Ignition Magazine Australia | April 2022

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MARCH APRIL 2022 2021



BECOME A CAPRICORN DIRECTOR Contribute to the automotive industry

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION The hidden costs you need to consider

WHAT MAKES A RISING STAR? Judging the Capricorn Rising Stars competition





Save the Dates



8T H O C TO B E R 2 0 2 2 T H E STA R






David Fraser Group CEO

CEO’s message

When Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest in 1953, he didn’t do it alone. He hired expert help, in the form of Tibetan Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The pair made history together, as the first men to stand atop the famous summit. While Hillary got the credit and Hillary and Norgay both earned a place in the history books, even then, they weren’t alone in their achievement. There were at least 10 climbers, 20 sherpas and 350 porters in the Everest expedition. My point here, if you haven’t clocked it by now, is that none of us truly achieves anything on our own and greatness, in particular, requires excellent support. So, why do so many of us, in life and in business, not ask for help when we need it? One theory is that people fear asking for help because they’re worried about looking stupid. If that’s what it is then, to my mind, that’s back-to-front thinking. You look more stupid if you try climbing the mountain without help than if you bring in well-qualified support. Asking for help has many more benefits beyond simply making success more likely. It’s also a great way to foster relationships with others. People like to help. They like to feel useful. They might even be flattered you’ve recognised their expertise. It builds trust between you. When we do this in business, you give someone else a stake in the success of your enterprise. It puts another enthusiastic shoulder to the wheel. Not asking for help is allowing our egos to get in the way of the optimal result. Higher-performing individuals in all walks of life know this, and they will often seek advice from their colleagues, peers and mentors. They know they don’t know everything and they want to learn and grow. When we don’t ask others for help, we risk making poorer decisions that rely exclusively on our own past experiences. But our own experiences may not have prepared us for the challenges we’re facing. Acting in isolation can lead to worry, self-doubt and stress, which can develop into a mental health crisis. Sharing the burden by accepting help can provide a sense of relief and deliver a positive energy boost. Getting help means enjoying the benefit of someone else’s experience, knowledge and skills. You can learn something new. I often find if I have a difficult problem that only I can address, I will confide in trusted people to get different views and opinions. This helps me to frame my thoughts and decisions and how I am going to approach a situation. The author Brené Brown once wrote that “vulnerability is courage in you, and inadequacy in me”. This quote neatly shows how common and easy it is to believe that others see our vulnerability as a sign of weakness, but the truth is almost the exact opposite: others think of our vulnerability as a sign of courage. Remember, no-one ever reaches the summit without help. Not even Edmund Hillary. Yours in cooperation,

4 Looking To Contribute To The Automotive Industry?Become a Capricorn Director

5 Business Interruption

The hidden costs you need to consider

7 Capricorn Service

Data Providing The Tech Specs You Need

9 EOFY Temporary Full

Expensing How it can help your business

10 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Future Ride

12 E-Mobility

Warriors Norway: the undisputed world leader in electric mobility

14 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 Capricorn Member Ride

16 Who’s Who in

Collision? Peter Hewitt, General Manager, Precision Automotive.

18 What Makes a

Rising Star? Judging the Capricorn Rising Stars competition.

20 Making The Busy

Times More Rewarding

22 What Does CASE Mean? And how will it impact your business?

26 Has Social Media Marketing Lost Its Punch And what to do instead

David Fraser Group CEO



CALENDAR of events Western Australia


National Events

ALBANY MEMBER NIGHT 28th April 2022 GERALDTON MEMBER NIGHT 18th May 2022 BUNBURY MEMBER NIGHT 2nd June 2022 *new date*


ANNUAL GALA DINNERS AND TRADESHOW Launching Soon FUTURES COLLIDE II Collision Repair Conference and Seminars Launching Soon

Login to capricorn.coop today and select Events to register your attendance. For further information please call our Events team on 1800 327 437 or email events@capricorn.coop

Looking to contribute to the automotive industry? Become a Capricorn Director Capricorn is looking for energetic and passionate members to join our Board of Directors. Capricorn is a memberbased organisation and Member representation on the board helps ensure Members’ interests are safeguarded. Member Directors use their skills, knowledge and expertise in the industry to help ensure Capricorn is delivering for Members, reflecting Members’ interests and living up to Capricorn’s promises and values. • •

Are you looking for personal growth and your next challenge? Do you want to use your experience and industry knowledge to give back to the automotive industry? • Would you like to be part of the team that helps shape the future of Capricorn? If you answered YES to those questions, then becoming a Capricorn Director could be the right fit for you. Every year Capricorn holds elections for a Member-elected Director in at least one zone. In 2022, Members from both the West Australian and Queensland zones are invited to take part in Capricorn Director elections. Your participation in your zone’s elections helps ensure Capricorn remains a vibrant and healthy cooperative. As a follow-up to our recent interview with board members Mark Cooper and Lydia Stjepanovic, we will again be hosting a mini-governance course. This event will be hosted virtually at no cost for Members who want to learn more about the role of the board and the requirements to be a Director, and to understand what it would entail to join a board like Capricorn’s. A lively presentation style, with real-life anecdotes from one of the most experienced governance trainers in the business, will ensure that you’ll stay fully engaged and gain the maximum value from the program (don’t worry, we do have breaks!). Participation in the mini-governance course is relevant to all zones and is not limited to WA and QLD Members. We strongly encourage any WA, QLD or NZ Members considering nomination this year or in the 2023 Director election to participate. 4 CAPRICORN IGNITION APRIL 2022

The governance course will be held from 9-12pm AWST on 28 April 2022. To register, please visit cap.coop/governancecourse For Members interested in nominating, you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria: • Be a Member in the WA zone (for the WA Director role) or the QLD zone (for the Queensland Director role). • Hold 2,000 or more shares in Capricorn. • Be involved in a trading automotive or allied business in your zone. • Demonstrate a high level of commitment to Capricorn, based on purchases using your Capricorn account. • Be of good standing, both within Capricorn and the wider community. • Not be a wholesale supplier to any automotive or allied business. • Not have any actual or potential conflict of interest that will create a material risk to the board or your capacity to properly perform your duties. Invitations for nominations will be emailed to eligible WA and QLD Members no later than Tuesday, 10 May 2022. To provide more information to those Members who are considering standing as a candidate in the 2022 Director elections, Capricorn will at the same time provide a candidate information pack. The candidate information pack will provide details about what is involved in being a Capricorn Director and the process for the 2022 Director elections. Applications will close on Friday, 3 June. If you have any questions, please email sarah.chamberlain@capricorn.coop


Business interruption: the hidden costs you need to consider If an unforeseen incident, like a fire, flood or even a power surge, stops your workshop from trading for a while, how long could you afford to cover all your expenses before you were in real financial trouble? It’s every business owner’s nightmare: you’ve got no way to earn money, but the bills just keep coming in. To plan for this contingency, its important all Members consider if they have adequate business interruption protection – to help meet their expenses while their business gets back on its feet. Capricorn Risk Services Sales Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory Sam McNally said, from a risk point of view, he considers business interruption protection one of the most important forms of coverage any workshop owner can have. Why? “If something happens, you can always replace tangible assets — lost property, tools, buildings and cars and all that stuff,” he said. “What you can’t do is get back the money that you haven’t made.

involved in shutting down and reopening a business after some kind of loss that may not be covered by business interruption protection but are covered by an optional benefit.

