Holden Brand Will Survive Past 2017 Manufacturing Halt
Quelling speculation that the Holden brand would be fully abandoned after GM ends manufacturing in Australia, GM spokesman Greg Martin confirmed to Automotive News that the brand will continue on past 2017.
GM announced last week that it would have to close Holden plants in Elizabeth and Victoria, Australia, by 2017 due to "the perfect storm" of circumstances including a highly-valued Australian dollar that stiffened competition from Asian importers. Signaling the end of Holden vehicles made in Australia, GM's long-held Australian brand will transition to a fully-imported lineup while keeping its sales, service and distribution, and repair operations in place.
"We will import vehicles from all over the GM world using the scale, expertise and power of our global product development team," said GM Holden chairman Mike Devereaux in a statement. "Holden is here to stay. It has been an integral part of Australia's history and will be part of its future."
Much of Holden's model range is already imported, excluding the Holden Commodore, Caprice, and Ute vehicles that all use an Australian-built rear-wheel-drive platform. Holden exports the Commodore to the U.S. as the new Chevrolet SS, as well as the police-fleet Chevrolet Caprice PPV (both pictured above). GM will not discuss the status of future products, confirming only that the SS and the Caprice will continue to be built in Australia until production shuts down.
"Australians have been driving Holden vehicles for decades - and we are determined that Australians will drive Holden vehicles for many years to come," Devereux said.