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melpax
Topic Author
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GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:47 am

GM has announced today that they are ceasing most of their Australian & NZ operations by the end of the year, along with all other remaining RHD markets.

Not a suprise, given that sales numbers have been very low since the end of Australian production in 2017, January's sales figures were the lowest monthly figures since 1954.....

The now imported Commodore, and the Astra was axed late last year, the factory in Thailand that makes the Colorado for RHD markets has been sold to Great Wall of China.

The design studio & proving ground in Melbourne will be closed as well, although sales of the Silverado, Camaro & possibly Corvette, will continue as 'GM specialty vehicles', the Silverado & Camaro are currently converted to RHD by a 3rd party, the old HSV/Walkinshaw operation in Melbourne.

https://www.drive.com.au/news/holden-ax ... lly-123252

https://www.theage.com.au/national/gove ... 541lt.html
 
ltbewr
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:27 pm

The financial reality is that sales in Australia and NZ have been taken over by Japanese brands over the last 20 years who already design and engineer for their home market make RHD models and China, a LHD country, a market several time larger for GM than Australia and NZ and is profitable for them has pushed this decision.

Australia in particular puts strict limits on imports of LHD cars, mandating conversions which can be very expensive. GM has previously sold off their European division to Peugeot, so now ex-GM brands Vauxhall and Opel, also made in RHD versions are pretty much in run-off. GM didn't even try to bid in recent years for RHD vehicles for the USA for the US Post Office, badly needing to replace special vehicles for rural delivery last made over 15 years ago.

So it is an end of an era, one has to wonder if other non-Japanese brands will ditch making RHD models and markets of brands like Fiat and Jeep when the PSA-FCA merger is complete. Ford is likely to limit the number of models made in RHD. Brexit could also affect continued manufacturing and sales of some Euro based brands in the UK and Ireland. Now if the UK, Ireland, India, Japan would convert to correct side (left) to put the driver on.... :stirthepot:
 
melpax
Topic Author
Posts: 2091
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:08 pm

[quote="ltbewr"][/quote]

Huyndai & Kia also do big volumes here, Ford still does OK, although most of their sales these days are Rangers, which are made in Thailand as well. The Mustangs still sell OK, and are a much cheaper proposition here than the Camaros as they're RHD from the factory.

The Silverados & Camaros sold here are very much niche vehicles. Haven't seen very many Silverados on the road in Melbourne, they're too much car for suburban driving, target market is the horse/boating crowd looking for towing power, or a well to do tradesman looking for a plush truck for show (the workers make do with a Colorado/Ranger/Hilux, or a Chinese LDV if the boss is stingey....). Dodge RAMs are also sold here, and undergo RHD conversion in the same facility as the Silverado & Camaro. Target market is also the 'flash tradie' crowd.

The Chinese are starting to muscle in as well, with decent SUV's (LDV & Haval), and at the budget end with MG. Won't be too long until you'll see them in the US I'd say.....
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 13181
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:25 pm

ltbewr wrote:
The financial reality is that sales in Australia and NZ have been taken over by Japanese brands over the last 20 years who already design and engineer for their home market make RHD models and China, a LHD country, a market several time larger for GM than Australia and NZ and is profitable for them has pushed this decision.

Australia in particular puts strict limits on imports of LHD cars, mandating conversions which can be very expensive. GM has previously sold off their European division to Peugeot, so now ex-GM brands Vauxhall and Opel, also made in RHD versions are pretty much in run-off. GM didn't even try to bid in recent years for RHD vehicles for the USA for the US Post Office, badly needing to replace special vehicles for rural delivery last made over 15 years ago.

