I had the opportunity to speak with Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs recently. The telephone call was facilitated by Luke Horwath, the Federal Member for Petrie, my local guy.

I had an interesting conversation regards the changes in importation of vehicles subsequent to the Productivity Commission recommendations. Things seemed that they’ve changed from the first suggestions – an individual is only able to purchase and import 1 vehicle every 2 years.

I see this as an opportunity for the well healed to purchase vehicles, particularly from Europe and the USA, that are too costly to buy here. Jamie tells me that those people will still need to pay Luxury Car Tax plus GST, import duties and the like. He also advised that where there are manufacturers who won’t service or warrant these vehicles, that an Australian Insurance Company is willing to pick up the ball for warranty.

Not so sure about that Jamie – warranty isn’t as much an issue as getting the car serviced. As a former Ferrari owner I know the penalty for not servicing with the franchise – up to $20,000 drop in resale value for a 2 or 3 year old car and arguably a car that may miss software updates, recalls and the like.

When those prospects are aware of this, the attractiveness of these imports may drop. Further I’d question that with the limited number being brought to Australia, what the resale value after 2 years without an Australian compliance plate will be.

Whilst the volume brands won’t be much affected, not sure how the luxury or super luxury brands will fare. A friend also mentioned that perhaps there’s an opportunity to import new cars from New Zealand where new car prices are somewhere between 10% and 20% less than across the ditch. What sort of impact can that have on our volume franchises?

If you’d like to add your bit give me a call on 0418 748 498. Happy to chat.

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