Make / Model Search

News - General News - Electric Vehicles

AUTOCARE: 2030 auto industry outlook

Autocare conference focuses on preparations for an EV future

12 Jun 2023

THE theme at Autocare, held June 9-10 at the Brisbane Convention Centre and organised by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), was managing the zero-emission vehicle transition in Australia between now and the end of the decade.


A standout panel discussion on the first day, aimed at predicting what 2030 will look like for the automotive aftermarket sector, featured big hitters from across the trade, training and parts sectors.


The three industry executives offered fresh takes on many of the automotive industry’s biggest problems, now and into the future, but all agreed on one thing – the time to take EVs seriously is now.


“We’ve got time to learn from the rest of the world, but it's certainly not a thing that we should put our heads in the sand on,” said GPC Asia Pacific CEO, Wayne Bryant.


“One thing to think about is, what’s your plan on the very first occasion that someone presents to your shop, that’s been a customer for 20 years, and arrives with an EV.


“Because if you say no to that customer, you might not just lose that EV vehicle, you might lose the entire family.”


The solution, Mr Bryant says, is to align with EV specialists in your area now so that should the day come – workshops are prepared.


“We can't all just run out and invest in lots of equipment today for EVs, because there's not enough demand. But someone in your local market will be working on EVs, so know who they are and have an arrangement to sublet that work, so you keep the customer inside your four walls,” he said.


While it’s evident that the uptake of electric vehicles is gaining pace in Australia, Capricorn Society Group CEO, David Fraser suggested it could happen faster than the industry expects.


“I think one of the things Australia needs to be prepared for though is that whilst it has been a slow burn in some of the other markets overseas, we are likely to leapfrog some of what happened over there because we'll learn from what they've already experienced,” said Mr Fraser.


Just how fast will it happen? MTAQLD CEO, Rod Camm, told the audience he predicts Australia will experience a dramatic shift towards electric options between now and 2030.


“I think with all of this technology flowing for our industry and the electrification transition, it's on, there'll be more changes in the next seven years in this industry than we've had in the last 50,” he said.


“So, it’s really important we all get to the table and plan for that.”


His role at MTAQ has put him at the forefront of policy and training for electric vehicles, as the automotive industry scrambles to find long-term solutions at trade, parts and service levels.


“I think there's an exciting opportunity for this sector to think about new models, be that subscription models around servicing for families with multiple cars, including electric as they start to appear, be that just add on services, car detailing or tyres and the like.


“Certainly, the research study we did with MTAA across Europe, indicated that innovation and customer service were the key.”


From a training perspective, Mr Camm thinks it is possible by 2030, but says workshops need to start the process now using a tiered approach.


“It's about how do you tier so it's initially about immersion, understanding and awareness,” he said.


“The Queensland Government has funded MTAQ to develop a suite of micro-credentials, which is just a sexy word for a short course online that takes a few hours but is really good quality stuff.


“It means that your staff will absolutely understand the safety practices around electric vehicles. But that’s awareness.


“The next stage is around a particular skillset in how to manage the technology. A range of providers offer that…and that’s more of a four-day program.


“But the key is now, each and every apprentice that we train, we are immersing them in this technology as they go.”


The biggest shift, the panel agreed, moving into an electric future, is the reality that consumers will be more focused on ‘mobility’ over just owning a car for transport.


“With traffic congestion, you’ll all be specialising in mobility, last-mile mobility solutions, and we don’t just mean motor vehicles,” said Mr Camm.


Mr Fraser echoed the sentiment, suggesting we will see a future that allows to workshops to thrive across mobility options.


“I think it is about mobility, less about the car and let's think mobility more generally,” he said.


“Think about ride sharing, car sharing, different ownership models, etcetera, which could actually lead to greater kilometers travelled, which should in ways create more work for workshops.


“I think what we will have in 2030, though, is still a very vibrant and successful industry.”

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

General News articles

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here