28th June, 2020 ยท Media Release

Dealer’s Urge GM to Participate
in Arbitration

The peak body representing new car Dealers welcomes the Australian Government’s call for General Motors (GM) and Australia’s Holden Dealers to settle their dispute via arbitration.

“It is clear that we need a circuit breaker and arbitration represents an opportunity for both sides to put their case forward before an independent arbitrator,” said AADA CEO James Voortman.

“I understand the Holden Dealers are willing to participate and I urge GM to agree so we can reach a resolution,” Mr Voortman said.

“GM has constantly claimed that their compensation offer is fair, so I see absolutely no reason why they would refuse to participate in arbitration,” he said.

“Dealers across Australia appreciate the ongoing efforts from Minister Michaela Cash to work towards a resolution on this issue,” he said.

“Arbitration is less costly and will deliver a quicker resolution than going through the courts,” Mr Voortman said.

“The last thing we need is for this to go through a lengthy court process which could take three years or longer. GM is one of the biggest companies in the world with annual revenue of around $200 billion. It can afford an expensive and lengthy court case, but Australia’s Holden Dealers cannot,” he said.

“GM made their initial offer for compensation in February and hardly any Holden Dealers accepted that offer. In the four months since, the offer has not changed and the number of Dealers that have accepted the offer is negligible,” he said.

“Holden is an iconic Australian brand and GM’s decision to end the brand in Australia should be done in a dignified manner. It seems arbitration is the only way this can be achieved,” he said.

There is a massive power imbalance between new car Dealer and the offshore Manufacturers to which they are franchised. The AADA has been campaigning hard for a minimum set of protections for new car Dealers. A strong set of Dealer specific regulations would stop companies like GM from being able to dump and run, leaving hundreds of Australian Dealers, with billions invested in the brand, to fend for themselves.

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