What happened to the Holden brand?

I just saw the news about Holden (a car brand in Australia) will be retired by the end of 2020. When I came to Australia many years ago, I wish I could buy one of its cars. Holden was a huge brand 10+ years ago in Australia.

Then, in 2017, its plants in South Australia was shut down. I thought that was the starting point when Australians lost their love to this brand. While it’s a part of the US’s General Motor car company, having a local plant kind of made a relationship with the local people strong.

I am not a car expert but from reading a few articles, I feel like the following are the reasons why Holden faded.

  • Holden had a super ambitious growth plan from its legendary CEO. He planned to go internationally. His successors weren’t on the same page to make it work.
  • The Holden brand was not well-known when compared to Mercedes or even Hyundai. Holden management used these 2 brands (or makes) as a case to justify their expansion.
  • There were some tensions between the Holden management team in Australia and the GM team in the US.
  • Global financial crisis hit the US and GM had to go through a bailout process.
  • GM didn’t get what the Holden brand was about.
  • Customer’s tastes changed. They turned to more energy saving options.

I remember I stood at a Holden dealer looking at a second hand Holden Cruise. I really liked that car and wanted to buy this model. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to get one.


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