Holden axes Commodore as it switches to full SUV and Ute lineup

feedback@motor1.com (Adrian Padeanu)
2018 Holden Commodore VXR

Holden will only sell SUVs and trucks, along with the mid-engined Corvette.

It’s the end of an era in Australia as Holden has announced plans to drop the Commodore from the lineup in 2020, more than four decades since the iconic nameplate’s introduction. Poor demand for large cars is to blame for the death of the Australian Insignia, with sales in the segment going down from 217,882 units in 1998 to fewer than 9,000 cars in 2019. In the peak year (1998), Holden sold 94,642 Commodores, whereas this year the company expects to move approximately 8,700 cars or 37% less than last year.

The smaller Astra is also going the way of the dodo for the same reason, with more and more people flocking to crossovers and SUVs. Demand for the compact car has also dropped significantly in 2019 as sales year-to-date stand at 4,047 units or a whopping 54% less than in 2018.

Holden in the news:

If there is a silver lining in all of this, it’s that the Commodore and Astra are not being phased out immediately. Holden will continue to sell them through 2020, but model availability will be limited as Holden will simplify the range. Those interested in buying either of the two cars will be happy to hear both will come bundled with free seven-year scheduled servicing.

The decision to axe the Commodore and Astra means Holden’s lineup in 2021 will only have SUVs and trucks, plus the right-hand-drive mid-engined Corvette C8.

The Insignia/Commodore is being retired from North America as well considering General Motors has decided to pull the plug on the Buick Regal. It will soldier on in China as a Buick as well as mainland Europe where it’s sold as an Opel and with a Vauxhall badge in the UK. The model was recently facelifted, although you’ll have a difficult time figuring out what’s new since the changes are limited to upgraded LED headlights, infotainment system, and some mild styling tweaks. It’s a similar story with the Astra facelift unveiled in Europe back in July with subtle revisions.