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This multi-million dollar Holden showroom will never open

By Tim Robson, 20 Feb 2020 Car News

This multi-million dollar Holden showroom will never open

Adelaide Holden dealer spends more than $6 million on new showroom, only for brand to walk away three months before its completion

While the majority of Holden's 180-strong dealer network have gone to ground in the wake of the decision by General Motors to kill the brand in Australia, one dealer's misfortune stands a little taller than others.

One of Adelaide's biggest Holden dealers, City Holden, was three months away from opening a $6.5 million showroom in the heart of the city, according to the company's Facebook page, but is now left with an almost-complete showpiece for the Holden brand, but no stock to sell.

MORE: Holden prepares to slash prices as brand winds down

Groundwork pics taken in November (below) show the new dealership under construction for the 41-year-old dealership group, which runs four Holden dealerships in the South Australian capital.

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The new site in Mile End had been in planning since 2017, where the group was named Holden's best-performing dealership Australia-wide.

"It has been an incredibly tough few days for us with the recent announcement that General Motors will be retiring the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand," said Julian Newton, the owner and dealer principal of City Holden, in a statement. "City Holden opened its doors in 1979, and for the past 41 years have been a proud supporter of this iconic Aussie brand.

MORE: What does Holden's axing mean for customers?

"We will continue to support all our customers and are committed to ensuring that your vehicle will be looked after in every possible way."

The family-owned group turned over more than $100 million in sales annually.

Holden dealers once numbered more than 400 nation-wide, but their numbers have dwindled since the end of local manufacturing in 2017. Of the 185 left, 18 are standalone dealerships that only sell Holden product.

General Motors said on Monday that all dealers would be offered the opportunity to convert into a service centre, but there is a groundswell of dissent against the company which, as of three days after the closure, has not provided details of compensation packages for franchise holders with leases that extend as far out as 2022.