“If you’re a property owner, might want to be consider a 24-month indemnity period, because there’s so many factors that are outside your control.”

“This is all the extra stuff Members may need to spend money on to keep their business operating — for example, hiring an eco-hut you can install in the car park and use as a temporary office,” he said.

So, what should you consider when calculating the business interruption protection you need for your business? Sam suggests starting with your total turnover and gross profit figures, and the difference between the two.

“Or if you have to relocate, the costs of moving or renting new equipment; or advertising costs to tell your customers that you’ve moved and it’s business as usual.

“What does it cost you to keep the doors open each week?” Sam said.

“That’s not linked to your week-in, week-out gross profit figure, but it’s part of the increased costs of working.”

“You’ve got to consider literally every single expense. Be as granular as you can. Look at every line on your expenses account. Remember, just because you’re not trading, doesn’t mean the bills stop.”

But what do we mean by an “adequate” level of protection?

These types of expenses are covered via an optional benefit called Additional Increased Costs of Working.

Then consider your additional and optional benefits along with the different indemnity periods available.

“You should consider whether your limits of protection are enough so that, on a pro-rata basis, you can meet your weekly expenses,” Sam said. “For most Members, wages will be their biggest overhead.

Another area Sam encourages Members to think about is the length of the indemnity period on their business interruption protection.

Sam also recommends acting immediately, rather than waiting for your renewal.

“And that’s what business interruption aims to do — it’s there to make sure that even though you’ve suffered a loss, there’s going to be no change to your bottom line. It’s there to keep food on the table and keep everybody employed.”

“Then you’ve got to think about any other outgoings. It might be a mortgage repayment on the building, if you own it. It might be rent and other associated costs with leasing premises, if you’re a tenant.

“In my experience, the biggest regret Members have is probably that they haven’t chosen a long enough indemnity period,” he said.

“Then you have to think about your personal expenses. Do you have car finance? Do you have a mortgage on your house?”

“The standard indemnity period would be 12 months. If something happens to your building, you’ve got to be able to clear the debris, get plans drawn up, get Council approval, get it built and be back in and operating inside 12 months. I certainly know of situations where that just didn’t happen.

While ensuring you have business interruption protection for wages and bills is important, Sam warned there are a lot of hidden expenses

“They might be adequately protected, but then the protection runs out after 12 months and they’re not back in.

“Don’t wait, because something might happen and then you’ll have left yourself short,” he said. “Be proactive and contact your Risk Account Manager. If you’re unsure, or you want some more information, or you don’t think you’re adequately protected, call us and someone will come out and see you. That’s what we’re here for.” If you want to know more about business interruption protection contact your Risk Account Manager today.

Contact Capricorn Risk Services 1800 007 022 I info@capricornrisk.com I capricorn.coop/risk Products sold through Capricorn Risk Services Pty Ltd (ABN 93 111 632 789) are: (i) discretionary risk protection products issued by Capricorn Mutual Ltd; and (ii) general insurance products issued by a range of insurers and brokered through Capricorn Insurance Services Pty Ltd. Before deciding to acquire any product you should consider the Product Disclosure Statement available from Capricorn Risk Services Pty Ltd to see if the product is appropriate for you. Capricorn Risk Services Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 460893) of Capricorn Mutual Ltd (AFSL 230038) and Capricorn Insurance Services Pty Ltd (AFSL 435197).


Upgrade your getaway

The Easter break is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy nature. If you’re planning a campaign trip why not upgrade your outdoor or camping equipment through your Capricorn Rewards. Whether it’s investing in a stretcher bed to get a better sleep, or a new cooler to make sure the drinks stay cold, or even a portable grill to up your cooking game, Capricorn Rewards has a huge range of products that will ensure you have a memorable camping experience. Check out what’s on offer at capricorn.coop/rewards.*

Coleman Big Sky Deluxe Stretcher

Coleman Quickbed Inflatable Queen Mattress

Coleman Instant 3P Swagger Tent

Coleman HyperFlame Fyreknight Portable Stove

Dometic Cool-Ice 13 Litre Icebox Cooler

Kool Grill V2

Oztrail Anywhere Double Hammock with Frame

Shimano Large back pack and tackle box

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Spider 4 Tent

*Products subject to availability.

capricorn.coop/rewards Participation in the Capricorn Rewards Program is subject to the Capricorn Rewards Program Terms and Conditions which can be found via the Capricorn website.

Autodata technical specifications deep dive Your complimentary Capricorn Service Data service, powered by Autodata, provides the tech specs you need to carry out service and maintenance jobs. Sourced directly by OE information, Autodata’s tech data includes key information such as: Vehicle identification – This section includes core model stats such as number of cylinders, the ignition and fuel system, suitability for unloaded petrol and air metering type. Ignition system – Includes ignition coil supply voltage and where appropriate a diagram of the firing order. Symptoms of a faulty ignition coil can include misfires, poor acceleration or loss of power, or the ECU switching to limphome mode. Tuning and emissions – Includes ignition timing, idle speed and key information for CO test, such as oil temperature and CO and CO2 levels at idle. Spark plugs – This section includes information on original equipment spark plugs and electrode gaps for the model. Fuel system – Contains fuel feed and main pump delivery pressure – essential when carrying out a test to check whether a fuel pump needs to be replaced. S e r v i ce c h e c k s a n d a d j u s t m e nt s – Contains the valve clearance, compression pressure, radiator cap pressure and oil pressure by rpm. Lubricants and capacities – This section contains engine oil grade by ambient temperature range as well as manual transmission oil grade, and step by step instructions for automatic transmission fluid drain and refill instructions for tightening. Ti g hte n i n g to rq u e s – Ti g hte n i n g torques and sequences across cylinder head, main and big end bearings, sump bolts, flywheel/driveplate bolts, crankshaft pulley and more, including diagrams and adhesive quantities where appropriate. It also includes chassis tightening torques. Don’t forget that

