The Holden brand will disappear at the end of the year after its owner General Motors (GM) announced it would no longer make cars suitable for Australian roads.
The move comes just three years after local manufacturing ended with the shuttering of the Holden plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
Late last year the company also announced it would stop selling its most iconic car, the Commodore.
GM announced on Monday it would stop producing right-hand drive vehicles. Holden has sold those in Australia with its badge since local manufacturing ended in 2017.
The company released its first all-Australian built car in 1948.
Holden’s financial services operations which provided finance for purchasers, as well as the ultimately short-lived rental service Maven, will also be wound down, as will design and engineering operations.
As many as 800 jobs are expected to go in the move.
If you’re one of Holden’s many Australian customers your warranties and servicing packages you got when you bought your car will still be honoured.
The company also promised it would continue to provide servicing and spare parts for at least a decade through its aftersales network, which would also continue handling recalls if they arise.
GM has blamed “significant change globally and locally”, which despite attempts to “sustain and improve the business”, have ultimately brought about its demise.
“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,” GM international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said.
He said Holden had been a “powerful driver of the industrialisation and advancement of Australia and New Zealand” over its “proud 160-year history”.
“This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team,” he added.
“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,” GM Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said.
The company said it would also work with its dealers, who may be offered the option of continuing as authorised service outlets.
Mr Aquilina has promised a “dignified and respectful transition” for Holden’s employees and dealers.
The company previously went through a transition at the end of local manufacturing in 2017.
At that time, Holden bosses told news.com.au the brand would move away from its traditional status as an iconic Australian brand with revhead imagery to match and move towards one more fitting with “modern Australia”.
That move now appears to have backfired.
GM said it would be focusing its Australian and New Zealand efforts on the “specialty vehicles business”, which is likely in reference to the HSV badge.