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Sharks And Cowboys Need Not Apply

Motor Trade Association (MTA)
Tuesday 1 June 2004


The Motor Trade Association (MTA) today announced plans to improve the motor industry’s image. Members must now meet strict standards which will strengthen consumer confidence.

“The motor industry has not always enjoyed the best reputation. I believe it’s a case of a few bad apples spoiling the barrel,” says CEO Stephen Matthews. “MTA’s new standards will ensure that we have no sharks or cowboys.”

MTA currently has over 5,300 members, representing every area of the motor industry, including service stations, repairers and vehicle sales. In order to join, or remain with MTA, members must pass an assessment, those who do not meet the standards will not belong to the association.

“MTA has always represented the top end of the industry,” says Stephen Matthews. “But now we have a unique platform to promote our members from. We can confidently position them as trustworthy and professional – the best in the business!”

The new standards are also supported by the MTA Customer Promise, which ensures members work ethically, stand by their work and vehicles and provide superior service. The promise also provides a free warranty on all vehicles sold or repaired by MTA members, including a free 80 point vehicle check, on request, on all used vehicles sold. MTA also operates a free, independent mediation service just in case any problems do arise.

MTA decided the best way to signal the new focus was to update it’s image and launched their new logo today. The motoring public can now look for the new MTA logo as a sign of reliability and assurance.



Established in 1917 as a trade association, MTA merged with the Motor Vehicle Dealers Institute last year to form New Zealand’s largest motor industry organisation.

MTA has over 5,300 members representing every facet of the motor industry, from general repairers to specialist repairers (such as auto electrical and panel beaters) to service stations and vehicle sales.

MTA is governed by a Board of Directors, who all work in the motor industry. President Roy Roker is based in Dunedin and owns a vehicle repair business.

MTA’s National Office is based in Wellington and has 39 staff members involved in marketing, finance, membership support, public affairs and commercial development. MTA also has 11 field staff, based around the country, who are members’ first point of contact, providing support, advice and assistance.

There are 35 branches across the country, headed by branch presidents, who meet regularly to discuss industry issues and shape the direction of the organisation.

With so many members in a range of businesses, MTA can confidently represent not only the industry, but the motoring public as well. MTA is often called upon by Government and agencies to consult on issues affecting members and their customers. MTA is also actively involved in lobbying for members’ rights on issues affecting small businesses, certain sectors and motorists in general.

Stephen Matthews has been CEO of MTA since 1999. In that time the organisation has grown significantly, both financially and in the range of services provided to members. Stephen has been responsible for a number of changes including the purchase of VTNZ in 1999, the merger with MVDI and the restructuring of other organisations. The motor industry has also undergone considerable changes, experiencing rationalisation, deregulation, skills shortages and technological advancement. Stephen has overseen the development of membership standards and continuous learning strategies for the industry.

Prior to working for MTA, Stephen had been in the oil industry for more than 20 years, both in New Zealand and overseas. His background is in marketing and commercial management. He also managed a small business for three years.

MTA also has a number of specialist staff, such as Project Managers who work with members, government and agencies (such as LTSA and ACC) to find solutions that best suit industry. MTA’s project managers have a wealth of knowledge and often help media with background information and technical enquiries.


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