Tony Carsburg customers have been left incensed at the letter they received from Holden claiming that ‘Tony Carsburg Holden recently closed its Holden franchise…’
It then directs customers to Tweed saying that ‘Tweed Holden in Tweed Heads is now your new local Holden dealer.’
‘Tony Carsburg didn’t close the Holden dealership; Holden didn’t renew the franchise sales agreement,’ said Carsburg Motors manager Steve Harris.
The letter was sent to all Carsburg’s clients who have either bought a car or received servicing through Carsburg Motors.
‘Whoever wrote that letter was wrong and misleading in what they were saying,’ said Tony Carsburg.
‘It is disappointing how this has been handled by Holden.’
‘None of us would dispute it if we weren’t performing, but we were all performing pretty well.’
Other local dealerships who have been dumped by Holden include Kyogle, Maclean and Glen Innes.
‘They wrote to us and said that, “We didn’t fit into their footprint any more”,’ continued Steve.
‘They just want the big dealers.’
Tony was informed that his franchise agreement would end on December 31, and even though a group formed by Holden dealers to work with Holden tried to fight the closure of more than 30 dealerships across the country, they were unable to stop the process.
‘It was just so badly done,’ continued Tony.
‘The concept appears to be that in the country areas if you have to drive an hour to get your vehicle serviced then they think that’s okay.’
But Carsburg Motors aren’t planning on going anywhere; there has been a car service and repair business on that site since at least the 1930s and they will continue to service Holdens and all other vehicles in the local area.
They are also going to focus on their quality used car sales and continue with their NRMA services.
‘We’ve got good staff who are loyal to us and we will stay loyal to them,’ continued Tony.
Sales, repairs and servicing to continue
‘We want to let people know that we will still be able to provide the bulk of the services at the capped price as we’ve always done; we will continue to provide repairs and servicing to our local community.’
Tony is reviewing his longstanding commitments to local community organisations, some of which have been going for over 30 years. They include being a major sponsor for the Ocean Shores Country Club and the Brunswick Heads Bowling Club. Carsburg’s sponsorship list is extensive.
‘It is easier to list who we haven’t sponsored,’ said Tony with a laugh.
And that support has come back to Tony and his team in this time of change, with customers calling in and reminding him that they are there to support him.
‘The support has blown us over,’ said Steve.
One customer is so upset about what has happened that they have said they will no longer buy new Holdens and have changed to a different car brand in protest.
‘I think more customers will be following their lead – we just won’t be selling new Holdens now, otherwise it will be business as usual,’ Tony said. ‘We have five mechanics and will continue to provide excellent service to our customers.’
Holden’s media department told The Echo, ‘This is a time of significant change for Holden and the dealer network.’
‘In regard to the letter being misleading, I accept that may be … in the case of some customers it may have been seen that way. No matter how we phrased that letter, we wouldn’t be able to please everyone. We tried to be as clear as possible to let people know that that dealer was no longer a representative of Holden.
‘I acknowledge that some customers may have felt that it was not as clear as it could have been.
‘We have had to make a number of difficult decisions about what we need for the longterm future of the network going forward, and we are still the second largest dealer network in the country.’