia’s economy.

Whichever way you look at it, auto is very important to this country. But none of this means much unless it’s important to you.

Well, the auto industry keeps you on the road and the wheels of business turning. Without it Australia would stop.

Important enough?

From cradle to grave the auto industry is there: selling vehicles, servicing and repairs; it’s batteries, windscreens and tyres, it’s fuel and lubricants; and it’s there even when your vehicle has reached the end of its useful life and needs recycling.

VACC represents all these auto providers through its advocacy and support services, and its many initiatives to raise standards in the industry.

What that means is that because VACC services its members, they are in a position to better service you. 

It’s how it all works and it’s VACC’s job to keep it that way.


Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 17 January 2020.

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