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Old 17th February 2020, 08:41   #1
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Default R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

The Holden brand which was once the symbol of Australian motoring, will cease to exist by the end of 2020. This announcement comes as General Motors, the parent company decides to pull out of Right Hand Drive markets globally.

R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets-commodore.jpg

This news comes as a shock despite the announcement late last year about the plans to retire the Commodore brand, which was finding it hard to move off the showroom floors after local production ceased and a rebadged car was put forward in its place.

Quote:
General Motors will also close its Melbourne design studio and test track at Lang Lang on the south-east outskirts of Melbourne. Approximately 600 of the 800 jobs will be lost, with all being awarded redundancies. The remaining workforce of 200 people will take care of Holden's ongoing service and warranty commitments for up to 10 years.


General Motors has been making a slow retreat from other right-hand-drive countries over the past three years, getting out of lucrative markets such as the United Kingdom, Japan, India and South Africa.

The three main remaining right-hand-drive countries were Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, but General Motors says it has become unprofitable to develop new vehicles for such comparatively small markets.
Globally in a Left Hand Drive dominated market, only 25% of sales is for Right Hand Drive vehicles which brings about the need for justifications for investment in these markets.

Quote:
With the Holden name to be retired by the end of this year, General Motors is considering a new sub-brand called General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) that would sell selected US models – most of which will be converted to right-hand-drive by the company formerly known as Holden Special Vehicles, and which currently imports the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car and Chevrolet Silverado pick-up.

Link : Link

Last edited by benbsb29 : 17th February 2020 at 08:42.
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Old 17th February 2020, 11:02   #2
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

This will be massive for Australia, such an iconic brand in its automotive history. I think its pretty much Japanese (and a bit of Koreans) ruling the market with Germans adding up in the higher segments.

Last edited by vb-san : 17th February 2020 at 11:18.
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Old 17th February 2020, 11:17   #3
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Ford posted this on Facebook. Nicely done.

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Old 17th February 2020, 12:33   #4
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

What a sad news considering the iconic value of the Holden brand. Terrible as always to know that the bean counters trump engineers again.

Quite surprised to see GM simply giving up on 25% of market with RHD (I don't know the source of this number). They must have done so - but I really hope they did check the growth projections for RHD car markets. These might be some of the potentially interesting markets in near future. Shows how GM has become a really shrunken group compared to the giant it was. Smaller players are able to sustain LHD+RHD businesses easily while the GM group needs to consolidate more and more.

This move also takes away one of the big names on the Aussie super car championship. One of the motorsport events that still remains very exciting to watch.

Last edited by Reinhard : 17th February 2020 at 12:36.
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Old 17th February 2020, 14:06   #5
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

How incompetent you have to be to take a world class 140 year old brand and run it to the ground. GM has failed on so many fronts that it's not funny anymore. The Commodore has such a rich predigree as much as any other American / European car, and GM has ruined it. RIP.
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Old 17th February 2020, 16:35   #6
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

A related video from CarAdvice.

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Old 17th February 2020, 16:49   #7
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Default re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison (Australian PM) slammed this GM's decision, accusing the US co. of allowing the iconic marque to just “wither away” while accepting billions in taxpayer subsidies (duty reductions and cash). He also added:

- He was “angry” about the decision, “like I think many Australians would be”.

- “Australian taxpayers put millions into this multinational company,”.

- “They let the brand just wither away on their watch. Now they are leaving it behind. I think that’s very disappointing, that, over many years, more than $2bn was directly provided to General Motors for the Holden operations".

- “I think the fact they took money from Australian taxpayers for all those years just to let the Holden brand wither on their watch, I think is disappointing.

- “I think at the end of the day it shows throwing all that taxpayer money at them … they were never going to respect that.”



Excerpts from source on GM receiving subsidies in Australia
Quote:
1. Carmaker General Motors Holden has revealed that it has received $2.17 billion in Federal Government assistance in the past 12 years.

2. GM Holden's director of government affairs Matt Hobbs says some of the $2.17 billion is yet to be cashed in.

3. The amount averages out to $150 million a year for Holden.

4. Uni of Wollongong economist Henry Ergas believes it is a significant waste of taxpayers' money. It doesn't seem to help the industry adjust. "It just keeps it in existence, and there seems to be no prospect of getting it off life support to being internationally competitive and viable."
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Old 18th February 2020, 10:56   #8
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

There are couple of points to be made here:

1) For a global company like GM, how hard is it to engineer RHD models? I fail to understand the logic behind this since even for Ford, the only large RHD market for them is the UK with some sales from India but you don't see them pulling out! It seems like GM is still traumatized by the 2008 financial crisis and is trying to consolidate. However, I fear this inward looking strategy will be its downfall in a very globalized world! Remember the time when GM was the largest car maker in the world?

2) American car companies are terrible in running foreign car companies. Eg) GM - Vauxhall/Opel, Saab and now Holden. Similarly for Ford - Volvo and JLR are doing much better in Indian and Chinese ownership respectively! Exception is Daewoo which was basically absorbed into Chevrolet.

