Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse for fans of Holden (and Australian cars in general), GM has opted to consign the entire Holden brand to the history books after years of declining sales. Read more here:
Given that, until now, I still held out hope for Holden as an importer cherry-picking the best models in GM’s portfolio and adapting them for the Australian market, even after axing the Commodore altogether, this announcement leaves me gutted, especially since I have been lucky enough to see (and hear) many of their iconic models on the road throughout my life. Twenty, or even ten years ago, I never thought Holden would be axed, but now that it will be in a year’s time, I feel nothing but disappointment and bitterness; the fact that it comes so soon after the end of local manufacturing only makes it worse.
Of greater concern is the fallout from Holden’s demise, one-and-a-half centuries after the name first appeared on a saddlery, and just three years short of its 75th anniversary. The design studio in Melbourne and the Lang Lang proving ground will be closed down (and most likely bulldozed), leading to hundreds of jobs being lost - and to add insult to injury, this could put GM’s plans to export the C8 Corvette to Australia in limbo.
Moreover, Holden’s demise has blindsided the Australian government, leaving even the current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, furious, and to add insult to injury, GM as a whole is withdrawing permanently from all right-hand-drive markets (as evidenced by its decision to sell the Thai factory in which the current Colorado is made to Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors) to focus on its strongholds in China and North America - which means that it will never again be considered a global automaker.
Abandoning the Australian market will not only cost GM billions of dollars in the short and long term, but will also deprive Australia of a cultural and motorsport legacy stretching back several decades. Understandably, the Supercars Championship is going to be changed forever - the Commodore will disappear from the grid within a year or two - and many drivers and teams are already paying tribute to the soon-to-be extinct brand they raced for and/or against through the years:
On top of that, HSV will be replaced by the less memorably named General Motors Specialty Vehicles - Walkinshaw Performance would have been a more fitting moniker for Holden’s go-faster arm.
So what do you think about the demise of Holden as a whole - a sad downfall which went from an impossibility several decades ago to an inevitability today?