It’s the end of the era. The death of a beloved icon.

The General Motors Company [NYSE: GM] announced today that it was shutting down its Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand.

Holden has a long and illustrious history in Australasia. Founded in 1856, the company first started off as a manufacturer for horse saddlery in Adelaide. In 1908, it transitioned into automobiles. In 1931, it became a subsidiary of General Motors.

The company went from strength to strength, operating manufacturing plants in both Australia and New Zealand. It designed and distributed classics such as the Holden Commodore and Holden Captiva.

At its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, Holden occupied the number-one spot as the most successful car manufacturer in Australasia.

Why is [NYSE: GM] closing Holden?

Recent years have not been kind to the Holden brand.

Here are the key highlights:

  • Holden’s share of the Australasian market has fallen drastically in the 21st century.
  • Toyota has since overtaken Holden as the best-selling brand in the region.
  • The final nail in the coffin came when General Motors expressed its displeasure at the slimmer-than-expected profit margins.
  • GM made the decision to strategically withdraw from Australia and New Zealand.
  • From here on out, GM will focus its energy instead on the United States, China, South America, and South Korea.

What does the future look like?

The timeline for Holden’s closure has already been set in stone.

Its sales, design, and engineering divisions will be scaled down by 2021. This will involve the loss of over 600 jobs in the region.

However, as a courtesy, a support period of 10 years will be put in place for Holden car owners. They can still receive servicing and spare parts via national aftersales networks in Australia and New Zealand.

Today, two nations mourn the passing of a legendary carmaker. Holden’s 160-year history has come to a sad end — a victim of a harsh and unforgiving global industrial landscape.



John Ling,