Capricorn Service Data also includes tyre and TPMS bolt torques under the Tyres module! Starting and charging – Battery settings and capacities you’ll need to diagnose a nonstarting vehicle Brake disc and drum dimensions – Manufacturer-supplied minimum disc and pad thickness for replacement, with variances where appropriate for electric parking brake (EPB). Air conditioning – Here you’ll find both the core information on the air con system for the vehicle as well as refrigerants, air conditioning oil and viscosity stats. Autodata also has full engine bay and wiring diagrams av a i l a b l e f o r a i r co n d i t i o n i n g f o r Diagnostic & Repair customers – contact a u s s a l e s @ a u to d ata - g ro u p . co m f o r more details. M a t t Ta y l o r, A u t o d a t a ’ s C o n t e n t Support Team Leader in Australia, says: “Relying on old manuals or, worse, Google searches, can leave you open to consumer complaints if something goes wrong after a job. Being able to point to manufacturer-recommended technical data used in a job is huge for workshops – and having that data available on PC, phone or tablet while working on the car is a godsend.” Autodata has recently added tech spec notifications for vehicles with heightadjustable suspension and for Electric Vehicles with best practice for servicing, making it even easier to get at-a-glance information to start the job.

Get more repair information: Autodata Diagnostic & Repair is the top level of Autodata’s workshop application, offering even more specialised technical data for garages, including: •

Diagnostic trouble codes with common faults and fixes to help you get started

Fu l l - c o l o u r i n t e r a c t i v e w i r i n g diagrams

Co nt ro l m o d u l e p i n d ata a n d component testing values

Engine management

Electronic component locations

For more information on Diagnostic & R e p a i r, c o n t a c t A u t o d a t a a t aussales@autodata-group.com.

Visit capricorn.coop/servicedata or scan the QR code to get started!

Capricorn Ser vice Data comes free with your Capricorn membership and grants access to repair times, technical data, service illustrations and much more for over 34,000 models and 142 manufacturers.



FOR THOSE WE KNOW It’s easier saying ‘yes’ to Members. We know your business which means it’s easier to arrange finance fast.*

Take advantage before the EOFY and claim the full value of eligible equipment purchases back on tax. Search “Temporary Full Expensing” on the ATO website or contact your professional tax adviser for more.~

Find out more at capricorn.coop/eofy

*Capricorn Finance offers business equipment finance through Capricorn Society Limited (ACN 008 347 313). Fees & charges, terms & conditions and lending criteria apply. ~The Federal government’s “Instant Asset Write Off” scheme is independent of Capricorn Society Ltd. Head to the Temporary Full Expensing page on the Australian Taxation Office website to find more details. This advertisement does not, nor is it intended to, constitute legal, financial or other independent professional advice. Please consult your professional adviser before relying on any information contained herein.

EOFY TEMPORARY FULL EXPENSING Capricorn Members, if you’re busy and thinking of upgrading your equipment, be sure to check out the Federal Government’s Temporary Full Expensing incentive. Packaging the Temporary Full Expensing with Capricorn Finance may enable eligible Capricorn Members to get the equipment they need without burdening their cash flow. Wondering what the Temporary Full Expensing incentive is? Read on to find out. The Temporary Full Expensing incentive

Which workshops are eligible?

Tight cash flow often prevents workshops from investing in equipment and assets which could significantly improve their business efficiency. Purchasing and installing equipment just before the end of the financial year may reduce the time Members are out of pocket, providing an opportunity to invest in capital equipment with minimal impact to cash flow.

Capricorn top tip:

The Temporary Full Expensing incentive aims to support business and encourage investment by allowing businesses that qualify to immediately claim a full write-off for eligible assets. This deduction could help workshops grow by allowing them to claim, on their next tax return, the business portion of the cost of purchasing or upgrading equipment.

What can workshops claim?

Workshops that qualify for Temporary Full Expensing can claim any eligible asset that is first used, held or installed ready for use for a taxable purpose between 6 October 2020 and 30 June 2022. This may allow workshops to get new spray booths, wheel balancers, hoists, scan tools, solar panels and other workshop equipment they need to have their business running at its full potential.* The incentive also allows eligible businesses to deduct the business portion of the cost of improvements made to an asset from 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2022. This may provide workshops with the opportunity for upgrades which will enable them to achieve their maximum potential.

Temporary Full Expensing may be available to businesses with an aggregate turnover of less than $5 billion. However, businesses with a larger turnover may be eligible if they meet the alternative income test. Head to the Temporary Full Expensing page on the Australian Taxation Office website, at ato.gov.au to find more details. As the deduction is only applicable to items used, held or installed ready for use before 30 June 2022, Capricorn Members who qualify for Temporary Full Expensing and wish to claim a tax deduction should order any equipment early. This will help to avoid potential delivery delays or wait times that may impact their ability to claim the expense on their FY21/22 tax return.

What can Capricorn Members do next?

Capricorn knows that upgrading existing equipment or purchasing new equipment can significantly increase a workshop’s capacity and capabilities. Capricorn Finance makes it easier for Members to purchase the equipment required to grow their businesses**. We’ve pre-approved some Members for loans of up to $30,000 to fast-track the application process, making it quicker and easier for Capricorn Members to get equipment installed before 30 June 2022. Contact Capricorn Finance at lending@ capricorn.coop to discover how Capricorn Members can finance the equipment they need to build a stronger business.

*Specific cost limits for certain assets, for example passenger vehicles, are applicable. **Capricorn Finance offers business equipment finance through Capricorn Society Limited (ACN 008 347 313). Fees and charges, terms and conditions, and lending criteria apply. This article does not, nor is it intended to, constitute legal, financial or other independent professional advice. Please refer to the ATO website and consult your professional adviser before relying on any information contained herein. CAPRICORN IGNITION APRIL 2022 9



Put your tongue back in; you’re drooling . Don’t worry. We get it. We haven’t seen this much hot orange all-American muscle since binge-watching Jack Reacher on Amazon Prime. This little beauty is the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The latest member of the storied Z06 family, the 2023 model of the famous Corvette has a 5.5-litre V8 engine (called the LT6). That makes it the highest horsepower naturally aspirated V8 to hit the market, ever. A lightweight, flat-plane crank design enables the engine to rev to the high rpms needed to create significant power. Peak power is 550 kW from 8400 rpm. It produces 623 Nm of torque at 6300 rpm. And the sound of it is the stuff dreams are made of. Chevrolet says its engineers spent two years “crafting a distinctive, rich exhaust tone unlike anything ever heard from a Corvette”. Refreshing at a time when some cars have to pipe in their engine noise via an MP3.


