‘We will soldier on’ local dealer

By Jared Loughnan

Despite the ‘shock’ news on Monday that General Motors will be retiring the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand at the end of this year local dealership principal Andrew Pigdon said this decision will not defeat Yarrawonga’s oldest family business. 

“Although the news by General Motors (GM) is a shock we want to reassure our loyal customers that we will continue to offer quality products and services to the community as we have for the last 100 years,” Andrew said.

“We have been and continue to be actively engaged in talks with securing another motor vehicle franchise for our local region. 

“Our plan is to move forward, and in many respects, it is businesses as usual as we aim to continue as we have before and will handle all warranties, guarantees and servicing longer term.”

Former Dealer Principal Bruce Pigdon OAM said the family business, now in its fifth generation, has experienced several large manufacturing companies coming and going over the years such as Morris, Studebaker, BMC, Massey Ferguson and Chrysler.

“This is not unfamiliar territory for us, and like before we will continue to soldier on.

“This business has survived two world wars, the great depression, droughts and other crises. 

“We are determined that our business is not unduly impacted by this, and that our customers will continue to be offered quality products and services post the Holden era.  New doors will open as others are closing.

“We have made too much of an important investment into this community in time, people and facilities to remain other than very positive about our future,” Bruce Pigdon added.

Andrew Pigdon said our first commitment is to our staff and customers and then to the wider community.  

“We boast a proven track record to service the motoring needs of our local region for over a century,” he said.

“We will not let this decision by General Motors change this commitment.

Andrew said he had no idea of the decision until Monday morning.  

“We were all blindsided, but we will not know the full extent of it until Wednesday,” he said.

In a media statement released by Holden on Monday, it stated the announcement by GM; “will be felt deeply by the entire Holden family, our customers and our fans”.

“We will immediately begin working with our dealer partners across Australia and New Zealand to implement an orderly transition, including support for our existing customers.”

Holden stated it will continue to support customers in the following ways:

Honour all existing warranties and guarantees.

Honour all free scheduled servicing offers.

Ongoing call centre support.

Provide servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years, through national aftersales networks in Australia and New Zealand.

Recalls or safety-related issues if they arise.

“GM has taken this difficult decision after an exhaustive analysis of the investment required for Holden to be competitive for the long term in Australia’s and New Zealand’s new car markets. 

“Regrettably, this assessment determined such an investment could not meet GM’s investment thresholds, including delivering an appropriate return.

“Factors weighing against further investment in Holden included: the highly fragmented right-hand-drive domestic markets; the economics to support growing the brand; and delivering an appropriate return on investment,” the statement said.

Andrew Pigdon said he has been overwhelmed by the dozens of messages of support from customers.

“It’s humbling to know that our business means a lot to the local community.”