Following weak sales and an apparent backlash from Australian consumers after General Motors Holden ended local manufacture in 2017, GM is ending the Holden brand altogether at the end of the year and closing its Australian design and testing operations.
Car Advice cites an unnamed insider at GM who said the “agonising decision” had been made at the Detroit head office in the last 48 hours.
“Our intention was to turn around the brand … there is zero blame to the local team,” the official told Car Advice.
“This decision (about Holden) is all about investment priorities.”
Six-hundred Australian workers will get redundancies as the Lang Lang proving ground and the Melbourne design studios are closed. 200 jobs will remain to honour GM’s Australian warranty commitments.
Holden made its last car in Australia in October 2017, and has seen sales plummet since. Last September it sold 2,863 vehicles, the lowest monthly number since 1948 – the year the first Holden (known as “Australia’s own car”) came off the line at Port Melbourne.
Holden has posted a statement on the decision on Monday afternoon, stating that an “exhaustive analysis” of further investment found it could not be justified.
“Factors weighing against further investment in Holden included: the highly fragmented right-hand-drive domestic markets; the economics to support growing the brand; and delivering an appropriate return on investment,” the explanation reads.
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