After just three years of operation, Gosford Classic Cars, West Gosford, has closed its doors, with all cars to be sold on site, in a predominantly no-reserve auction, organised by Lloyds Auction House.
The dealership, owned by developer, Tony Denny, has been in protracted discussions with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) since it opened in 2016, with the aim of being Australia’s biggest classic car dealership and stimulating the Central Coast economy.
A statement on the company’s website says the dispute has centred around whether or not Gosford Classic Cars is entitled to the same taxation exemptions as other motor dealerships.
“The business has always cooperated with the ATO, diligently meeting its taxation obligations in full, and on time,” the statement says.
“In keeping with that, and despite their strong objection to the ATO’s position, Gosford Classic Cars implemented all interim measures suggested by the ATO, immediately upon the ATO suggesting them.
“As a consequence, the dealership has not been able to market its trading business in the unique way which has made it successful as a dealership in the past.
“This has resulted in a significant loss in sales revenue, with car sales reducing from up to 59 car sales per month to as low as just 5 per month.
“The ATO’s measures were expected to be implemented on a temporary basis.
“However, 12 months on and more than two years since the ATO’s ongoing audit commenced, those measures remain in place.
“Without a conclusive answer from the ATO on why the benefits available to other motor dealerships are not accessible to the our dealership, and given the expected lengthy timeframes for resolving disputes via litigation, the dealership cannot continue to sustain these trading losses and has decided to close its doors.”
The closure sees the loss of more than 40 jobs and the opportunity for a seven-storey commercial development at the West Gosford site intended for use by auto-related businesses, the Australian base for international auction houses, and a call centre.
“In a region where youth unemployment is above the national average, this represents a substantial economic loss for the region and a missed opportunity,” Gosford Classic Cars manager, Jason Fischer, said.
“The factors that set us apart from most used-car dealerships meant that the business was well loved in the region.
“This is a major loss for the Central Coast.”
The West Gosford premises are on the market to be sold.
Gosford Classic Cars website