Honda’s Aussie ‘Agency’ Route? Could It Happen Here?

ABC in Australia is reporting that Honda is cutting ties with 11 of its 14 Melbourne dealerships, along with similar numbers in Sydney, as the manufacturer morphs into an agency-style sales outlet where the manufacturer retains ownership of the products and dealers earn a commission as a sales agent.

The report focussed on Astoria Motors, Melbourne, which opened its Honda outlet in 1963 and remains a family business. The dealership owners say they were shocked to receive the call from Honda and are clearly upset, fearing the move will decimate their business.

This is prompting some fears that Honda could roll out the agency model globally. Is there any truth in this?  ABC report that a Honda spokesperson told them:  “Honda Australia is introducing a more customer-centric approach to the car buying and ownership experience to make it more trusted, simple and enjoyable.”