In the wake of the decision by General Motors’ (GM) to withdraw from the Australian market, AADA has expressed concern over the company’s announcement that it will be launching a new vehicle brand.

“The launch of General Motors Special Vehicles (GMSV) poses many questions and it seems unthinkable that shortly after ruthlessly dismantling the Holden Dealer network GM can simply be allowed to launch a new brand,” said AADA CEO James Voortman.

“GM remains in dispute with a number of Dealers and most who have settled did so under duress, accepting the inadequate compensation on offer. Even a last minute request from the Federal Government to settle the dispute through arbitration was rebuffed by GM.

“GM has burned so much goodwill after taking so much from Australian taxpayers, yet here they are about to start another business. After a decade of treating consumers, businesses and the Government with contempt, how can we have faith that GM will change its ways?”

Mr Voortman called for stronger franchise laws similar to those in the United States, pointing out that over the past two years the ACCC had successfully taken action against a number of Manufacturers, while Honda and Mercedes-Benz are making significant changes to their distribution models.

“We know Senator Deborah O’Neill has written to ASIC asking them to investigate a potential phoenixing situation regarding GMSV. We also know that last year, only months before announcing it was dumping the Holden brand, General Motors changed its corporate structure,” he said.

“It is important to get to the bottom of these issues as GM will have significant liabilities in Australia for many years to come. There are 1.6 million Holdens on our roads, the second most of any brand. The Government needs assurances that General Motors has set aside funds to honour consumer law obligations, pay warranty claims, complete safety recalls and supply vehicle parts.

“The Senate Inquiry looking into GM’s operations in Australia should strongly consider calling GM back to answer more questions.”

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