The Z06 is about 10 cm wider than the Stringray, so it can accommodate huge 345-series rear tyres and get more airflow through the side air vents. The cooling needs of the engine have also affected the design of the front of the car, which channels air to a centre heat exchanger. The wheels are standard 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminium, the largest ever available on a production Corvette. They’re also available in lightweight and rigid carbon fibre. It’s also fitted with larger front (370 mm, six-piston) and rear (380 mm, four-piston) Brembo discs. (Carbon-ceramics options are available in the Z07 Performance Package.) The suspension tuning includes Magnetic Ride Control technology and six-piston front brakes. It has an eightspeed dual-clutch transmission, with the drive sent to the rear wheels. And it accelerates faster than someone off to Woolies to panic buy toilet paper. (Expect 100 km/h in subthree seconds, when official track figures are released.)

The overall design is, as you’d expect, all about optimising aerodynamic drag. It has a configurable rear spoiler and adjustable wickerbills meant to improve high-speed stability and cornering on the racetrack (which is where much of the designed innovations in the Z06 were developed for the all-conquering C8.R). None of that, though, really tells you just how pretty the Z06 is. What are your chances of actually seeing this beauty up close? Well, GM Specialty Vehicles has confirmed it has reserved some Z06s for the Oceania region. Details and pricing will be released later this year. So, if you’re still drooling, and if you have deep pockets, then this hunk of all-American muscle could absolutely be yours. If not, there’s always Jack Reacher.

The information in this article regarding the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has been sourced from materials published by its manufacturer. Please note Capricorn has not had direct access to the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and makes no recommendations or representations regarding its suitability



Who would have thought generations spawned from Viking warriors would make Norway the world’s E-mobility champion? Norway is made up of almost 240,000 islands, more than 1,000 fjords, more than 2,000 waterfalls and approximately 3,200,000 moose, with up to eleven metres of snow falling onto the country each winter season. This small Scandinavian country has a particularly clear lead over the far bigger players, it is the undisputed world leader in electric mobility. In 2021, Continental reported more than 60% of the country’s newly registered cars were 100% electrically powered. This translates to some 81 electric vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants, making these green Viking warriors the world leaders by a long margin. Germany, one of the most progressive countries in Europe, achieves about one-tenth of that figure with most others well below that. This hasn’t happened by chance, but rather by strategy. More than 98 percent of the country's electricity comes from hyrdoelectric and wind power plants, according to Continental. Making green electricity often cheaper across Scandinavia than gas or diesel. Norway also has the tightest ambitions for the phase out of fossil fuelled vehicles, with no new cars and light trucks powered by combustion engines to be sold in the country by 2025 at the latest. The purchase of electric vehicles has also been promoted for many years by the Norwegian Government as well as the country’s private enterprise. What makes all of this surprising is that the country’s climate conditions are the complete opposite for a smooth and speedy transformation to sustainable and low-emission E-mobility.


"The performance of an electric vehicle battery is optimised in a temperature margin that sits between 15 and 40 degrees Celsius." " The weather conditions in a country where it can get as cold as minus 40 degrees celsius in winter are not at all ideal for the technology used for E-Mobility. Electric batteries are sensitive, regardless of whether they are installed in a Smartphone or underneath an electric car. They simply do not operate as well in blistering summer heat, or under extreme winter cold conditions. Freezing cold weather slows down the battery’s electrochemical processes, causing the battery voltage to drop and with that comes the risk of deep discharge, which is harmful to the life of the battery. The performance of an electric vehicle battery is optimised in a temperature margin that sits between 15 and 40 degrees Celsius. This has given automotive thermal management engineers the challenge to ensure vehicle batteries remain within that temperature range regardless of extreme climate and driving conditions in particular countries. Where the traditional combustion engine was all about generating heat and then controlling that heat by water and air cooling, electric vehicle thermal management is all about protecting the life and operation of the battery by heating and cooling it as required based on the area’s

climate and the thermal conditions created in hot, wet or cold driving conditions. In principle, the design of electric vehicles is far less complex than combustion engined vehicles. A petrol fuelled engine with a manual transmission has about 1,400 parts. By contrast, an electric car needs just around 200 individual components. The cooling and heating lines are one of the few exceptions to this, as electric vehicles need a lot more of these, not just for battery temperature control but also for the powertrain, electrical circuit boards (just like the fans on your computer) and the air conditioning system. Automotive engineers have provided car companies with thermal systems that are proven to work effectively for the modern day electric vehicle driving Viking world champions of Norway. If they can do this for them, there is no doubt that the same cannot be done for other countries with extreme hot or cold climates. It is important to note that whatever the increases in E-mobility use anywhere in the world, that every single electric vehicle will still need to be maintained and have consumable components replaced by mechanics and specialists just like you.



RARE COUPES AS BEAUTIFUL AS CHOCOLATE BOXES ARE RESTORED AND REUNITED Just two of the 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT RPO 83 were known to be made in the unique MacRobertson’s Old Gold colour and both of them now reside in South Australia. The rare vehicles have unique stories and are a testament to the care, passion and pride for restoring cars to their authentic states. Both cars have been restored by Capricorn Members: Hagen Zerk Automotive in Port Lincoln and Finch Restorations in Mount Barker, just outside Adelaide. These cars are special for a few reasons. The series was amongst the last performance vehicles of their era that were raced at Bathurst and then sold to the man on the street the next day. Only 290 of the limited production RPO 83 were built: 120 hardtop coupes and 170 four-doors. Public uproar over the prospect of cars capable of 270 km/h being driven down suburban streets ended the sale of that category. The two restored cars are also a rare colour: a vibrant orange, MacRobertson’s Old Gold, which was only used on three cars in this series. 1 4 CAPRICORN IGNITION APRIL 2022

The MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works was responsible for the creation of some of Australia’s favourite sweets, including Freddo Frogs, Old Gold, Columbines and the Cherry Ripe. Based on the MacRobertson’s Old Gold chocolate box, the colour was originally developed by Ford for the confectioner’s commercial fleet, but it was then introduced to the consumer cars in a limited run. Remarkably, two of the cars from this colour and series have turned up in South Australia to be restored. One was bought by Hagen Zerk, a mechanic and lifelong tinkerer on cars. Ever since childhood (first in his father’s garage and on his cousin’s farm) he has been fixing and restoring. His lifelong passion led him to his two-door RPO 83, which he bought in Queensland. Having tracked down the owner, he made contact but didn’t make an offer for a few years. The prior owner had many offers, but he didn’t sell until Hagen Zerk showed up for the second time with a cheque. He heard the car was the special orange colour, but when he turned up to look at it, he saw it had been resprayed blue. Closer inspection around

the body revealed that it indeed was one of the rare MacRobertson’s Old Gold models. “It was all blue, but when I looked under the floor carpet it was this amazing colour,” Hagen Zerk said. He restored his first car, a Cortina he still owns today, at age 12. He is now 49 and still has the same passion. “We used to go to the cousin’s farm and wreck ’em and then bring them back and patch them up. While other kids were out playing football, I was at home in the garage tinkering with cars. It has always been an interest.” The social aspect of restoring cars has also been a mainstay during Hagen Zerk’s life, having driven cars all across the country, from trips across the Nullabor, to Perth, to Bathurst. The cars both came from the same area in Queensland. Hagen Zerk and the original owner of the other vehicle, Gordon Stubbersfield, developed a relationship around their ownership of the cars. “I went up there and spent a few hours with Gordon because he had the same car with the same colour. I kept in touch with him over the years until he passed away.” The other ’73 XA has recently received media attention because of its fascinating backstory. The nicknamed “Chicken Coupe” is currently being worked on by Finch Restorations. The car was bought by its original owner, Gordon Stubbersfield, for his wedding and was driven for a few years until the cost of insurance became prohibitive. Despite multiple offers to part with it, he parked it in storage and encircled it with chicken wire. This protective cage was where it got its new name. Sitting there for decades undriven saw its condition deteriorate significantly and allowed rats to make a nest inside its back seat. “It was surprising to see the damage caused by the rat infestation. From decades of faeces and urine from the rats, there was lots of uric acid damage and it caused a lot of unusual rust damage,” CEO of Finch Restorations Peter Roberts said. Finch Restorations has been around since 1965 and under its new owners, Peter and co-owner and wife, Harbinda, it has been revitalised with new high-tech offerings and a growing staff. A relative newcomer to the industry, Harbinda Roberts says her passion for restoring cars comes from her love of art. “I love the aesthetics of the cars. I love art and history and these cars are sculptures that you can drive. We take cars that are in too bad a shape to even be picked up for a wreckers’ yard, but we turn it into something that is too nice to drive,” she said. The “Chicken Coupe” was only put up for auction after the owner passed away. When it came to restoring such a special car, there was palpable competition. “There was an aura around the car. After it was sold and it was known it was an SA owner, there was a lot of excitement about who would get the work and our guys were really chuffed. Others in the industry who thought they were more specialised in muscle cars even tried to poach it, saying they were better suited to work on it,” Harbinda Roberts said. The car’s new owner is the right one, according to Harbinda Roberts. “The owner is a car collector, but wants to own and drive it and maintain the legacy, to restore it to an authentic level. He is the right owner for the car because he doesn't want to customise it or change it.” The relationship between the restorers of the cars is ongoing. Once the “Chicken Coupe” is complete, they plan to get together for a photo of the two cars side by side.


WHO’S WHO IN COLLISION? Peter Hewitt, General Manager, Precision Automotive. NCR: By way of introduction, tell us a bit of the history of Precision Automotive.

PH: Pr e c i s i o n w a s e s t a b l i s h e d

in 1997 by Rod Wilkinson and Phil Atkins, who identified an opportunity to provide high-level ser vice for mechanical hoists. Initially, they visited dealerships to offer regular preventative maintenance services on their workshop equipment and quickly built a reputation as the best in the business. It wasn’t long before clients were calling them looking for new equipment. They looked overseas to find out what they could import and supply the industry and that’s how Precision became a specialist in the supply, distribution and service of a full range of premium automotive workshop lifting equipment.

NCR: How has Precision developed under the Bapcor umbrella?

PH: Precision was a large supplier to Bapcor for a long time and in 2016 Bapcor acquired the

business, adding to their workshop equipment portfolio. Bapcor rapidly developed the business and, in addition to workshop equipment, now has the resources to provide all facets of workshop lubrication thanks to the acquisition of Tricor Engineering in 2017, thus enabling us to provide a total workshop and lubrication package.

NCR: How, and when, did you become involved in the business? PH: I have been with Bapcor for 16 years, so when Rod decided to retire in 2020 (Phil had left the

business six months earlier), I applied for the position and have been here now for two years. In the past two years we have opened a national training facility in Brisbane, which enables us to train our fully qualified service technicians and, of course, provide training for our clients in our three-bay garage. We also have a showroom for our extensive product range. In addition to our Melbourne, Sydney and Perth locations, we have expanded and now have a branch in Adelaide and staff on the ground in Hobart and Townsville, to give us a national footprint.


NCR: And what are your main brands and areas of focus today?

were even able to offer a training session in Brisbane to a group from Capricorn.

PH: Rotary Lift is the world’s most trusted

NCR: Looking ahead, what can we expect

vehicle hoist company and, as a member of the Vehicle Service Group with manufacturing plants on three continents, has set the benchmark for vehicle hoists. We also work closely with Hunter Engineering, a privately owned 75-year-old US company with a reputation for innovation and visionary leadership in the application of the newest te c h n o l o g i e s to a u to m o t i v e u n d e r - c a r service, particularly wheel service. With our focus on providing premium products and high-level after-sales backup, we are committed to ensuring our customers’ equipment purchase is supported for years of reliable service. We have a six-year relationship with Rotary Lift and a four-year relationship with Hunter, both of which have developed since Bapcor acquired the business. Relationships with such global leaders were just not feasible as a private company, but we now have a very strong alignment with both businesses.

N C R : What can you tell us about your partnership with Capricorn?

PH: We have been working very closely with

Capricorn over the past two years to build an even stronger partnership, primarily through their extensive network of Area Managers. Our relationship is more sophisticated than in the past, as we now better understand how we can work together to provide even greater value to our customers. It’s really worth noting that we have built relationships with Capricorn at multiple levels, which further cements the strength of the partnership. They really are a great organisation to work with, and recently we

from Precision in the future?

PH: Our strategic growth objective is to

become the biggest and the best workshop solution provider at a national level. We aim to provide complete workshop fit-outs – from an empty shell to a fully functioning business – everything the customer needs. Virtually a turnkey operation. We are still in the early stages of developing our collision industry offering with a very clear focus on ADAS, and we currently have a selection of diagnostic scan tools. We have built a solid reputation in the mechanical sector over the past 25 years. We will bring this into the collision repair sector, with a view to delivering significant value for the customers in this sector. In addition, we see opportunities in the heavy vehicle sector of the automotive industry.

NCR: So, in closing, what is it about

Precision that makes you stand out from your competitors?

