Tesla has secured a position on the board of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Australia’s primary car lobby group, just over a year after becoming a member. The FCAI announced this development on its official website, signifying Tesla’s increasing influence in the Australian market.
According to a press release by the FCAI, Matthew Callachor, President and CEO of Toyota Australia, has been replaced by Vinesh Bhindi, Managing Director of Mazda Australia. This transition is notable as both Toyota and Mazda have been slower in embracing the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). However, the Australian car industry has been witnessing a rapid shift towards EVs, with electric cars accounting for 8% of new vehicle sales in the previous month.
The FCAI also revealed that Thom Drew, Country Manager of Tesla Australia and New Zealand, and Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, have been appointed to the board. FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber warmly welcomed the new directors and officers, emphasizing the importance of a diverse board to best represent Australia’s motoring industry, considering the ongoing changes in emissions, intelligent transport, business models, and customer experience.
Tesla’s inclusion on the FCAI board is indicative of its growing presence in the Australian market. Tesla has been the leading EV brand in Australia for the past two years, and its sales are expected to further increase. Notably, the Tesla Model Y is projected to become the country’s best-selling SUV, while the Model 3 ranks as the second best-selling sedan, as reported by The Driven.
In addition to benefiting Tesla, its presence on the FCAI board may also bring advantages to the organization itself. The FCAI, as a powerful lobby group representing the interests of the Australian car industry, has faced criticism for its perceived opposition to EV policies. By having Tesla on board, the FCAI has the opportunity to reshape these perceptions and potentially foster a more supportive stance toward EVs