Supplied Cars The 2017 Holden Commodore on production line in Elizabeth. Photo:
 Joshua Dowling
Supplied Cars The 2017 Holden Commodore on production line in Elizabeth. Photo: Joshua Dowling

Holden’s Australia closure explained: What it means

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

The sums no longer added up. General Motors has been gradually pulling out of right-hand drive markets and it doesn't make send to develop them specifically for a small market such as Australia.

 

HOW MANY HOLDENS ARE SOLD A YEAR IN AUSTRALIA? HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO MOST POPULAR BRAND?

At it's peak Holden was the number one brand in the country. In 2002 it sold 178,392 cars. Last year it was 43,179.

 

Prime Minister Ben Chifley inspects the 48/215, the very first Holden motor car to come off the assembly line at the plant in Fishermans Bend, Victoria, 29 November 1948. Picture: Herald Sun
Prime Minister Ben Chifley inspects the 48/215, the very first Holden motor car to come off the assembly line at the plant in Fishermans Bend, Victoria, 29 November 1948. Picture: Herald Sun

 

HOW MANY JOBS WILL BE LOST IN AUSTRALIA?

800 will be lost at Holden head office and at their design and engineering facilities, including the Lang Lang proving ground. Holden also has 185 dealerships in Australia and many of those employees will lose their job.

 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE V8 SUPERCARS?

Things are up in the air. Holden had committed to the end of the 2021 season but today they were vague. It's unlikely they will support the category next year.

 

Holden VT Series II SS Commodore. Picture: Supplied
Holden VT Series II SS Commodore. Picture: Supplied

 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SPONSORSHIP? LIKE THE ORIGIN?

That's also up in the air, but it makes little sense to spend sponsorship dollars on a brand that is effectively gone.

 

IF YOU OWN A HOLDEN NOW IN AUSTRALIA HOW WILL YOU GET IN SERVICED AND HOW LONG? HOW WILL YOU GET PARTS? WILL IT MAKES SERVICES MORE EXPENSIVE OR CHEAPER?

Holden has committed to supporting its customers for the next ten years "at least". It is likely that a number of existing dealers will continue to operate after sales and service operations, although the number is likely to dwindle. Holden will honour warranty claims and seven-year scheduled service schemes, as well as continuing to supply parts. The wait for parts could get longer, though, as Australia will no longer be a priority.

 

Former Holden director of design Leo Pruneau and 1973 Monaro HJ GTS at Birdwood Museum 23 November 2001. Picture: Supplied
Former Holden director of design Leo Pruneau and 1973 Monaro HJ GTS at Birdwood Museum 23 November 2001. Picture: Supplied

 

WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR RESALE VALUES?

Historically, resale values drop sharply when a brand leaves Australia - something we've seen before from fellow GM brands Opel, Saab and Hummer.

Redbook.com.au general manager and research expert Ross Booth said "it's not going to be good news" for many customers.

"Values are driven by demand. There isn't a strong demand when a brand is departing," he said.

"However there are certain vehicles where, in actual fact, demand might go up."

Some limited-edition V8 Commodores will have strong sentimental appeal for enthusiasts.

"Looking at the current range of Holdens, there isn't too much you would put in the same category as a V8 Commodore," Booth said.

 

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT HOLDEN OWNERS WITH NOVATED LEASES?

Customers with Holden's guaranteed future value agreement will be protected by a contract that requires the brand to buy back cars for an agreed price.

Drivers on more flexible schemes won't fare as well.

Mr Booth said some customers may find the residual value written into the lease may be more than the car is worth, and that customers could end up owing money to finance providers.

 

Holden has committed to supporting its customers for the next ten years “at least”. Picture: Joshua Dowling
Holden has committed to supporting its customers for the next ten years “at least”. Picture: Joshua Dowling

 

 

HOW LONG UNTIL THERE ARE NO HOLDENS ON AUSTRALIA'S ROADS?

The average age of the Australian carpark is roughly 10 years, so you'll continue to see them for a decade or more. And the last of the homegrown V8s will be collectors' items.

What cars are replacing Holdens?

The Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon sedans once accounted for four out of 10 sales in Australian. Now SUVs are buyer favourites and sedans are unpopular.

 

IS IT A GOOD TIME TO BUY A HOLDEN?

You're sure to get a good deal but be careful. Depreciation is the biggest cost of owning a new car and Holden resale values are likely to fall.



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