Holden will cull 30 dealerships, mostly from metropolitan areas, in a bid to counter falling sales.
Most of Holden’s 269 Australian Dealers have franchise contracts that are due to roll over on 31 December, giving the affected dealerships roughly six months to find another brand, arrange to service other brands or develop their used car sales in order to survive.
As the famous advertisements used to tell us, Holden has long been seen as being as Australian as meat pies and kangaroos. But from a 1960s peak of providing 50 percent of all new cars sold in the country, the brand is now responsible for just seven percent of sales.
Still, with more than 230 dealerships continuing into 2018, Holden will remain
Australia’s second largest Dealer network, behind Toyota.
Holden confirmed it had reviewed its ‘Dealer network footprint’ prior to the 20 October cessation of local automotive manufacturing.
“Taking into account a number of factors, the difficult decision has been reached that the size of the Dealer network must be reduced,” a spokesman said.
Holden customer and Dealer operations Executive Director, Peter Jamieson, told Wheels the decision was made to help the company secure a “sustainable and successful future” for the remainder of its Dealer network.
“This decision has not been made lightly, as with any decision that impacts the hard-working men and women at Holden and in the network,” he said.
“This will be a challenging period for those Dealers impacted and their staff. Just as throughout the wind-down of our manufacturing operations, we are trying to put our people first and help them wherever we can.
“We are supporting our Dealers and their teams in a number of ways, including redeployment, retraining and support services.”
Ford has also reduced its Dealer network, cutting numbers over several years prior to its cessation of manufacturing in October 2016.