General Motors and Holden dealers have entered into compensation negotiations after pressure from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
As Holden exits the Australian market, dealers had complained to the ACCC GM was placing undue pressure on them by imposing a May 31 deadline to accept its proposed compensation package, which many dealers felt was inadequate.
They also alleged GM knew it was shuttering Holden years before the announcement was made in February, allowing dealers to upgrade ultimately doomed showroom facilities.
GM hit back earlier this month, claiming its compensation offer was more than fair.
But today the brand announced it would extend the deadline to June 30 and to negotiate “in good faith” with the dealer network.
In a media statement, the ACCC said it was preparing for court action had Holden not changed its position
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said as franchisees, dealers have less bargaining power than GM.
“Holden was putting pressure on dealers to accept the compensation package by May 31 without giving a proper opportunity to negotiate and engage in a dispute resolution process,” he said.
“We believe this deadline was unnecessary and also unfair.
“We expect Holden to negotiate fairly with dealers who have represented the Holden brand in Australia for decades.
“We will continue to closely monitor Holden’s commitment to engage in good faith negotiations.”
In its own statement, GM reiterated it believes its offer is fair, while also noting “good faith participation in dispute resolution does not oblige a participant to accept, make, change or increase any offer of compensation”.
“Extending the date of acceptance will also provide further time for the few dealers which have not yet provided documentation to review their claims around facility investments,” the statement read.
“The company continues to seek an outcome that supports the transition for dealers and ongoing support for existing customers.”