PH: We have the highest-qualified and best-

trained service technicians in the industry, with over 30 technicians nationally providing the best customer experience. We offer a range of premium brands, service, training and installation. In essence, we are a total solutions provider. The contents of and any opinions contained in this article do not reflect the opinions of Capricorn Society Ltd and Capricorn makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any material in this article.


















For more information visit capricorn.coop/tc and click on ‘Capricorn Rising Stars 2022 Terms and Conditions’.

WHAT MAKES A RISING STAR? Judging the Capricorn Rising Stars competition is something I look forward to being involved in each year. Reading through the nominations is so encouraging and reassuring, knowing these are the individuals who will one day be the leaders of this industry. To see so many passionate apprentices enthusiastically learning their trades gives us insight into the direction we are all heading. If these nominations suggest anything, it’s a strong future ahead. The Capricorn Rising Stars competition is unique, as skill level and technical proficiency are not what I am focusing on when judging. With a number of competitions already existing to reward those who excel in these areas, this competition is focused primarily on the apprentice’s passion and attitude. Apprentices offer significant value to workshops beyond an extra pair of hands, and acknowledging and rewarding these qualities benefits the apprentice, the workshop and the industry as a whole. Some qualities that always stand out to me in an apprentice application are:

Giving anything a go Having an apprentice who jumps at the opportunity to give something new or challenging a go, regardless of technical proficiency, is a huge asset to a business. The ability to be proactive and take initiative indicates that the apprentice is eager and excited to learn.

Learning from mistakes Everybody makes mistakes, especially when learning a new skill, but it is how we fix the mistakes and whether we learn from them that are important. How an apprentice deals with an adverse situation is a true indication of their potential and character. If your apprentice isn’t afraid to speak up when they have done something wrong, and are quick to learn from a mistake, then they are a great candidate for the Capricorn Rising Stars competition.

From Capricorn CEO Automotive, Brad Gannon.

Going the extra mile Whether an apprentice is willing to go above and beyond in the workshop, in customer service or in smaller everyday tasks, they deserve recognition . It is this enthusiasm and can-do attitude that will help the industry continue at a high standard.

Thinking outside the box An apprentice can provide a fresh new perspective for a workshop. By having the confidence to suggest changes, an apprentice can be involved in significantly improving workshop efficiency. It is important that this confidence is rewarded, as it will encourage them to continue to think outside the box in the future. Any apprentice with a can-do attitude deserves the recognition of a Capricorn Rising Stars nomination. Even if they are learning the ropes or still developing their skills, a nomination is an indication of the potential you see in them. With every nominee receiving a certificate, an opportunity is created to personally thank your apprentice for the value they bring to the workshop. Rewarding their enthusiasm will encourage apprentices to continue their learning and increase their sense of belonging and commitment to the workshop. Choosing finalists is always challenging, and it is always a close competition with so many promising apprentices being put forward. I would recommend encouraging your apprentices to put equal time and effort into each of their responses. Each question is scored individually, so providing only a brief answer to one question could be the difference of progressing through to being a finalist or not. I look forward to reading apprentice applications again this year. It’s great to see Capricorn Members supporting and training the future leaders of the industry. I wish all nominees the best of luck with their applications and encourage Members to nominate their star apprentices.


Making the busy times more rewarding by Jeff Smit

In this post-pandemic era, it is gratifying to know that most aftermarket workshops are busy – really busy. But being busy doesn't necessarily translate to being profitable. Most workshops are busy for a couple of simple reasons – the average motorist is paying more attention to their vehicles, and there’s a shortage of new cars. Workshop operators need to ask themselves the question: how do we manage our time, to ensure that when we are busy, we are also profitable? In this environment, it usually means that many workshops put in long hours and stress levels go through the roof. It might be difficult to ignore the long line of cars waiting for service and repair, but workshop owners and operators really must stay focused on profitable work. How many workshop owners have actually worked out if the long hours or the stress translate to more money in the till? Imagine your workshop handles five cars a day, each one generating a profit of $200. Bump that up to eight cars a day, which is a 60 percent increase. In the rush to get all eight cars fixed, the profit per car is likely to drop to $125. The team has worked extra hard and long hours for less profit, and we know from experience that this is what happens. So the first step to improving profitability in busy times is to acknowledge that this is happening in your workshop.


"...THE SOLUTION IS SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE: PERHAPS CONSIDER RAISING YOUR PRICES." It happens because when everyone is flat out, the aim is to get the cars out the door with a minimum of fuss, and that usually means a minimum of work. But it’s the work, or the labour that you buy from yourself and your staff, that you are on-selling to your customers. Adding to the problem is the tendency to charge less because the labour time spent on individual jobs may not be as high as usual. So now you have a lower profit per job. Most workshops feel obligated to serve every customer who drives in the door. Hiring extra help is out of the question, because there’s not enough money in it. Besides, where do you find extra help at short notice? For these overwhelmed business owners, the solution is surprisingly simple: perhaps consider raising your prices. We don't mean raise prices for the sheer hell of it. Rather it is about taking the opportunity to increase prices to the right level. The right level is the price you believe the job is worth and the money you deserve for the experience and knowledge you provide. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what you think the customer will pay. These busy times might also be a great time to analyse the type of work that the workshop does, and identify the work that delivers the highest profit with the least amount of effort. These are jobs which normally have a high perceived value from the customer’s point of view. It’s during busy times that you could suggest these additional, high-value services to your customers to increase your profits. The TaT experience has been that during the busy times, customers are much more likely to give the go-ahead for high-value but essential jobs, for a whole range of reasons. Additional services can be easily found in a variety of things, such as battery and charging systems, drive and timing belts, suspension, air conditioning, cooling system flushing, brakes, wheel balances, fuel injection and throttle body clean – the list is endless.

and capable of running to the next service without failing or faltering. There’s an unfortunate perception that modern vehicles need no attention between the long service intervals. This is simply not true. The modern vehicle still has parts which wear and systems that need maintaining and checking, just like the good old days. Nothing has really changed, despite the hype from car makers that their technologies are world-class. There are vehicle systems and components which should be checked as a matter of course and repaired, cleaned or replaced. This should not happen ‘as required’, but well before an ultimate failure. That’s what we mean by a duty of care to return a vehicle to your customer that you are satisfied is safe, and that you have anticipated and corrected anything which is under stress and likely to cause problems. Maximising your returns in busy times is not as silly as it sounds. The small extra effort it takes to talk to your customer and suggest these maintenance services can repay you handsomely by a good return on each vehicle. With this mindset, it is possible to maximise your returns during busy times. The task is made a lot easier if you take the time to figure out which of your services generate the higher profit margin. Every clothing store, toy shop and holiday destination is doing exactly the same thing during these busy times. Haven’t you noticed, everything seems to cost more now? Isn’t it about time you caught up? Disclaimer: The contents of and any opinions contained in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capricorn Society Ltd and Capricorn makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any material in this

But don’t get the wrong idea – this is not about making extra money on work which does not need doing. Workshops have a responsibility and a duty of care that every vehicle which leaves the workshop is safe



What does CASE mean? And how will it impact your business? From industry conventions to research reports, everyone is talking about CASE. It’s an acronym increasingly used throughout the industry to describe the new generation of vehicles. However, what does CASE stand for? And how will CASE vehicles impact your business in the future? CASE stands for connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles — the four major areas of technological development for the next generation of cars, each dedicated to a different area of vehicle technology.

