Mere months after the demise of the iconic Commodore, it has now been announced that the entire Holden brand will be getting the axe.
General Motors made the announcement on Monday, citing the fragmented right-hand-drive-market, the cost of driving growth and a lack of return on investment as the key reasons for the decision.
Senior Vice President of international operations, Julian Blissett also stated that GM attempted to turn things around for Holden in Australia. Apparently those attempts were not successful.
“Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has been a powerful driver of the industrialization and advancement of Australia and New Zealand,” said Blissett in a statement.
“Over recent years, as the industry underwent significant change globally and locally, we implemented a number of alternative strategies to try to sustain and improve the business, together with the local team.”
For fans of Holden, this announcement may not be particularly surprising. Back in 2017 Holden’s South Australian manufacturing plant was closed, which resulted in the 2018 Commodore series being made in Germany by Opel.
The decision to no longer makes the iconic Aussie car in Australia, as well removing a V8 option for the Commodore VXR 2018, was not received well by long-time Commodore enthusiasts.
The declining popularity of Holden was also reflected in the sales. While in 2002 Holden was still the best selling car brand in Australia, it was down 4.2 per cent in market share in 2019. In 2018 it was down 5.3 per cent.
This is a far cry from where it was just a decade earlier. As Business Insider reports, in 1998 Commodores accounted for 217,882 sales.
As we reported last year September 2019 was also the first time in its sales history that it failed to hit 3,000 vehicles sales in a month across the country.
The death of Holden is due to be complete by 2021. GM plans to pivot its focus in Australia to the speciality vehicle business.
In the meantime, Holden customers will still be entitled to all warranties and services offered at the time of sale. Holden’s dealer network will also be given the opportunity to continue operating as authorised service outlets for Holden customers.