The announcement that General Motors will retire from sales in Australia and New Zealand by 2021 is yet another cruel blow to Holden Dealers across the country.
While GM confirmed that local design and engineering operations, as well as Maven and Holden Financial Services operations will wind down in Australia, it is local Holden dealers that will bear the brunt of this withdrawal.
It will be important that dealers are compensated for the investments they have made in capital, time and effort over many decades of service.
We are here for Holden Dealers during this difficult time and we have been informed that the Holden Dealer Council are having discussions on the impact this will have on the national dealership network. The Council will inform us of their next steps soon and we will work with them to determine our role and how we can provide support.
General Motors has announced that Holden will honour all warranties and servicing offers made at the time of sale in addition to recall and safety related issues for at least the next decade.
We have briefed the South Australian Premier, Hon. Steven Marshall MP and written to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, calling for strong leadership on this matter and requested that government work with us to ensure an ordered transition for affected vehicle dealers.
MTAA CEO, Richard Dudley, met with staff from Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon. Karen Andrews MP's office this week to discuss how Holden Dealers will be affected by GM's decision. MTA CEO's will be meeting the Minister next week along with Senator and Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash.
The Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources released Automotive franchising draft regulations for consultation last Friday. We have been working closely with members to provide input in the lead up to this point. It is our view that the Federal Government needs to act swiftly to implement the proposed draft regulations that will introduce changes for the automotive sector under the Franchising Code of Conduct.
While much of the attention of the GM announcement rightly highlights the pain that new vehicle dealers and their staff are suffering, we believe that the scope of franchising reform needs to go further and be broadened to cover the wide range of automotive industry franchise agreements such as motorcycle, heavy vehicle and farm machinery dealers, and even some repairers.