There is no way to put a gloss on the pending closure of Westland Autos in Boulder Road; it is bad news for the Goldfields.
On top of that the number of brands being carried by the remaining local car yards has been reduced. More bad news.
One reason given for such cutbacks throughout regional WA is that manufacturers are demanding unrealistic and expensive showrooms.
If they think country residents will simply drive to Perth and still buy the same brand they have been loyal to all their driving life then I think they will be disappointed.
I for one will not go to Perth for a brand that is not serviced locally. Never have and never will and that also goes for the City Council.
Since I became mayor just over four years ago I have been constant in my calls to ‘buy local’ and we have lifted the City’s own level of buying local for goods and services.
In the past some of the car makes the City purchased are those no longer sold locally. We will simply switch to makes still sold here in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Not only do we want your rates staying here in the local economy but from a service point of view it is illogical to think you will get the same level of after-sales back-up 600km away.
While it’s easy to just blame the car manufacturers, some of the blame must also be laid at local residents who go to Perth to buy the same brands available locally.
When buying large ticket items like a car it can be misleading to say: “Well, I gave the local dealer a chance but he was more expensive.”
What happens after getting a price from the local they ask a Perth dealer if they can better that quote, with the inevitable response that they can beat it. If given the same last chance the local dealer can do the same but sadly that doesn’t happen.
The same applies to mining and mining service companies – some of whom go out of their way to support the local dealer – while others talk about supporting locals but Perth-based procurement divisions get lazy and go to the Perth dealer.
Because of that they will find they now have to drive 600km for specialist services and spare parts once taken for granted
One other negative is not just the loss of local jobs but the support businesses such as Westland’s have given to sporting clubs and the community in general.
Out of all this there are no winners, just losers.