Struggling brand Holden will be put out of its misery with parent General Motors announcing today it will close its Australian operations.
The Holden brand will be retired from sales in Australia and New Zealand and local design and engineering operations will cease by 2021. Maven and Holden Financial Services operations will also wind down in Australia.
GM’s announcement won't come as a surprise to anyone monitoring Holden’s recent history. In a short space of time the brand’s sales have crumbled, the boss has left and the Commodore nameplate was killed off. The writing was on the wall.
According to GM, the company undertook a detailed analysis of the investment required for Holden to be competitive beyond the current generation of products. Factors impacting the business case for further investment included the highly fragmented right-hand drive markets, the economics to support growing the brand, and delivering an appropriate return on investment.
Julian Blissett, GM International Operations Senior Vice President said GM had taken the difficult decision after implementing and considering numerous options to maintain and turn around Holden operations.
While it sounds like no stone has been left unturned, GM has shown little interest in its Australian arm, or right-hand drive markets in general.
Holden’s interim boss Kristian Aquilina said that given the significance of Holden through its history, it was critical the company worked with all stakeholders to deliver a dignified and respectful wind-down.
“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,” Aquilina said.
“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.”
“We understand the impact of this decision on our people, our customers, our dealers and our partners – and will work closely with all stakeholders to deliver a dignified and respectful transition.”
Holden says current owners will be supported with all warranties and servicing offers to be honoured. Holden will also provide servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years, through national aftersales networks in Australia and New Zealand.
As required, Holden and its aftersales network will also continue to handle any recalls or safety-related issues if they arise, working with the appropriate governmental agencies.
Impacted Holden employees will be provided separation packages and employment transition support.
Holden will work with its dealer network on appropriate transition arrangements, including offering dealers the opportunity to continue as authorized service outlets to support Holden customers.
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