After four decades of being on the market Holden has announced the end of the Holden Commodore.
For most of its life the mighty Commodore was made in Australia, which is something that die hard Aussie fans liked to boast about.
But in 2017 Holden’s South Australian plant closed down and the 2018 Commodore, which we test drove last year, was made offshore by Opel in Germany.
This wasn't received particularly well by Aussies. Neither was the lack of V8 option in the Commodore VXR 2018.
Proof of the drop in popularity can be found in the sales. In 2002 Holden was the best selling car brand in Australia, but now it is down 4.2 per cent in market share, which is down from 5.3 per cent last year. September 2019 was the first time the company had failed to sell 3,000 vehicles in a month.
Things are even bleaker when it comes to the once-beloved Commodore. As the Herald Sun reports, less than 40,000 Commodores were sold this year. In 2014 that number was above 106,000.
Holden is taking a difference stance, citing the changing market for the decision.
"Market conditions have changed significantly in recent years, especially in terms of the types of vehicles people are choosing to buy. We have taken this decision because market conditions have changed," said a Holden spokesperson in an email to Gizmodo Australia. "The large car segment is massively reduced, down by over 87 percent between 2013 and September this year, and a lower Australian dollar has significantly increased the landed cost of some of our cars."
"Also, significant investment commitments would be required now if those models were to continue."
Aussies are a special bunch when it comes to cars. In fact, we have such a unique relationship with our rides that some of them need to be customised for our entire market. For the 2018 Holden Commodores, this includes the ability to cut sick on gravel. And pump AM bangers.
The Commodore isn't the only vehicular casualty today. The Astra is also being cut from the product lineup. Holden will instead pivot to focus on its SUVs and 4WDs, such as the Acadia, Colorado, Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax.
"Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments," said Holden's interim chairman and managing director, Kristian Aquilina.
"So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 per cent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing," he said.
Aquilina also paid tribute to the Commodore's long history and its relationship with Australians.
"The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage," he said.
"The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades. But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and Utes."
Current years models of the Commodore and Astra will remain on sale until stock is cleared out and they will come with an extended seven year warranty.
RIP Holden Commodore. I for one will be puoring one out in memory of my beloved 2007 Holden Commodore VE.