C - Connected Connected technology allows vehicles to connect to the internet. A further expansion of the Internet of Things, connected technology will allow vehicles to capture and share telematics, perform remote diagnostics, and conduct proactive maintenance (think of a process similar to updating your smartphone). PwC1 projects connected technology to be available on all new vehicles by 2030, making up 55% of the total US car parc. How will connected technologies affect your business? Connected technologies will reduce the need for software updates at services and will likely reduce the requirement for minor programming maintenance. However, connected 2 2 CAPRICORN IGNITION APRIL 2022

technologies may help reduce the time it can take to diagnose faults (improving workshop efficiency) and improve access to remote specialist support.

A – Autonomous Autonomous vehicles are one of the most talked about advancements on this list. From sci-fi movies to Tesla keynotes, autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles will be one of the biggest advancements in mobility technology since the invention of the automobile. There are five levels of vehicle autonomy as outlined by SAE, ranging from the driver performing all of the tasks needed to control the vehicle, right through to fully autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles face a lot of hurdles , which have continued to cause significant delays. From technological hurdles, ethical discussions, regulatory standards, and infrastructure barriers, there is a lot to overcome in our journey to a world which looks like the ‘Minority Report’.

In the meantime, vehicles with L1 to L3 systems are going to thrive, making up 70% of total new car sales in the US by 2030. By this time L1 to L3 vehicles will also make up 42% of the total US car parc, and it is likely we will see the same trend in Australia and New Zealand. L4 and L5 vehicles are not expected to arrive until well after 2030. How will autonomous vehicles affect your business? Those of us working with ADAS are going to see the greatest impact of vehicle autonomy in the short term. With true autonomy still a way off, it will most likely be L1 through to L3 systems arriving in businesses over the coming years. With numerous safety features reducing the number and severity of collisions, there will be fewer repairs required. However, the time required to repair and recalibrate vehicles after an accident will increase. McKinsey & Co2 project a decrease in the profit opportunities of parts in the coming years, but an increase in the profit opportunities for labour.

S – Shared From Uber’s ride-sharing model to subscription models like Zipcar, we are already seeing the exploration of shared ownership models become reality. With more than one regular driver, shared ownership models give people the flexibility of private, on-demand transport without the cost and maintenance of private ownership. The arrival of connected vehicles in coming years will greatly affect the scope and scale of shared vehicles. And combined with the arrival of vehicle autonomy, shared vehicles make the future of public transportation look very different. Once vehicle autonomy allows shared vehicle models to reach total cost parity, expect shared vehicles to explode.

How will shared ownership affect your business? Shared mobility will mean a reduction in the number of private owners looking to service their cars. Instead, servicing will become part of fleet management for the different service providers. According to McKinsey & Co, cars used in the shared ownership model are going to see higher mileage with greater wear on tyres and brake pads.

E – Electric Like vehicle autonomy, the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is incredibly well-documented. With OEMs planning to launch over 70 EV models over the next 7 years, EVs will continue to be a leading topic of industry discussion. By 2030, PwC expects 13%–20% of all US new car sales to be EV. And whilst EVs won’t have a huge impact on the US car parc, like in the US we can expect to start seeing a greater number of them on the road in Australia and New Zealand, and a shift to BEVs and PHEVs. The rise of electric vehicles is influenced by a few factors. The greatest growth in EV sales is expected once total cost parity is achieved. At current projections this is expected around 2027, although it could be met earlier if the OEMs meet their battery cost targets. Charging infrastructure is also going to be a large part of the rise of electric vehicles. Right now, it is still cheapest to charge an EV at home. However, between now and 2030, external charging will continue to fall in cost, and charging times are set to improve. How will EVs affect your business? As we all know, EVs need a completely different approach to servicing, from equipment to training requirements. Whilst the car parc penetration expectations are low, in the coming years we expect to see a greater number of EVs arriving in Member businesses.

1From the PwC ‘The Impact of Electrification & Automated Technology on the Automotive Aftermarket’ presentation at the 2021 AASA Vision Conference. 2 From the 2021 McKinsey & Co Making Every Part Count report CAPRICORN IGNITION APRIL 2022 2 3





VIC/TAS cowleysecurity.com.au




VIC/TAS waverleymotorgroup.com.au Waverley Motor Group is a supplier of OEM parts for Volkswagen, Nissan, Volvo, Renault, Mitsubishi, Holden and PPG Paint. They are your one-stop shop for OEM parts and have a fantastic facility to cater for all your automotive needs, be it mechanical or panel.


NATIONAL aaaa.com.au



The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is the national industry association representing manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers of automotive parts and accessories, tools and equipment, as well as providers of vehicle service, repair and modification services in Australia. Capricorn Members can place their AAAA membership on their trade account and gain access to a collection of specialised members services, industry specific business tools, and market research. Membership benefits include direct advocacy support, free Employer Assist and Legal hotlines, industryleading market research access including the Car Parc Data tool, an Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine subscription, exclusive webinars, member networking and training, a dedicated membership resource portal and much more. Combined, this suite of membership benefits provides a unique offering to sustain and boost member businesses.

With multiple deliveries daily in metro areas and quick overnight or interstate freight services for those further away, Waverley Motor Group aims to provide you with the best and most efficient service they can.


NATIONAL totaltyres.com.au



Total Tyres is committed to making business easier, better and more profitable for its customers. Offering the broadest range of tyres, wheels and tubes in Australia, Total Tyres has product coverage across all market segments and OE fitments. The company aims to work with and support their customers to help them reach their goals and grow their businesses. This commitment, along with their extensive product range and ‘free to store’ delivery Australia-wide, will help ensure you are able to deliver on your customer promise. With their extensive range being competitively priced, Total Tyres wants to help you win more customers. Total Tyres promises to provide customers with high levels of service and tailored business solutions.


