No doubt in the past week you have seen the news that GM has decided to shut down the brand that has become an Australian icon.
Many are upset about this but if you look at the facts, the brand was on a massive decline since it shut down its Adelaide manufacturing many many years ago.
The iconic brand once represented the hard working class of the nation, so much so that the marketing for the HQ Holden was about how you could fit a 44 gallon drum in the boot of it. In more recent times it has become more affiliated with overweight, pie eating slobs doing burnouts on their own driveway with southern cross tattoo on the shoulder that somehow making them a unique individual. It’s these fans that live in a world where there are only two car manufacturers, Holden or Ford. But the facts that the rest of the world overtook Australian car manufacturing over a decade ago.
My critics will accuse me of being a Ford fan off the back of this, as they have always had the narrow mindfulness to believe only two car manufacturers ever existed. Don’t get me wrong Holden has done some great things for this nation for motor racing and for vehicle developments and of the two the lion was always my first pick. In my lifetime i have owned several Holdens including a HSV.
My point is Holden was not Australian in the end. Certainly there are questions to be asked of politicians in the time that Adelaide manufacturing was shut down.
In short the collapse of the company happened a long time ago in my opinion.
The Commodore was the iconic vehicle that through out the production of the VT commodore (early 2000’s) was the highest selling vehicle on the market. The technology in the cars was behind the times and it was not industry leading but the average Australian didn’t mind. from there market trends went to small SUVs and hatch based vehicles such as the I30 and the Mazda 3. Holden failed to keep up with market demands and continued to produce, heavy, fuel guzzling sedans for its fan base.
It was to late by the time they started to play catch up. Australian based manufacturing was in the decline and the only way to compete was for Holden to re-badge low cost European vehicles such as Opel and Vaxhaul.
In the long run this killed the brand. Consumers wanted an Australian icon. The bulk of the market that loved this brand were blokes drinking beer from cans, wearing singlets to the shopping centers and consuming microwave dinners. These people did not want the rubbish that was the Holden Cruze, the Astra and the Trax. Cheap, poor quality, mechanically unreliable dribble.
The truth. Holden died when they took manufacturing off Australian shores.