So it is an end of an era, one has to wonder if other non-Japanese brands will ditch making RHD models and markets of brands like Fiat and Jeep when the PSA-FCA merger is complete. Ford is likely to limit the number of models made in RHD. Brexit could also affect continued manufacturing and sales of some Euro based brands in the UK and Ireland. Now if the UK, Ireland, India, Japan would convert to correct side (left) to put the driver on.... :stirthepot:


What do you mean last 20 years, the Japs have been giving Ford and Holden a hard time in the NZ and Aussie markets since the late 70's. The Corolla was the best selling car in NZ for almost 2 decades.

It was always a surprise to me that GM didn't also sell Holden to PSA when they sold them Vauxhall and Opel.
 
ltbewr
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:24 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
ltbewr wrote:
The financial reality is that sales in Australia and NZ have been taken over by Japanese brands over the last 20 years who already design and engineer for their home market make RHD models and China, a LHD country, a market several time larger for GM than Australia and NZ and is profitable for them has pushed this decision.

Australia in particular puts strict limits on imports of LHD cars, mandating conversions which can be very expensive. GM has previously sold off their European division to Peugeot, so now ex-GM brands Vauxhall and Opel, also made in RHD versions are pretty much in run-off. GM didn't even try to bid in recent years for RHD vehicles for the USA for the US Post Office, badly needing to replace special vehicles for rural delivery last made over 15 years ago.

So it is an end of an era, one has to wonder if other non-Japanese brands will ditch making RHD models and markets of brands like Fiat and Jeep when the PSA-FCA merger is complete. Ford is likely to limit the number of models made in RHD. Brexit could also affect continued manufacturing and sales of some Euro based brands in the UK and Ireland. Now if the UK, Ireland, India, Japan would convert to correct side (left) to put the driver on.... :stirthepot:


What do you mean last 20 years, the Japs have been giving Ford and Holden a hard time in the NZ and Aussie markets since the late 70's. The Corolla was the best selling car in NZ for almost 2 decades.

It was always a surprise to me that GM didn't also sell Holden to PSA when they sold them Vauxhall and Opel.


Once Australia and NZ phased out and eventually mostly dropped tariffs and quotas on imported cars and parts, I believe in the 1980's and into the 1990's the American company and style cars, as well as assembly with local parts was phased out and ended over the last decades. Chrysler sold out to one time partner Mitsubishi in the early 1980's, and ended production of cars in the 1990's. Ford imported rebadged and modified Mazda's from the 1980's and finally ditched the Falcon about 4-5 years ago, now using models made in Asia.
 
bill142
Posts: 7867
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:44 am

GM should have tried to sell the brand. I imagine any of the Chinese brands looking to break into Australia and NZ would have like to have a recognised and reputable brand on the front of their cars. Plus there was a stack of engineering know-how they're letting go. I don't think just shutting it down was the smartest move GM's made.
 
A101
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:18 am

bill142 wrote:
GM should have tried to sell the brand. I imagine any of the Chinese brands looking to break into Australia and NZ would have like to have a recognised and reputable brand on the front of their cars. Plus there was a stack of engineering know-how they're letting go. I don't think just shutting it down was the smartest move GM's made.



Such a shame I have fond memories of the early Holden’s when visiting my grandparents always driving a V8 kingswood towing the boat down to the caravan park, I bought my first VE commodore SS a few years back love it everytime I come over. I guess when I make the move over permanently I’ll trade it in for a new Chrysler 300, who else is selling a V8 in that Australian market besides ford with the mustang really wanted to stay with a four door
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:23 am

GM's global cars are just crap compared to the competition. Heck, they're crappier than a FORD, let alone a Honda, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, VW etc.

Why did it even take them so long to shut down Holden?
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 13181
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:04 am

A101 wrote:
bill142 wrote:
GM should have tried to sell the brand. I imagine any of the Chinese brands looking to break into Australia and NZ would have like to have a recognised and reputable brand on the front of their cars. Plus there was a stack of engineering know-how they're letting go. I don't think just shutting it down was the smartest move GM's made.



