TECHNOLOGY

The car brand Holden is canceled after dwindling sales


The Holden car brand will no longer exist, and General Motors will continue to use the name as a synonym for Australian driving by next year.

After the company's local manufacturing facilities closed in 2017, GM made the "difficult" decision to discontinue the brand in both Australia and New Zealand.

GM will not only drop the Holden name but will also stop selling cars in Australia, Julian Blissett, senior vice president of international operations for the American auto giant, announced on Monday.

"After a comprehensive assessment, we regret that we have not been able to prioritize the investment Holden needs to be successful in Australia and New Zealand in the long term over all other considerations that we have worldwide," he said.

In a slap in the face of Australia, GM Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his plans just three minutes before the release of a media release.

"Pretty bad performance," a prime minister spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

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GM will not only drop the Holden name but will also stop selling cars in Australia, Julian Blissett, senior vice president of international operations for the American auto giant, announced on Monday. He is pictured on the right with Holdens interim chairman Kristian Aquilina

The car brand Holden will no longer exist. General Motors has decided to discard the name as a synonym for Australian driving by 2021. The picture shows the last Holden Commodore at the Elizabeth plant in Adelaide in October 2017

The car brand Holden will no longer exist. General Motors has decided to discard the name as a synonym for Australian driving by 2021. The picture shows the last Holden Commodore at the Elizabeth plant in Adelaide in October 2017

GM, headquartered in Detroit, also ceases construction and engineering activities in Australia, leaving 600 people out of work.

Most of the existing employees are expected to lose their jobs by June, but 200 would continue to work for another decade to serve existing Holdens on the go, GM told reporters Monday.

"This was a painful decision for us and one that we didn't take lightly or easily," said Blissett.

The discontinuation of the Holden nameplate ended a car tradition that began in November 1948 when the first 48-215 rolled off the assembly line at the Fisherman's Bend factory in Melbourne.

General Motors' Australian arm continued to make cars for 69 years until the last Holden Commodore, the VF, was manufactured in Adelaide in October 2017.

A decade ago, the Commodore was Australia's best-selling car, a position it has held steadily for 15 years when it outbid its traditional rear-wheel-drive rival, the Ford Falcon.

In December, Holden announced that, after 42 years, the Commodore nameplate as a synonym for V8 muscle and six-cylinder family cars should be deleted in 2020.

The discontinuation of the Holden nameplate ended a car tradition that began in November 1948 when the first 48-215 rolled off the assembly line at the Fisherman's Bend factory in Melbourne. Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley is shown with the very first model

The discontinuation of the Holden nameplate ended a car tradition that began in November 1948 when the first 48-215 rolled off the assembly line at the Fisherman's Bend factory in Melbourne. Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley is shown with the very first model

Australian drivers were lukewarm about the last Commodore – an outdated Opel Insignia from Germany with front-wheel drive.

A month later, Holden's share of the Australian car market fell to just 3.7 percent and barely reached the top ten, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The Colorado was Holden's only entry in the top 20 last year, with the Ute built in Thailand occupying 16th place in 2019.

The sales figure of 17,472 was two and a half times lower than that of the market-leading Toyota Hilux, which had more customers than all Holden models in Australia combined.

Holden, manufacturer of popular models such as Kingswood and Torana, was Australia's most popular car brand for decades and marketed itself in the 1970s as "football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars".

Its market share has gradually declined since Bob Hawke's Labor government began to process Australia's 57 percent import duties in 1988.

Leo Pruneau, Holden's chief designer in the 1970s and 1980s, said last year that Daily Mail Australia GM was likely to drop the Holden brand in the coming years.

Holden, manufacturer of popular models like Kingswood and Torana, has been Australia's most popular car brand for decades. Pictured is a 1968 Holden Premier outside the Elizabeth plant in October 2017 when local production ended

Holden, manufacturer of popular models like Kingswood and Torana, has been Australia's most popular car brand for decades. Pictured is a 1968 Holden Premier outside the Elizabeth plant in October 2017 when local production ended

"I would say we won't see a Holden badge in 10 years," he said.

& # 39; It's really sad to say. There is a good chance that the Holden name will disappear entirely. & # 39;

His prediction came true, although it was far worse than he imagined when GM withdrew from Australia instead of selling its cars under a different name.

Holden started his life in 1856 as a saddlery and assembled GM cars from the USA that were sent to Australia as a kit.

After the brand died after 165 years, GM Holden's interim chairman and managing director, Kristian Aquilina, promised to comply with the existing guarantees and maintenance obligations.

While the Holden name is being deleted, GM may have a limited presence in Australia and sell Corvettes through a small number of dealers.