MP accuses General Motors of leaving businesses stranded after an ‘89-year one night stand’, as compensation offered to local Holden dealers is held up.
MP accuses General Motors of leaving businesses stranded after an ‘89-year one night stand’, as compensation offered to local Holden dealers is held up.

‘Priceless’: Senator’s colourful Holden spray

AN impassioned Morrison Government rebel has offered to buy the "Holden brand" for $1 after accusing General Motors of having the ethics of a "granny-smacking purse snatcher".

Queensland Senator James McGrath lampooned GM in the Senate this afternoon for trying to "disappear into the night and leave Australian businesses stranded after an 89 year one night stand".

"General Motors may think the rich history of the Holden brand in Australia is worthless, but I think it's priceless.

"If General Motors think the brand is worth nothing, I will happily offer to purchase the Holden brand for one dollar. And I will hand the brand back to Holden Dealers."

Australian Holden dealers are incensed that the compensation offered by GM, which has ending their franchise agreements almost three years early, is being delayed by COVID-19. GM announced in February that it would wind-up its sales, design and engineering in Australia by 2021.

LNP Senator James McGrath
LNP Senator James McGrath

"This is an unforgivable stance for General Motors to be taking, particularly at a time where the economy and business is managing the economic shock of the current pandemic,'' Senator McGrath said.

"Our motor industry means our retailers. Mainly family businesses that have invested heavily in facilities and people over the past hundred years at the behest of the manufacturers.

"I am very concerned at the apparent stonewalling by General Motors in regard to what should be good faith commercial negotiations with its dealers in relation to their exit from the Australian market.

"In hindsight it seems General Motors has planned to subvert the franchise code and it's been years in the making. General Motors promised the earth and have given a bucket of sand."

Senator McGrath said while it was GM's prerogative to cease its operations in Australia, it should be done fairly.

He said what they were offering dealers in compensation "for killing the brand, is just not good enough.

"This is about the livelihoods of people right across the country- particularly regional areas."

It is understood GM is offering about a third in compensation of what dealers are seeking.

Originally published as 'Priceless': Senator's colourful Holden spray

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