Such a shame I have fond memories of the early Holden’s when visiting my grandparents always driving a V8 kingswood towing the boat down to the caravan park, I bought my first VE commodore SS a few years back love it everytime I come over. I guess when I make the move over permanently I’ll trade it in for a new Chrysler 300, who else is selling a V8 in that Australian market besides ford with the mustang really wanted to stay with a four door


BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari...........

As I said above they should have sold it off with Vauxhall and Opel to PSA. Holden has been linked to the former GM Euro brands for decades.
 
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Aesma
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:41 am

Australia could always change to LHD if that's the main issue.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
bill142
Posts: 7867
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:39 am

Kiwirob wrote:
A101 wrote:
bill142 wrote:
GM should have tried to sell the brand. I imagine any of the Chinese brands looking to break into Australia and NZ would have like to have a recognised and reputable brand on the front of their cars. Plus there was a stack of engineering know-how they're letting go. I don't think just shutting it down was the smartest move GM's made.



Such a shame I have fond memories of the early Holden’s when visiting my grandparents always driving a V8 kingswood towing the boat down to the caravan park, I bought my first VE commodore SS a few years back love it everytime I come over. I guess when I make the move over permanently I’ll trade it in for a new Chrysler 300, who else is selling a V8 in that Australian market besides ford with the mustang really wanted to stay with a four door


BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari...........

As I said above they should have sold it off with Vauxhall and Opel to PSA. Holden has been linked to the former GM Euro brands for decades.


I don't see the benefit to PSA in owning Holden. They have their marquee brands here doing all right, why cannibalise those sales when people aren't buying the Holden badge Opel's already on sale?

Basically, this sums up how GM management approached the situation:
Image
 
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vhqpa
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:16 pm

It's sad to see the end of such an iconic brand, especially as my first car was an old ex-Police VN Commodore, which prior to that was the family car for as long as I can remember. However it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone the writing's been on the wall for a while. There's nothing really appealing about the current lineup compared to the other major makes. I think it was a huge marketing mistake to rebadge the Opel Insignia as the ZB Commodore. I think the Commodore name should have been retired with VF.

On the lighter side every since the announcement I've been noticing how many Commodores (real ones not ZBs) and Falcons I see on my daily commute. This morning I noticed about 10 Commodores to 2 Falcons. A far cry from the heyday were it was close to 50:50. So guess that answers the old Holden vs Ford debate that the Holden is better car.
"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 13181
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:04 pm

vhqpa wrote:
It's sad to see the end of such an iconic brand, especially as my first car was an old ex-Police VN Commodore, which prior to that was the family car for as long as I can remember. However it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone the writing's been on the wall for a while. There's nothing really appealing about the current lineup compared to the other major makes. I think it was a huge marketing mistake to rebadge the Opel Insignia as the ZB Commodore. I think the Commodore name should have been retired with VF.

On the lighter side every since the announcement I've been noticing how many Commodores (real ones not ZBs) and Falcons I see on my daily commute. This morning I noticed about 10 Commodores to 2 Falcons. A far cry from the heyday were it was close to 50:50. So guess that answers the old Holden vs Ford debate that the Holden is better car.



The original VB Commodore was an Opel Commodore, apart from the VE/VF all Commodores have been Opel based.
 
cpd
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:25 pm

melpax wrote:
GM has announced today that they are ceasing most of their Australian & NZ operations by the end of the year, along with all other remaining RHD markets.

Not a suprise, given that sales numbers have been very low since the end of Australian production in 2017, January's sales figures were the lowest monthly figures since 1954.....

The now imported Commodore, and the Astra was axed late last year, the factory in Thailand that makes the Colorado for RHD markets has been sold to Great Wall of China.

