Holden brand to be axed

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Holden brand to be axed
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Feb 17, 2020, 2:29 AM

General Motors will axe the famous Holden brand at the end of this year.

It's been confirmed that the Holden brand will be "retired" by 2021, with local design and engineering to be 'wound down' amid a streak of record-low new car sales.

The move comes three years after the end of local manufacturing, and just after two months after Holden confirmed its famous Commodore and Astra models would be dumped from the local line-up.

Holden was first founded more than 160 years ago and has long been a staple of the Australia automotive landscape.

“Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has been a powerful driver of the industrialisation and advancement of Australia and New Zealand,” said General Motors Senior Vice President Julian Blissett.

“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 prioritise the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand over all other considerations we have globally.

"This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team."

Holden's managing director Kristian Aquilina said: “Today’s announcement will be felt deeply by the many people who love Holdens, drive Holdens and feel connected to our company which has been with us for 160 years and is almost ubiquitous in our lives.

“Unfortunately, all the hard work and talent of the Holden family, the support of our parent company GM and the passion of our loyal supporters have not been enough to overcome our challenges.”

According to a report from leading automotive news outlet Car Advice, the demise of the brand will lead to 600 job losses.

Car Advice also reports that there is a plan to sell overseas models like the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado under the General Motors Specialty Vehicles banner.

The news creates more question marks over Holden/GM's future in Supercars.

The brand is currently committed to a factory programme with Triple Eight until the end of the 2021 season, despite the Commodore disappearing from showrooms.

However Holden is yet to confirm if that deal will be honoured in its entirety, with both brand and series only referencing 2020 in official statements today.

Supercars had previously been confident that there would be a Holden or GM factory presence beyond 2021, series CEO Sean Seamer recently telling media recently that there had been positive discussions about the 2022 Gen3 rules.

Those next-gen rules are expected to be based around two-door sportscars, which would open the door for GM to continue with, for example, a Camaro or Corvette.

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Series Supercars
Author Andrew van Leeuwen