Mark Hillis was our speaker on Tuesday Dec 1st, and he took us back on a history trip reviewing 50 years of the Australian auto industry.   
In the 1970’s an average car was about $2200.  Servicing was every 5,000 miles, plugs points, air filter, oil filter and oil.   Australian manufacturing was highest in the 1970 with nearly 500,000 (10th in the world.)
In 1975, the average car cost $4,300 and it took 49 weeks salary to buy that car.  The average  annual income in   1975 was $7600, in 1998 $48,412 and 2020 $89,000.
50 years selling cars was easy. Cars were status symbols.  The top 2 were Ford and Holden. Men did the buying.  Marketing was a simple theme.  All male dominated.  The key selling tools were horsepower and style.
Hatch backs in the 80’s were all the rage. Women became the frontline shoppers.  Many borrowed on their home loans to pay cash at the car dealerships.  The idea was to own your car, and you’ve got it made…cash only.   The banks loved it.  People would sell the car in 2 years but continue to pay that car off over 25 years.
At this stage the Button plan was introduced with the focus on reducing numbers built in Australia from 13 to 6 and providing Japanese and American companies with the ability to re Badge their products.
European models were making their mark in Australia.  Over the next decade we stopped buying large sedans and stopped building the models that sell.  4WD’s became all the go with dual cab utes replacing the family car and were all made in Thailand.
Then women discovered they loved the 4WD’s and we took the male curse off and began to call them SUV’s.
The last Falcon sedans were selling 2 a month at Hillis Ford.  Parts and Service departments  changed.  Australian manufacturing could not survive.
The future for Car Dealerships is less dealers, less brands, less parts and service, less finance.  Today 50 brands, 1 major brand Toyota.  Everyone else under 10%.  The good news is that Chinese have not dominated.
Challenges are:  with electrical autos, fuel taxes contribute $10 billion in revenue.  Its falling from 44% of motoring revenue to 39% 5 years ago due to efficiencies.  Long distances in Australia make it difficult for electric cars.  We all have tow bars and haul caravans.  Food is moved by road not rail.  Where is the power source for electric cars coming from? 
Mark Twain Quote:  “The only constant in life …. Is change itself.”
Mark was given a vote of thanks by President James.