Australia Federal Treasurer Chris Bowen is remaining firm on keeping changes to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) despite vocal concerns from the country’s automotive industry, according to a report from Australia’s AAP news service.

Last week, the Australasian Fleet Management Association (AfMA) issued a statement about its concerns of how the reforms would impact the fleet industry in the country.

Motor Trade Association (MTA) chief executive John Chapman spoke with the treasurer by phone after raising the industry's concerns over the policy shift with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week, according to the report. Chapman said dealers had been "smashed" by the drop-off in fleet and salary packaging vehicle sales due to the uncertainty raised by changes to fringe benefits tax (FBT) arrangements announced by the federal government two weeks ago. Chapman said he explored a number of options with the treasurer, but Bowen was firm about keeping the FBT changes in place.

The AAP report added that Chapman also reinforced with the treasurer the importance of Holden maintaining its manufacturing operations in South Australia and discussed broader structural issues facing the automobile industry.