With over 40 years’ experience in the industry, Cowley Security Australia has become one of the benchmark providers of security services in Australia. Focused on providing quality security system solutions, their product range will allow your business to create cost-effective solutions to your security needs. This process involves designing, installing, commissioning, monitoring, servicing and maintaining all integrated security systems. Cowley Security is 100% Australian owned and operated and has built their company on the trust of many successful clients. The company’s varied and vast range of product offerings, from CCTV camera systems to physical security plans, will ensure that your workshop’s security needs will be met. Their security alarms are engineered precisely to ensure that safeguarding your property and business is both foolproof and accurate.




SA/NT aichoistsolutions.com.au AIC Hoist Solutions is passionate about providing professional repairs, relocation and servicing to vehicle hoists. With a focus on safety, the team at AIC Hoist Solutions will ensure they are providing the correct services for their clients. The locally owned and operated company currently services customers throughout Adelaide and regional South Australia. They provide friendly service and are willing to go out of their way to ensure fast turnaround times. AIC Hoist Solutions can offer complete service installation, including setting up a workshop with the requirements of air and oil delivery. Whether your company needs a hoist service, minor repairs, routine maintenance or major work, AIC Hoist Solutions is ready to help.


Ruby anniversary for Kangaroo Island’s Jamiesons Brad joined the business in 2000 and after recently stepping into a leadership role, has continued to expand the family business. “We’re still marine and auto, auto electrical, metal fabrication and welding repairs,” he said. “All our mechanics get put through as diesel mechanics, too. This coming season we’re branching out and setting up a service vehicle and doing agricultural and off-highway servicing. It’s not something we need to do—we’re really under the pump—but people are asking for it.” When you service a small and tight-knit community like Kangaroo Island, a good reputation is everything. So, it’s a testament to Anthony and Ann Jamieson that this year their business, Jamieson Marine and Auto, in Kingscote, is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. Son Brad Jamieson, now a company director, said the business had gone from strength to strength over the decades. “When Dad had the idea of starting it he was at another local workshop here on the island, where he’d been an apprentice,” he said. “They were automotive but they did a little bit of marine and Dad had the idea of having a more prominent marine business on the island, but still doing some auto. Our focus has always been about 70 per cent marine.” Initially trading from a 10 metre by 20 metre shed, Anthony managed to sell two outboards to local residents before he’d even officially opened the doors. Soon they built a showroom to provide enough room for marine parts and accessories and to provide a display area for new outboards, boats, and general boating equipment. In 1988 they bought the block of land next door, so they had somewhere to store the boats.

WOOLWORTHS AT WORK HOLIDAY HAMPER Congratulations to Shine Auto Parts WA who won a Woolworths at Work hamper for their workshop. Members simply had to shop with Woolworths at Work in November and December of 2021 to receive one entry for every $50 spent. Pictured: WA Area Manager Dave Bolton with Alex from Shine Auto Parts WA.

According to Brad, “people talking” has actually been the secret to Jamieson’s success. “Dad has always built this business on reputation,” he said. “People talking about us down the pub is the best promotion for us. It can also be the worst thing if you do something wrong in a small community like Kangaroo Island, so we’ve always focused on giving good service and doing good quality. And we’ve always been willing to do the hard work and put in the hours.” Although the team is currently five people, Brad is advertising for more technicians and support as he continues to expand the business and as his parents step back from active roles.

Has social media marketing lost its punch (and what to do instead)

Maintaining a social media presence for your automotive business takes a lot of time and effort. If you want to actually reach customers with your message, it can also be expensive. So, is it worth the investment? It seems in recent years many Members have decided the answer to that question is no. Are auto businesses walking away from social media? In late 2019 when Capricorn first asked Members about their marketing and promotion habits, 51% of those who responded said they used social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. When we asked the same question again in early 2021, for State of the Nation, that figure had dropped to 45%. Why the drop? We can’t be certain, because we didn’t ask that specific question. But it’s likely auto business owners just aren’t seeing their social media activity bring in customers and dollars. If you want to reach customers, social media is pay-to-play. We can be reasonably confident in that assertion because the auto industry isn’t alone in walking away from social. Across industries and countries, businesses are leaving Facebook and Instagram accounts languishing because their posts simply aren’t effective. Organic reach (that is, how many people see your unpaid posts) on an average Facebook post for a small business is wallowing at around 5.2%. That means less than one in 20 of your followers will see your post.

Here’s what you should do instead. The best idea is to build your own audience. You already have a database of customers. It’s important to bear in mind that there are privacy laws concerning when an individual’s personal information can be used for marketing and spam legislation applying to certain commercial electronic messages. However provided those laws are complied with, your list of customer email addresses is potentially the most valuable marketing asset your business owns A recent study found email marketing is by far the most effective marketing channel in terms of return on investment. It found email returns $36 for every $1 spent. There are several reasons email marketing is so great. Subject to compliance with applicable privacy and spam legislation: •

You can reach out to your customers directly, whenever you want

You can hit customers with whatever message you want, including special offers, reminders, important information, tips and advice

Of course, what Facebook really wants is for you to pay to advertise. That’s how they make money, after all. If you want to reach more customers, you need to pay up.

Customers receive the message whenever they’re looking at their inbox (not while they’re scrolling Facebook and distracted by cat videos)

Don’t build your house on rented land. What’s happened with organic reach (which was originally very good for businesses) is a prime example of why it’s not a good idea to make any one social media channel a key part of your marketing strategy.

It’s cheap, it’s simple and it’s effective.

Facebook’s explanation for this is that there’s a lot of competition to appear in a person’s feed each time they log into Facebook.

When you do that, you’re at the mercy of the social media company. It’s their platform, and they can change the rules on you at any moment. You spend time, money and effort building your audience of followers on that channel, and then the social media company turns off the taps. Suddenly you’re left with nothing.

If you’re one of those who has been finding social media just isn’t working for you anymore, then consider switching your energies to email marketing instead. By all means keep a presence on Facebook and Instagram, but don’t make those platforms your primary means of communicating with customers .

Don’t let another business control how you communicate with your customers.

Applicable privacy legislation may constrain or prevent the use of an individual’s personal information for marketing purposes. Applicable spam legislation may also operate to impose restrictions on the sending commercial electronic communications in certain circumstances. Members who have questions regarding the implications of these laws on their business should seek independent advice.



LAST MONTH'S ANSWERS LAST MONTH'S WINNERS 1st Prize - 4,000 points Wilson’s Panel Works Pty Ltd 2nd Prize - 2,000 points GRS Auto Tek

Email your answers to ignition@capricorn.coop before the 25th of April. Winners will be selected by a lucky hat draw of correct entries. Please ensure you include your Member number and email address when submitting your entry.


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