GM calls time on the Holden brand
In a shock announcement, General Motors has stated that the Holden brand will be retired from sales in Australia and New Zealand by 2021. Moreover, local design and engineering operations will also wind down by then, as will Holden Finance operations.
“Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has been a powerful driver of the industrialization and advancement of Australia and New Zealand,” said GM International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett. For the first 50 or so years Holden was a saddle maker, building vehicles from 1908.
GM undertook a detailed analysis of the investment required for Holden to be competitive beyond the current generation of products. “After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritize the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally,” Blissett explained.
“This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team.”
In future, GM intends to focus its growth strategy in Australia and New Zealand on the specialty vehicles business and plans to immediately work with its partner on developing these plans.
GM Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said that given the significance of Holden in Australia and New Zealand, 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. 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."
Holden customers can be assured that the company will honour all warranties and servicing offers made at the time of sale. The company will provide servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years, through national aftersales networks in Australia and New Zealand. Holden and its after sales network will also continue to handle any recalls or safety-related issues should they arise.
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.
Holden Customer Care is available to answer customer inquiries and all warranties and service agreements. New Zealanders can call 0800 465 336 or visit www.holden.co.nz.