Australia

GM to scrap Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand

A Holden dealership in Melbourne. Source: AAP

General Motors has made the "difficult" decision to retire the Holden brand in both Australia and New Zealand.

The Holden car brand will be no more, with General Motors opting to dump the name synonymous with Australian motoring by 2021.

After closing the company's local manufacturing operations in 2017, GM said it had taken the "difficult" decision to retire the brand from sales in both Australia and New Zealand after considering numerous options to revive Holden's flagging sales.

"Over recent years, as the industry underwent significant change globally and locally, we implemented a number of alternative strategies to try to sustain and improve the business, together with the local team," GM International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett said on Monday.

The last vehicle to roll off the production line at the Holden plant in Elizabeth, Adelaide in 2017.
The last vehicle to roll off the production line at the Holden plant in Elizabeth, Adelaide in 2017.
AAP

"After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritise the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally.

"This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team."

GM said Holden employees would be provided with separation packages and employment transition, though it was not initially clear how many jobs would go.

The first Hoden car sold in Australia is taken for a drive at the National Museum in Canberra.
The first Hoden car sold in Australia is taken for a drive at the National Museum in Canberra.
AAP

It has also pledged to work with its dealer network on transition arrangements, with dealers to be able to continue as authorised service outlets for Holden customers.

The company will also honour all warranties and provide servicing and spare parts for all Holden vehicles for at least 10 years.

Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said that given the significance of Holden through its history, it was critical the company worked with all stakeholders to deliver a dignified and respectful wind-down.

"Holden will always have a special place in the development of our countries. As Australia and New Zealand grew, Holden was a part of the engine room fuelling that development," he said.

"Today's announcement will be felt deeply by the many people who love Holdens, drive Holdens and feel connected to our company which has been with us for 160 years and is almost ubiquitous in our lives.

"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."

As part of the wind-down, Holden Financial Services will also cease operations.

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