Holden brand officially axed in Australia by GM

uk.info@motor1.com (Anthony Karr)
Holden ends Australian production

Following an initial report, an official announcement has been released.

Update: Holden has released an official statement, confirming "with a heavy heart" that it will be retiring from Australia and New Zealand. As previously reported, the decision is due to the "investment required for Holden to be competitive for the long term in Australia's and New Zealand's new car markets" and "the issue of scale." Check out the press release section below for the full announcement.

Well, that was fast. Just three years after the end of the local production of Holden in Australia and two months after the announcement for the cancellation of the Commodore and Astra, it emerged that the brand could be axed entirely by the end of this year. The information comes from a CarAdvice report, which quotes “a high-ranking company insider” and says an official press release from the company should be released very soon. At the time of writing this, there’s no official announcement coming from Holden.

The move is due to General Motors’ plans to leave all right-hand-drive markets in an attempt to optimise its business globally. The online publication reports that the "agonising decision" comes directly from Detroit and has nothing to do with the local division of the company. GM has already left other RHD markets, including the United Kingdom, India, Japan, and South Africa.

"Our intention was to turn around the brand... there is zero blame to the local team," the high-ranking GM manager told CarAdvice. "This decision is all about investment priorities."

In addition, General Motors will also close its Melbourne design centre, as well as its Lang Lang test track. In total, approximately 600 jobs will be lost, while the remaining workforce of about 200 employees will run Holden’s service and maintenance program for up to 10 years.

The death of Holden:

Interestingly, the yet unconfirmed demise of Holden doesn’t mean that General Motors will leave the Australian market entirely. According to the report, the American automaker could launch a new division called General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) that would sell selected U.S. models in the Land Down Under. The cars will arrive on the continent in LHD configuration from the factory and will be converted by a company formerly known as Holden Special Vehicles.

Some of the models that could be offered include the currently available Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Other GM models, including the new Cadillac Escalade, could potentially be launched, too.