Australian Government launches investigation into Holden shutdown
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The widespread impacts of Holden's shutdown in Australia and New Zealand are starting to be recognised, with doubt now cast on the future of the Supercars Championship and significant projected job losses on both sides of the Tasman among the biggest concerns.
In the midst of the unfolding news, it's been confirmed that Australia's Federal Government is launching a Senate Inquiry into the brand's closure by General Motors, particularly in regards to compensation for dealers and employees.
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The announcement follows a whirlwind week for Holden dealers. On Wednesday a group of leading dealers met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in order to lobby for the Federal Government's assistance, with both standing Government and the opposition supporting the subsequent investigation.
Australian publication CarAdvice has reported that initial compensation offers from General Motors to its Holden dealers have ranged from AU$100,000 to AU$2,000,000. The outlet cites one unnamed dealer that states their redundancy payments to staff alone total over AU$800,000, and another dealer who's claimed that they'll need to sell their house to cover shutdown costs.
Read more: What Holden's death means for current owners
“As an industry we were shocked by (General Motors’) 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 Australian Automotive Dealer Association CEO James Voortmen in a statement.
“The withdrawal of (General Motors) from the Australian market leaves around two hundred dealerships in the lurch, and up to 9000 workers out of a job.
“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.”
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It's already been confirmed that General Motors will have a presence in Australia for at least 10 years to support requisite service and warranty inquiries on Holdens that are on the road, accounting for deals like the manufacturer's seven-year free servicing offer as well as any arrising recalls.
Things are only expected to get more hectic for Holden dealers in Australia and New Zealand, with signficant discounts on current stock expected to be unveiled in March. According to Australian reports, some dealers are expecting to run out of vehicles in a matter of weeks off the back of the upcoming deals. It's said that some dealers are expected to discount less than others, in the hope to continue trading for a longer period.