Holden To Be Axed In Australia At The End Of 2020

The American auto giant said it will wind down Holden sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand by next year.

The new mid-engined Corvette is also a possibility, with the vehicle being announced as a factory RHD model at its launch past year, however GM's complete abandonment of all RHD markets has created uncertainty around the possibility of a factory produced RHD auto.

The American company was the first to manufacture vehicles in Australia, but ended local production in 2017 - along with rivals Ford and Toyota.

In a statement released this morning, the United States automaker's senior vice president of worldwide operations Julian Blissett said the company had made numerous efforts to turn around the flagging brand, but to no avail.

"GM and GWM are targeting end of 2020 to close the deal and hand over the site", the company said in its official statement on Monday.

With 1.6 million Holden cars still on the roads, about 200 people are expected to be kept on staff to carry out that work.

GM has struggled in Asia in the past year. This included the fragmented right-hand drive markets, the economics to support the growth of the brand, and the ability to deliver an appropriate return on investment.

Prime minister Scott Morrison was more scathing, attacking GM for taking billions in government subsidies only to let the "Holden brand wither on their watch".

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Tracing its roots back to 1856 as an Australian saddle maker, the company James Alexander Holdenevolved to manufacture vehicle parts by the early 1900s, and in 1931 merged with General Motors to become General Motors-Holden's Limited. In 2013, GM announced Holden would cease production in Australia in 2017, due to the high costs of manufacturing in the country.

Mr McDornan said the decline wasn't inevitable when Holden stopped manufacturing in Australia, but the poor way the change was dealt with contributed to its demise.

"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". Without domestic manufacturing, Chevrolet is unable compete in Thailand's new-vehicle market.

As for the impact on the industry, it's understood around 500-600 employees will be directly affected by the total shut down of the Holden brand.

Aquilina said Holden would honour their Australian motorsport commitments this year.

By today at least, Holden may not be a name that's widely known in the Philippines, but it is an automotive institution over in Australia and New Zealand.

In parliament, Hockey gave an ultimatum to Holden that it should commit to Australian car-building without the carrot of subsidies. The company promised it would provide servicing, spare parts and support through its existing network, which will also handle any future recalls should the need arise.

  • Sonia Alvarado