Having been kicking around in one form or another since 1856, Holden will be retired, parent company General Motors has announced. In Australia and New Zealand, all sales along with “local design and engineering operations will wind down by 2021”.
The brand took a big hit when it stopped building its own vehicles in 2017, before Holden announced it would drop cars altogether to focus on SUVs a few months ago. However, even in this scaled back form, the company was deemed to be unviable.
Speaking about the move to shut down Holden for good, GM International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett said:
“Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has been a powerful driver of the industrialization and advancement of Australia and New Zealand.
“Over recent years, as the industry underwent significant change globally and locally, we implemented a number of alternative strategies to try to sustain and improve the business, together with the local team.
“After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritize the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally.”
GM has pledged to honour any outstanding warranties and service agreements, while aftersales networks will remain to provide servicing and spares for “at least 10 years” in Australia and New Zealand. It’s not yet known how many jobs are due to go, although affected employees will be given redundancy packages.
Some roles may be saved, with dealers given the chance to transform into service outlets for Holden customers.