In a bid to restructure its international operations, General Motors will be retiring the Holden brand in 2021. The American automotive conglomerate says that it needs to be proactive in markets that aren’t earning acceptable revenues for its shareholders, and shutting down the Australian carmaker is one of the moves necessary at the moment (but which GM claims it is reluctant to make).
GM failed to rejuvenate Holden even after closing down the latter’s production facility in Elizabeth, South Australia, in 2017 and revamping its product catalog (which includes axing one of its iconic models, the Commodore, this year). Even the move to an exclusive SUV/pickup lineup wasn’t enough to turn Holden’s fortunes around and keep it financially sustainable in the countries it operates in (Australia and New Zealand).
All efforts to keep Holden afloat had been exhausted, and funds could no longer be allocated to ensure the company’s long-term success
According to GM International Operations senior vice president Julian Blissett, all efforts to keep Holden afloat had been exhausted, and funds could no longer be allocated to ensure the company’s long-term success. The fragmented nature of right-hand-drive markets is being cited as one of the reasons affecting Holden’s performance as an automaker.
Holden will wind down its engineering and design operations—as well as end sales—in Australia and New Zealand by 2021. According to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it is estimated that around 600 employees will lose their jobs in the process.