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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : November 12th 2008
www.innerwestweekly.com.au THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008 PHONE 9018 3592 80c incl. GST Burwood Santa's Big Arrival Saturday 15 November, 10:30am Parade starts at Burwood Rd Entry, don't miss the magic! Locked out Charlie Catalano, at Charlie's Garage at Strathfield, is angry that he has been evicted. Picture: PHIL BLATCH PP214615 SHIREEN KHALIL TENANTS of two used car dealerships on Parramatta Rd, Strathfield, have been locked out of their own businesses because they can't afford to pay the rent. Charlie's Auto Garage and PJ Automotives have been unable to trade for almost a week and say they have pleaded with their land- lord, Michael Chama, to lower the rent. Mr Chama referred the Inner-West Weekly to his solicitor for comment, but he too declined to comment on the situation. Charlie's Auto Garage owner Charlie Catalano said he was unable to retrieve personal items such as house keys and medi- cation, he couldn't sell his cars to raise the cash as they were locked up, and his reputation as a car dealer was now in tatters. ''We felt the financial crisis over the past year and for the last six months it has been really tough and we have been negotiating with our landlord to lower our rent and he has made no effort or attempt,'' Mr Catalano said. The garage next door, Ginza Importers, had its rent reduced by $5200 -- from $13,700 per month to $8500 -- to help them weather the financial crisis. ''The tenant, Javed Asghar, pleaded with his landlord because he knows what the economy is like,'' Mr Catalano said. Mr Catalano shares his rent of $12,700 per month plus GST with the owner of PJ Automotives, Peter Janos, who operates at the rear of the garage. They say they owe $26,000 in rent. Mr Catalano, who has been in the industry for 25 years, has been renting the land for 16 months and said in the past year he had lost $60,000. Mr Janos claims the landlord ''shook hands on his family's honour'' that he would help in times of crisis. ToPage2 One in six have shut their doors EIGHT out of more than 50 car dealerships on Parramatta Rd from Haberfield to Homebush are now closed. The predicament of local dealers is evidence that the global financial crisis is tightening its grip on the car retail market here. Dealers are struggling from sustained record fuel prices and the withdrawal of US lending companies GMAC and GE Finance from Australia. The latest Federal Chamber of Automotives statistics show that new vehicle sales in October 2008 were down 11.4 per cent on October 2007. The Federal Government has launched a $6.2 billion rescue package for the automotive indus- try over 10 years, but Opposition finance spokesman Joe Hockey told ABC2 Television on Tuesday ''the only money allocated is for redundancies in the auto manu- facturing sector''. ''You can provide all the assist- ance you want to manufacturers, but the bottom line is, if they're not selling motor vehicles in Australia, the market is not going to sustain their continuance in the market place,'' Mr Hockey said. ''Therefore, something needs to be done and right now about finance in the auto sector.''
November 5th 2008
November 19th 2008