Troubled General Motors brand Holden is to ditch all of its remaining car models in order to focus solely on SUVs and Utes, in Europe more commonly called pickups.
The news represents a sad moment in time for a brand that used to have such a strong following for its powerful sports/pony cars like the Commodore. It’s perhaps not too surprising, though, as GM has already offloaded its European mainstream car brands to PSA, and that was where all of Holden’s chassis and engine tech came from.
Among the cars to be lost from sale in various global markets is the Astra; now totally out of favour with buyers almost everywhere. The Commodore (Europe’s Insignia) is already being wound down with a view to restricting supply to match the dwindling demand before the axe falls at last next year.
In their place will sit a rejuvenated range of SUVs and pickups with better technology, road manners and comfort, Holden says. Platforms will naturally be shared with GM stalwarts like the Captiva and Silverado.
Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said:
“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play.
“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage. The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades.
“But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and Utes.”