The peak body representing Australia’s franchised new car Dealers has welcomed today’s announcement of a Senate Inquiry into the decision by General Motors (GM) to withdraw the Holden brand and operations from Australia.
“As an industry we were shocked by GM’s decision and the way it was communicated. However, we have been even more shocked by reports from our members on the grossly inadequate compensation on offer,” said AADA CEO James Voortman.
“The withdrawal of GM from the Australian market leaves around two hundred dealerships in the lurch, and up to nine thousand workers out of a job,” Mr Voortman said.
“Holden Dealers invested significant capital in facilities, stock and equipment. Many signed up to long term leases. They employed people in their businesses and took on apprentices. All of these decisions were made in good faith based on commitments from Holden that they were in Australia for the long-haul,” Mr Voortman said.
“This inquiry is crucial as the way in which Holden is allowed to exit Australia will set the benchmark for other offshore car Manufacturers considering an exit from the country, a rationalisation of their network or a change in their distribution model,” Mr Voortman said.
“The decision of the Senate to review the impacts of GM’s decision is very welcome, particularly as it will also look at the broader context of the Franchising Code and its role in this mess,” he said.
“We look forward to working with the Senate on this inquiry and to keep the Prime Minister, whom we met with yesterday, abreast of developments,” Mr Voortman said.
“The AADA is working closely with our Holden members, as well as the Government and Senate to ensure that the hard-working Australian businesses and their employees are properly looked after,” Mr Voortman said.