It’s the end of the Holden, and the end of an era. General Motors have announced they will be dropping the brand by 2021. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or simply own a zippy Barina, Holden owners are sure to have questions.
The brand has a significant 160 year history, and has been significant in the advancement of motor vehicles in Australia and New Zealand. It was acquired by General Motors back in 1931. The company stopped manufacturing in Australia just three years ago. In December 2019 the ‘Commodore’ model was dropped, much to the dismay of many Westies.
Holden’s first step into motor vehicle production began in 1917 with it making car bodies for Chevrolet and then US-based General Motors. In 1948 Holden released the FX 48-215, the first car produced in Australia, which was an enormous success. The brand’s success continued in the 50s and 60s.
The company sited economies of scale as the key driver to the decision. With just Thailand, Australia and New Zealand the remaining right-hand-drive companies GM operates in, it has become unprofitable to develop new vehicles for relatively small markets.
Culturally, the brand holds an important heritage. The Holden vs Ford rivalry was a key factor of motorsport, as well as the topic of conversation for petrol heads across Australasia. Holden also dabbled in the family car market, with the Captiva and more recently Trax, Equinox and Acadia. Despite the big name in motorsport, They also managed to maintain the nana market with the Barina and Astra.
The news of Holden’s demise has sparked interest in the second hand market. Trade Me searches for “Holden” have climbed to 17,000 the day following the closure announcement, up from around 6,000 prior.
As for the remaining stock of Holdens at dealers?
It’s expected you may be able to pick up some bargains. Although the company haven’t disclosed exactly what discounts to expect.
With around 1.6 million Holdens on the road, what now for Holden owners?
The company promises to continue to support its customers “for at least the next 10 years” around spare parts, warranties, repairs and recalls. “We will honour all of those, even our recent seven-year free servicing offer.” says interim chairman and GM Kristian Aquilina. Aquilina also stated the company will be happy to take customer orders until “the last Holden is sold”, a process that will take several months.
Customers with questions or concerns can contact Holden Customer Care on 0800 465 336 or visit holden.co.nz
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