Cranky Australian Senator Offers $1 to Buy Holden Brand From GM
GM announced in February that it’d be killing the Holden brand after 164 years.
It was announced in February that by 2021, General Motors' Australian arm, Holden, will close up shop. This comes after a rich 164-year-history which provided massive V8s, smoky burnouts, and more than a handful of stellar utes that we Americans have always lusted over. Still, our desire for a car-slash-pickup is overshadowed by that of Aussies' to keep Holden a part of their national identity. Alas, there's no plan to resurrect the brand amidst a global downturn in new-car sales.
That doesn't sit well with Queensland Senator James McGrath, who offered to buy Holden for $1 in order to turn it over to the existing network of dealers.
“If General Motors think the brand is worth nothing, then hand the brand back to Australia. Give it back to the Holden dealers,” McGrath said while criticizing GM Chief Executive Marry Bara. “In fact, I’m happy to purchase the Holden brand from General Motors for a dollar. I’ll send you, Ms. Barra, a dollar in the post and you can give us the Holden brand back and we’ll give it to the Holden dealers.”
For what it's worth, an Australian dollar is worth 64 cents in USD.
GM has been in a back-and-forth legal battle with the Holden dealer network since its decision to kill the brand earlier this year. Apparently, the auto giant offered a "grossly inadequate" compensation package to its retail outlets, ranging from $100,000 to $2.4 million depending on the stores' circumstances. In the words of Senator McGrath, GM is “privately attempting to put the screws to these Holden franchisees" with the plan.
“To put it bluntly, General Motors (is) trying to sneak under the cover of COVID-19 to disappear into the night and leave Australian businesses stranded after an 89-year one-night stand,” added Senator McGrath, referring to GM's arrival in Australia in 1931.
Upon its announcement to close Holden down completely, Barra explained that the automaker will “support our people, our customers and our partners, to ensure an orderly and respectful transition in the impacted markets.”
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