Furious Holden dealers say they are left with empty showrooms and millions in losses and that Canberra has let the brand’s closure set a dangerous precedent.
Furious Holden dealers say they are left with empty showrooms and millions in losses and that Canberra has let the brand’s closure set a dangerous precedent.

Holden dealers left hanging as GM allowed to walk away

HOLDEN dealers have 'reluctantly' accepted General Motors' compensation offer despite many claiming the package was inadequate.

After a months-long battle the Australian Holden Dealer Council today revealed they had accepted the offer, which would hand dealers $1500 per new car sold over a set period.

Australian dealers had been fighting for $6100 per car.

The compensation will cost GM about $150 million and comes after the American car maker revealed in February it would axe the Holden brand.

A protracted battle followed and, despite the intervention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, two days of mediation resulted in a stalemate.

About 120 of the 185 Holden dealers who operate 203 showrooms across the nation agreed to the package on Tuesday afternoon.

Australian Holden Dealer Council Secretary David Nicholson said GM had walked away from their agreements, "leaving dealers with empty showrooms and millions in losses".

The Holden dealership at Newmarket, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
The Holden dealership at Newmarket, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

He said it was a "sad day" for the 72-year-old car brand and its supporters after dealers were left with "no choice" but to accept the compensation offer.

"Holden dealers loyally supported General Motors Holden during some of its toughest times," he said.

"During the 1991 recession and throughout the Global Financial Crisis, Holden dealers continued to take stock from GM in order to help it survive the crisis, whilst it squandered more than $2 billion in taxpayer funded support over the years.

"Yet, as Australia entered its first since recession since '91, sadly the loyalty and support toward GM has not been reciprocated."

General Motors has argued each Holden car was sold at a $600 loss and maintained its offer was reasonable.

Mr Nicholson said the giant had refused to "negotiate in good faith, making a mockery of mediation and finally rejecting arbitration".

"If Australia continues to allow small, family businesses to be ruined by overseas corporates then what have we become?"

"General Motors Holden's exit sets a dangerous precedent - it's time to make some changes otherwise it might be your job or business next."

Originally published as Holden dealers left hanging as GM allowed to 'walk away'



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