The design studio & proving ground in Melbourne will be closed as well, although sales of the Silverado, Camaro & possibly Corvette, will continue as 'GM specialty vehicles', the Silverado & Camaro are currently converted to RHD by a 3rd party, the old HSV/Walkinshaw operation in Melbourne.

https://www.drive.com.au/news/holden-ax ... lly-123252

https://www.theage.com.au/national/gove ... 541lt.html


Sales of Corvette aren’t assured either, the language from GMH on the website is very non-committed, so I guess that will be scrapped too for this market. Camaro doesn’t sell in big numbers so they may as well ditch that too. Maybe even just withdraw GM totally from that market. That has to be the easiest option.

On the other hand, HSV models (the real ones like GTS, GTS-R and the W1) are now looking like good things to own for the longer term. Saw a W1 on the road just this last weekend, completely shocked. Normally they only move about by truck, then displayed and then put back on the truck and off to be hidden away again.
 
Ken777
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:55 pm

RWD was fine for most of Australia. Cheap, easy to work on and there isn't that much snow to worry about.

When we moved to Australia in '76 we bought our first LHD car - a Toyota Corona - isn it was an outstanding car. We eventually traded it in for a second generation 4 cal Holden Commadore. It had the same Toyota engine as the Corona which gave us a lot of confidence in the car. Sadly Holden "worked" on that grand engine and totally screwed it up. My wire was not impressed when she would park the car out in public, turned off the engine and it continued to run (backwards) as she walked away. Tat can was a total POS because the "engineers" there just had to "adapt it to Australia conditions". That "adapted to Australia conditions" was such a common term in those days for all sorts of products that I periodically asked if condoms had to be adapted to Australia conditions.

Holden did have one car line that I considered outstanding - the Kingswood. Both the sedans and station wagons were produced and they dold like mad. Like Fords of the day they had simple power trains that could be repaired at almost all of the petrol stations in the country. I bought a used wagon and after a few months the auto transmission couldn't get out of second. Dropped it off at the Petrol Station close to the bus stop and picked it up that afternoon where it had been given a transmission service for $45. Ran like a new car after that. Simple engines and transmissions were the key to their success. Over the years there were continual improvements, mainly in the areas of comfort, and I really hated to see production lines shut down.

Pity that Holden lost their way.
 
melpax
Topic Author
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:34 am

cpd wrote:

Sales of Corvette aren’t assured either, the language from GMH on the website is very non-committed, so I guess that will be scrapped too for this market. Camaro doesn’t sell in big numbers so they may as well ditch that too. Maybe even just withdraw GM totally from that market. That has to be the easiest option.

On the other hand, HSV models (the real ones like GTS, GTS-R and the W1) are now looking like good things to own for the longer term. Saw a W1 on the road just this last weekend, completely shocked. Normally they only move about by truck, then displayed and then put back on the truck and off to be hidden away again.


From what I've been hearing, it sounds like HSV/Walkinshaw will become the official GM importer & will continue to convert Silverados & Camaros to RHD, Given the RHD conversion process & the price that these cars sell for, volumes will be low, and I'd say there would be a fair bit of margin built into the price anyway. So little risk to GM as HSV will take on the RHD engineering work, much in the same way as they already do with the Dodge RAM's.

As you've said, the 'real' HSV's will continue to increase in value, the desirable models like the W1's & the old GTS-R's are already mainly garage queens because of their value & theft risk.
 
Kent350787
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Re: GM shuttering Holden, exiting all remaining RHD markets

Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:14 pm

Aesma wrote:
Australia could always change to LHD if that's the main issue.


The practicalities of that are just crazy. It would probably be cheaper to build a Government factory for RHD cars.

I really think jingoism played a part in the sames flop that has been the ZB Commodore. But the rest of the range, apart from maybe the Acadia, lesser extent the Astra) has been awful, though better than the mostly Daewoo range of a decade ago. Trax or Equinox anyone?

I've enjoyed Cadillacs in the US in the past, but the ATS/CTS never made it here. I had a Malibu last month and it was sort of OK, but would be hard to see it getting any traction against Camry (and the previous Malibu, imported from Korea and touted as a Commodore replacement also had poor sales).
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