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Market studies are used by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to help promote effective competition in markets. Studies are normally undertaken where a number of concerns about market conduct have been raised, and a detailed examination of market characteristics could help to determine whether market intervention, including new policy proposals, regulatory solutions or enforcement action is warranted.

The ACCC’s market study into the new car retailing industry was initiated in response to a number of concerns raised with the ACCC and other fair trading agencies related to the industry, including issues about consumer guarantees and warranties, access to technical information for servicing and repairing new cars, and fuel consumption and emissions representations. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how the new car retailing industry operates, while focusing on key issues that have come to the ACCC’s attention.

This report presents the ACCC’s findings from almost 18 months of investigation, consultation and research, and is based on a wide range of evidence. The report contains a number of key findings and recommendations for improving consumer protection and promoting competition in new car retailing and associated markets.

The ACCC, and this study, benefited from the contributions of a range of stakeholders, including consumers, industry participants and their representative bodies, advocacy groups and government. We are grateful to all those stakeholders who participated in this study through meetings, attendance at the ACCC’s stakeholder forum and round table, and by providing written submissions. A full list of market study participants are listed in Appendix A.

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