The automotive industry plays a major role in the Asia Pacific region. Rapidly advancing technology, government regulation, international trade, intellectual property protection and employment issues are all impacting on this fast-moving and extremely competitive industry. As the pace of the sector accelerates, companies need authoritative legal advice to drive their businesses forward and to meet their commercial aims.

MinterEllison has a team dedicated to the automotive industry. We assist a wide range of clients, including BMW Australia, Subaru Australia, Air International, Nissan Australia, Robert Bosch, Hertz, Ford Australia and Futuris Automotive, to simplify and effectively manage risk and achieve business goals.

Our automotive group advises on the full range of industry issues such as corporate mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, advertising and privacy, intellectual property, finance and tax, employment and industrial relations, commercial and contractual arrangements with suppliers, competition issues, dealer issues including the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code) and the Australian Consumer and Competition law, industry assistance schemes including Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme and environmental management.

We are a member of the International Car Distribution Programme Australia (ICDPA). We also work closely with industry bodies including the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers (FAPM) and the Truck Industry Council.

GPC Asia Pacific acquisition of Covs Parts business

Advised GPC Asia Pacific (GPC), Australasia’s largest automotive aftermarket parts, accessories and solutions group, on its purchase of the Covs Parts business from ASX listed Automotive Holdings Group (AHG). GPC already owns the well know automotive brand 'Repco'. Through this acquisition, GPC has expanded its presence into Western Australia. The Covs Parts business services the automotive, mining and industrial sectors, including being the exclusive distributor of Ford and Holden parts in Western Australia. In addition to the purchase, GPC has become AHG’s preferred supplier for aftermarket parts, equipment and consumables requirements for AHG's 101 passenger and truck dealerships across Australia and New Zealand and for AHG's refrigerated and other logistics businesses. AHG has become the preferred provider of vehicles for GPC’s national fleet of approximately 1,200 vehicles. This strategically important acquisition involved a number of preliminary restructure steps, ACCC clearance as well as post-completion transitional services arrangements and reciprocal partnering arrangements.

Inchcape acquisition of Trivett Automative Group

Advising Inchcape plc, a leading independent international automotive distributor and retailer, on its £78 million acquisition of Trivett Automotive Group, a luxury and premium automotive group in Australia.

Hirepool purchase of Hirequip

Advised Australian private equity firm Next Capital on Hirepool's purchase of Hirequip. Hirepool a portfolio company of Next Capital, is one of New Zealand largest equipment hire businesses and Hirequip was one of its largest competitors. The represents a major change to the landscape of the equipment hire business in New Zealand. Our team, liaising via our New Zealand office obtained approval for the transaction from the New Zealand commerce commission, in what was a high profile and complex approval process given the size of the industry in New Zealand.