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HOLDEN - GONE



Several years ago the Federal Government wound down subsidies to local motor manufacturers. Since then, the market has also changed dramatically.

In that environment, Ford have thrived, with imported cars, SUVs and the Ranger light commercial, based on the Mazda B Series.


Holden failed to pick the shift to SUVs initially, but when Commodore died, moved its attention to its own SUV range, Trax, Equinox and Acadia.


I drove all three Holden SUVs at the Lang Lang Proving ground for a day a year ago. All performed exceptionally well. I wrote at the time, that the Holden range was at least as good - and in the case of the Acadia, better - than competitive brands, and deserved success.


Since then, the products have improved further, the dealers have remained well capitalised and raring to go, but the Holden commitment and approach to marketing its products has been a dismal failure. Yes there are issues regarding the GM decision to get out of RHD production world-wide, but Holden's executive team gave no credible reason for the parent company to persist here.


The staff are shattered. The dealers (around 200 of them making up one of the strongest dealer networks in the country), particularly the 18 dealers nationally that are sole Holden franchises, are angry and motorists are also the poorer for this.


Local management dropped the ball. It's Holden's fault, plain and simple.


PS: Keep your eye on those three SUVs mentioned earlier. They're worth buying, because they're outstanding.

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