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Source: Mercedes- Benz Australia
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  • The Federal Court of Australia fast tracks the $650 million legal battle between Australian Mercedes Dealers and Mercedes Benz Germany
  • Last month, the Australian dealers filed a lawsuit against the German car giant on claims it’s seeking more control over dealerships
  • More than 80 per cent of Australian Mercedes dealers have joined forces to stop Mercedes Germany from having this control
  • The trial date is set to take place in August 2022

The Federal Court of Australia has fast tracked the $650 million legal battle between Australian Mercedes Dealers and its parent company, Mercedes.

Last month, the Australian dealer filed a lawsuit against Mercedes Benz Germany on claims the German car giant is enforcing more control over dealerships.

Through a new business model, Mercedes is wanting to see Australian Dealers shift from being independent self-run businesses to become ‘mere agents and re-sellers’.

More than 80 per cent of Australian Mercedes dealers have joined forces to stop Mercedes Germany from having this control.

Speaking on behalf of the Dealers was CEO of the Australian Automotive Dealers Association, James Voortman.

“We are delighted the Federal Court agrees with us that the issues in our case are urgent and deserve to be heard as soon as possible. We can now take the fight up to Mercedes-Benz without delay to seek justice on behalf of the Australian industry,” he said.

“Despite strenuous efforts by Mercedes-Benz to delay the start of proceedings, we are pleased to have a trial date for next year and for a process that will see us back in court in February at the latest.”

The new trial date has now been scheduled for August next year.

“Every franchise owner will be watching this case closely because if the Colossus Mercedes-Benz can appropriate the goodwill of Australian car dealers without compensation, any franchisee could be at risk of the same threat.”

Australia’s new car industry as a whole contributes more than $12.8 billion to the Australian economy.

Mr Voortman reaffirmed this isn’t just an issue for the Australian franchise industry, by for Australian consumers as well.

“If Mercedes is successful in forcing these changes on the industry, history shows competition will go down and car prices will go up.”

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