3) I hope some other company (maybe Chinese) will revive Holden in the future. Maybe Mr. Anand Mahindra might be interested

I still have memories of the Chevrolet Lumina (rebadged Holden Commodore sold in the Gulf) in Kuwait during my childhood. The Lumina V6 which was the only RWD car in it's segment was popular with many Indian families and was considered more premium than the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Maxima. The Chevy Lumina SS meanwhile which had a corvette 6.0 V8 was a hoot and it was very popular among the Kuwaiti youth who used to do donuts and drift the car in neighborhood areas (many of them crashed and lost their lives. DRIVE SAFE, I cannot stress this enough). Even today, the Lumina has attained legendary status as the drivers car which was affordable as well (somewhat like the first gen Octavia was in India).

Last edited by dragracer567 : 18th February 2020 at 10:59. Reason: Grammer
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Old 18th February 2020, 10:57   #9
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

How costly is developing a RHD version of a developed LHD car? Could it be 10% of overall development cost? Probably lower..
if thats the case, I am not understanding the logic of exiting from a RHD market !!
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Old 18th February 2020, 11:21   #10
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
There are couple of points to be made here:

...I still have memories of the Chevrolet Lumina (rebadged Holden Commodore sold in the Gulf) in Kuwait during my childhood. The Lumina V6 which was the only RWD car in it's segment was popular with many Indian families and was considered more premium than the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Maxima. The Chevy Lumina SS meanwhile which had a corvette 6.0 V8 was a hoot and it was very popular among the Kuwaiti youth who used to do donuts and drift the car in neighborhood areas (many of them crashed and lost their lives...)
Ah! same memories here
There were a few Lumina SS's in my neighborhood and even a Pontiac G8 with the V8. The parking lot of one of the high schools in Jleeb AlShuyoukh was were most of the drifting and donuts would happen at night. Seeing crashed cars next morning was a regular sight at the time.
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Old 18th February 2020, 12:40   #11
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

I travelled in a Holden Cruze in Australia way back in 2010 for a month. Lovely memories and lovely cars indeed.
RIP Holden. You will definitely be remembered.
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Old 18th February 2020, 15:02   #12
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Sad news indeed - but this was expected for some time now. GM did not have any good contender in the market since the VF Series 2 Commodore went out of production. I drive one of those late model beauties - love her to bits. But sadly Holden went the Fiat way!!
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Old 18th February 2020, 15:40   #13
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

I have mixed feelings about the Holden brand getting axed: Yes, it is indeed sad that a renowned brand is getting retired, but also, I'm glad as it's inevitably the way forward. The tech they brought to the table at GM was nothing new. Working as a Design engineer in GM from 2010-2015, it was evident to me that there was nothing uniquely Holden about most of the cars. What GM has done earlier to keep the brand was to re-badge their European engineered cars (Opel) as many different brands ( same platform, different styling) Maybe it is common knowledge now or maybe not, but Opel=Vauxhall=Holden=Saab=Buick=Chevy for many of the sedans. During their acquisition of various brands in the 90s, they found that the Opel architecture for sedans was the best engineered, to some extent the FWD of the Daewoo architecture and they did a copy+paste job to different markets. Now that they lost Opel, (though they got to keep the engineering) and they decided to mostly axe their sedan division in the USA, they had nothing to base their future Holden cars on.


The main problem plaguing General Motors and also many other companies is that their CEOs and management groups are not car guys, they're just trying to be good MBA guys, so it doesn't matter what car, what brand it is, they just want to improve share values and not really focus on building good vehicles. As a former employee, it used to be painful to watch the marketing and management guys take stupid decisions, as though they know nothing about the market and the brand. Case in point: SAIC cars sold in the Indian market, GM wanted a strong footing in China and they had to get that JV with SAIC, to which SAIC said we'll sign an agreement with you, only if you agree to sell our cars in other markets. So India marketing guys went to China, were asked to choose from a shitty lot of cars ( Aveo, Sail, Enjoy) and that's it, no discussion if they will fit in their present portfolio of vehicles, styling changes for Indian market, nothing. Also, majority of the employees too don't know anything about the brand value, let alone the cars. In one of the internal company events, my team and I wanted to do something related to the Transformers theme ( 2010-11, when the first movie had come out) and everybody in the Indian management was clueless about the movie, let alone that the characters were based on GM cars

It's only a matter of time before they dissolve their Daewoo plant as well, citing reason God knows what and are well on their path to the next bankruptcy

Last edited by BlackPearl : 18th February 2020 at 16:51. Reason: Typos.
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Old 18th February 2020, 15:50   #14
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
2) American car companies are terrible in running foreign car companies.
May be it is because of the American snobbery and unwillingness rather than ability to change/adapt quickly to the local market requirements. Otherwise why can't a superior (technologically and financially), older and thus experienced company be successful in a market where other companies can.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
3) I hope some other company (maybe Chinese) will revive Holden in the future. Maybe Mr. Anand Mahindra might be interested
Interesting enough that GM did not tried to sell the brand to a potential interested buyer. Why just shut it? They could have recovered substantial amount of losses.
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Old 18th February 2020, 23:09   #15
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Default Re: R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets

Sad to learn that the plug is being pulled on Holden, though it was more or less inevitable.
Some pics of the iconic Efigy at the Holden HQ in Melbourne!
Attached Thumbnails
R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets-img_20180123_142656_1.jpg  

R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets-img_20180123_142826_1.jpg  

R.I.P. Holden, as GM pulls out of RHD markets-img_20180123_154053_1.jpg  

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