22nd May, 2020 ยท Media Release

Dealers Welcome ACCC Intervention in GM

The peak body representing new car Dealers has welcomed the ACCC’s intervention in General Motors’ negotiations with Australian car Dealers.

“There is a sense of relief among Holden Dealers and they are incredibly grateful that the ACCC pressured GM to extend the deadline for its compensation offer and to engage in good faith negotiations with Dealers,” AADA CEO James Voortman said.

“Dealers are already struggling with the worst trading conditions on record and were then given an end of May deadline by GM to accept an offer described by all of the Holden Dealers I have spoken to as unacceptable,” Mr Voortman said.

“General Motors’ treatment of the 185 Holden Dealers has been disappointing to say the least, but this represents an opportunity for them to sit down with the Dealer network and develop a fair and reasonable plan to compensate these Dealers,” he said.

“Many of these Dealers have represented Holden for decades, some for over 70 years. They have made significant investment in facilities, equipment, stock and training. They deserve reasonable compensation,” he said.

“The ACCC is well aware of power imbalance between dealers and offshore manufacturers which it revealed in its 2017 New Car Retail Market study,” he said.

“It’s not just the car companies pulling out of Australia who are a threat to local Dealers but the unfair terms that many of them face in their commercial arrangements are an ongoing problem, not just for the local Dealers but also for Australian consumers and small business who rely on them,” he said.

That is why AADA has been working with the Government on draft automotive franchising laws due to be finalised in the coming weeks. It is crucial that these laws are strengthened so that Dealers are given protections similar to those afforded to Dealers in countries like the US and the EU,” Mr Voortman said.

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