GM pulls the plug on iconic Holden brand in Australia and NZ
It's a sad day
General Motors is officially discontinuing production and ceasing all operations for the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand. Even though it's a sad day for Holden fans and car enthusiasts in general, this has been a long time coming and the move was predictable.
As car manufacturers struggle to make a profit, global car groups are quickly axing divisions and brands that simply aren't profitable. It does sound terrible when we put it like that but it's happening and, considering the incredible financial efforts required to cope with regulations and changing markets, it's probably going to keep on happening in the foreseeable future.
Three years ago, GM had moved manufacturing out of Australia and now the company has also said that Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors has already agreed to acquire GM's manufacturing plant in Thailand. Obviously, GM's decision is leaving a wave of disappointment in its wake and even Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has voiced his anger, "I am disappointed but not surprised. But I am angry" Morrison said, "They let the brand just wither away on their watch. Now they are leaving it behind". General Motors said that high manufacturing costs and a relatively small domestic markets are the main reasons why they're ditching Holden, which is likely to result in around 600+ job cuts.
This is part of GM's plan to focus on other markets, including China and the American Continent and General Motors boss Mark Reuss said they "tried everything but it would cost too much to remain in the right-hand-drive market". His words were echoed by Mary Barra, the company's CEO, who was quoted saying that they're always going to do "the right thing, even when it's hard, and this is one of those times."
Holden was founded in 1846 Adelaide (South Australia) by James Alexander Holden, an English emigrant from Walsall, as a saddle repair business. Holden gradually moved to car interior upholstery until it eventually began building cars in the early 1900s. GM purchased Holden in 1931. In 1968, Holden introduced the Monaro, arguably one of its most popular models.