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The Australian Automotive Dealers Association has put its weight behind comments from Senator James McGrath in the Senate calling out General Motors’ poor treatment of local Australian car Dealers.

Liberal Senator McGrath certainly didn’t mince his words, suggesting that General Motors “acted with the ethics of a granny-smacking purse-snatcher” when it announced plans to end Australian operations in February, blindsiding dealers who invested heavily in the brand.

“The COVID-19 crisis has overshadowed the actions of a multinational, Fortune 500 company virtually ending its more than a 100-year association with Australia and treating local Dealers very poorly in the process,” AADA CEO James Voortman said.

The association was also quick to criticise the behaviour of Holden, along with Honda for cutting their operations within Australia. It also indicated that unfair compensation terms made it near on impossible for the dealers to be commercially viable within this country.

“Since the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis, GM have reportedly turned the screws and failed to budge on their initial compensation offer, telling Dealers their ability to be a future authorised service Dealer is dependent on them accepting the offer,” Mr Voortman said.

“After so many Holden Dealers have given so many years to this brand, it is incredibly disappointing that during a very tough time for the industry, GM are not exiting Australia in a fair and dignified manner despite their assurances that they would do so.”

A silver lining

Meanwhile news this week that dealers are willing to squeeze their already small margins to secure a sale just to keep some cash coming through the door to cover their hefty overheads.

For those in the market for new vehicles it is believed savings of around $2000 to $3000 will be seen on popular cars while some top-end utes could see savings of up to $8000 off the RRP.
“If you have cash or access to finance, it is absolutely a buyer’s market,” national motoring editor Josh Dowling said.
“Dealers are desperate to move metal… the coronavirus has absolutely slammed the brakes on new car sales.”