Shepparton Holden dealership shocked by brand axing

By Madi Chwasta

Shepparton’s Holden dealership had “no idea at all” the brand would be axed, after parent company General Motors made the shock announcement yesterday.

Thompson Motor Group director Jarrod Thompson – who owns the only Holden dealership in Shepparton - said he was informed in a surprise video link presentation yesterday with other Holden dealership owners that the car brand would be axed by 2021.

However, he reassured Thompson Holden would continue to honour warranty and existing pre-service programs, and would supply parts and service vehicles for at least 10 years as required by Australian law.

“I’ve had a number of phone calls of people concerned, and have been reassuring people,” he said.

“They don’t have to worry.

“As a Holden dealer, even when we can’t sell new Holdens, we will still continue as a service and parts dealer.”

Mr Thompson said his dealership would continue selling Holdens through to next year.

“They still have cars being built that are coming to Australia,” he said.

Mr Thompson said it was too early to know whether any jobs at Thompson Motor Group were at risk, but reassured they were in a "fortunate" position as they sell other car brands through their six other franchises.

“It’s something we’ve got to deal with, and we’ve got to look after our staff,” he said.

“It’s business as usual for the next 12 months.

“I do feel for the people who don’t have other brands.”

Thompson Motor Group has operated in the Goulburn Valley for 55 years, and has owned the Shepparton Holden dealership since 2007, and the Echuca dealership for two years.

The retiring of the brand in Australia and New Zealand will result in about 600 jobs being axed, and comes after GM closed local manufacturing operations in 2017.

GM has said they would offer compensation to its 185 dealers in Australia and 31 dealers in New Zealand.

There are currently an estimated 1.6 million Holdens on the road.