Although the impending closure of Ford, Holden and Toyota manufacturing in Australia gets the headlines, the almost 2800 businesses from across the automotive spectrum closed in the 2012/2013 financial year. Among them were 765 mechanical repair and maintenance businesses, 630 paint, panel and interior repair businesses, 173 new parts wholesalers, 55 parts manufacturers and 13 Continue reading Consolidation of automotive repair industry continues

Apprentice automotive technicians

Australia’s automotive skills shortage has shrunk from almost 22,000 unfilled jobs in 2013 to 16,359 in 2014, according to the 2015 Automotive Environmental Scan report from Auto Skills Australia (ASA). The report also says 40.6 per cent of 500 survey respondents were experiencing a skills shortage, eight per cent down on 2013 and the lowest Continue reading Skills shortage shrinks but fewer businesses hire apprentices


There may be media-fuelled public resistance to R1234yf history in Germany – not to mention the refusal by Mercedes-Benz to adopt it and Volkswagen Group’s commitment to CO2 as a refrigerant – but government figures reveal that there are already half a million cars on German roads with the new gas coursing through their air Continue reading 500,000 cars using R1234yf in Germany

Apprentice automotive technicians

On August 24, 2015, the deadline elapsed for expressions of interest to form the Skills Service Organisations (SSO) that will replace Industry Skills Councils (ISC) such as Auto Skills Australia (ASA) under the Abbott Government’s vocational education and training (VET) reforms. Regardless of the outcome of the tender process that will create a set of Continue reading VET reform gathers momentum as contestable model kicks in

Apple Store

Consumer psychology has always been of interest to me. One of the earliest books to grab my attention was The Customer by Bob Ansett of Budget Car Rental fame. Bob understood early is his business career that there was more to building a relationship with customers than simply facilitating the exchange of money for goods Continue reading The 76º Rule

Refrigerant identifier readings were all taken in one Queensland-based VASA member’s workshop

Focus on ‘regulatory impost’ rather than rife lawbreaking Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham has requested the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate to set up a working group that will review the regulation of hydrocarbon refrigerants and find ways of “reducing the regulatory impost of compliance without compromising safety”. Minister Lynham wants the Continue reading Spotlight on Queensland hydrocarbon refrigerant regulations

HCFC imported to Australia by year excluding HCFC 22

Ozone-depleting substance phaseout in Oz ahead of developed world Australia has taken a kicking for environmental performance lately, with stalled investment in renewable energy and climate change policy labelled as embarrassing, but this country should at least be proud of its performance when it comes to meeting its obligations under the Montreal Protocol. What’s more, Continue reading Australia kicking Montreal Protocol goals

Queensland hydrocarbon refrigerant regulation not stopping the rot

Queensland VASA members are encountering hydrocarbon refrigerant use among their client base, including heavy transport firms contracted to the resources sector and large-scale farming businesses. One example is a transport company that would use one VASA member’s workshop for three or four air conditioning jobs per week and provided a significant source of revenue. A Continue reading Queensland hydrocarbon refrigerant regulation not stopping the rot

Hong Kong Legislative Council building

Following criticism from the Office of the Ombudsman after an investigation into a 2013 air conditioning fire and explosion that injured more than 20 people and caused extensive property damage, the Hong Kong government is advising the trade not to retrofit systems with flammable refrigerants. In its damning report into the 2013 Ma On Shan Continue reading Hong Kong government advises against retrofits after HC blast