Holden vehicle sales, design and engineering to cease in Australia and New Zealand

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 19, 2020

General Motors has announced that the Holden brand will be retired from sales in Australia and New Zealand and local design and engineering operations will wind down by 2021.

GM international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said GM had taken the difficult decision after implementing and considering numerous options to maintain and turn around Holden operations.

“Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has also been a powerful driver of the industrialisation and advancement of Australia and New Zealand,” said Blissett.

“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 undertook a detailed analysis of the investment required for Holden to be competitive beyond the current generation of products. Factors affecting the business case for further investment included the highly fragmented right-hand-drive markets, the economics to support growing the brand, and delivering an appropriate return on investment.

“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,” said Blissett.

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

GM intends to focus its growth strategy in Australia and New Zealand on the specialty vehicles business and plans to immediately work with its partner on developing these plans.

Holden customers can be assured that the company will honour all warranties and servicing offers made at time of sale. Holden will provide servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years, through national aftersales networks in Australia and New Zealand. As required, Holden and its aftersales network will also continue to handle any recalls or safety-related issues if they arise, working with the appropriate governmental agencies.

Affected Holden employees will be provided separation packages and employment transition support.

Holden will work with its dealer network on appropriate transition arrangements, including offering dealers the opportunity to continue as authorised service outlets to support Holden customers.

Holden Customer Care is available to answer customer enquiries and all warranties and service agreements. Holden customers in Australia can call 1800 46 465 336 or visit www.holden.com.au; Holden customers in New Zealand can call 0800 465 336 or visit www.holden.co.nz.

Holden New Zealand general manager – corporate affairs Ed Finn said he wanted to assure everyone that the situation for Isuzu Trucks in New Zealand, following the announcement, remains unchanged and is “business as usual”.  

“It is our intention to continue to honour our obligations under the current Isuzu distribution agreement as we believe the current Isuzu sales and aftersales operations in New Zealand will augment our remaining Holden aftersales network operations.”