Never a people to go down without a fight, Australia is still lobbying to save local Holden production following the announcement from General Motors that its South Australia-based subsidiary would be closing up shop. Now, the state's premier (that's like a governor) is attempting to find another automaker to buy Holden from GM. Premier Jay Weatherill has suggested that Holden be sold to another manufacturer, if it will mean that production will continue at the Elizabeth and Fisherman Bend factories.

"It may be that a particular car manufacturer might want to set up here but use the equity that's in the Holden brand to continue making cars," Weatherill told reporters. "That's obviously something that's the property of General Motors at the moment and, presumably, they have an interest in keeping it because it has value for them. But that is something that we would want to advance in any discussions with Holden."

Which manufacturer would be willing to plop down money on the Holden name and factories, particularly after both GM and Ford have ended local production, remains unclear. Toyota is currently the only other brand to maintain production in Australia.

Plans for Holden's future have included turning it into a branch of Chevrolet, as well as importing a front-wheel-drive version of the brand's flagship, the Commodore, from China.


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  • 46 Comments
      jonwil2002
      • 11 Months Ago
      Fact is, the factory is dead, if GM cant make any money producing cars at that factory then no-one can. If GM wants to keep the Commodore nameplate they should only use it on a RWD car. Call the FWD mass-market-replacement the Impala or the Malibu or whatever name GM gives to the same car in other markets. That said, I still think there IS a market for a RWD V6/V8 powered 4-door sedan in this country (and in the US as well). Sell it in Australia as the VG Commodore or something. Sell it in the US as the Chevrolet SS. Use the same platform for the next Camero and a flagship for Cadillac. Continue to make the LWB version too for the US cops (i.e. current Chevrolet Caprice) and for those in Australia who like the LWB version. Even better, make a new Sportwagon based on the LWB chassis (like the old Commodore Wagon used to be) for extra room and sell it as an alternative to those overpriced gas-guzzling SUVs.
      cpmanx
      • 11 Months Ago
      The proposal is utter nonsense. GM has already decided not to give up the name, and local manufacturers are fleeing the market. The notion that a regional Australian premier could convince GM to sell, and then manage to find an outside company to take over the local operation and create whole new line of cars to be sold under the Holden name, using GM's high-cost facilities...not a chance. This sounds like a politician grandstanding so he can tell his local constituents that he did everything possible to save jobs. It is not remotely a serious plan.
        --
        • 10 Months Ago
        @cpmanx
        Being from South Australia doesn't help either.
      scott3
      • 11 Months Ago
      Ok lets say they give up the name and even the one VF model they still build. Who would want it? They sold 30K units of the VE last year and will sell about the same or less VF. The rest of the lineup is Chevy bases and GM is not going to give it up. First off if the Aussies are upset with Holden then they should have complained when they lost the first model not the last one. While Holden is number 2 down under they still sell only a 1/4 more cars all together than GM sells Camaros in the United States. The scales of economics are just not there any longer. Like the folks who complain now about Pontiacs loss where were you in 1979 when the heart of Pontiac was ripped out [their own V8]. That was when you should have spoke up. Same for Holden you should have spoke up years ago when they discontinued the first models not the last. I think many down under will find that Holden will get some great cars if they shut their mouths. While they may not be built there I expect to see a couple Alpha models from the states and maybe even some Holden based Opel's. They may get the best of the rest of GM and not just Chevys. I really do not think GM will have much issue as this is the same country that has made the imported Mazda 3 number one for a few years already.
      Scr
      • 11 Months Ago
      One problem, Mr. Politician. Producing cars in Australia is prohibitively expensive due to sky-high labor costs and all of the enviroweenie taxes there. The economy for business in Australia is terrible GM will still be selling vehicles badged as Holdens, but the limited sales of such models, even on a global scale, is not a money maker. Sorry.
        --
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Scr
        Indeed. If **G**-freaking-**M** can't make manufacturing in Australia work, what chance has some lesser, smaller niche company? Part of the Australian car-manufacturing collapse relates to the smaller companies that supply it. Pulling one card out - Ford - pulls down the entire house of cards. You're not going to find car fabric and other suppliers trying to keep an entire business open to support one small manufacturer.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      mbukukanyau
      • 11 Months Ago
      Before All the GM hate. Lets get things straight. Before Holden was aquired by GM in 1931, they never made a car of their own. They started out making Sandles for horses, then auto bodies for Ford, Chrysler and GM and the 1929 depresssion practically wiped them out down to 1600 per year. GM bought the remnant of the name in 1931 with the plant, and made the first fully Holden Car. So GM saved Holden from Extinction. GM is not killing Holden, they are just moving manufacturing out of Australia, because they are (difficult concept here for some) a For profit corporation. Holden will live on and still have its Aussie roots. Remember ya'll..(you all) Camry's made in Kentuky are not Ford Taurus-es, they are Toyotas.
        Daniel D
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        And history lesson aside, the reasons that people are upset about Holden closing manufacturing sailed completely over your head.
          mbukukanyau
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Daniel D
          No, I know its not a happy thing, but if those Druid girls popped more babies down under, there would be enough of a population to buy Holden's and keep Manufacturing down there competitive. You cannot go around the fact that Australia is a tiny market.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
        Robert Ryan
        • 11 Months Ago
        Stupid decisions on restrictions as to exporting by GMNA really hurt Holden.
          to your email L
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Robert Ryan
          Indeed, they could have used that asset more widely aka their Commodore and Caprice platforms for the 'full size' ones in the US for Chevy Buick Cad 'back then' and even Pontiac and Buick then they might have survived putting out a superior best selling product and not getting a gov't bailout. But sadly GM's thinking got clouded (and in some respects) still is. And we only gets some of their product platforms and even at that not for everyone aka the Caprice PPV only for law enforcement.
      aatbloke1967
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is the type of media sensationalism many will be quick to fall victim to. Take it with a pinch of salt (or grain of salt if you're American).
      Scott Satellite
      • 11 Months Ago
      I can't wait to read the reviews on that Chinese Commodore. Should make for some of the most comical automotive journalism we'll ever read in our lifetimes.
      Daniel D
      • 11 Months Ago
      GM will discover in 2017 that without Australian production of something, the Holden brand may well turn out to be a poison chalice. I doubt they will sell it, but they sure are stupid for thinking to continue using it will help their position in Australia post 2017. The last Holden branding should be on the last Commodore on the production line at Elizabeth. After that both the Commodore and Holden brands should be quietly and respectfully retired from public use by GM. That or like the Premier said - sell it to a company that wants to produce cars in Australia. Holden equals Australian manufacturing whether that sits comfortably these days with GM NA or not.
        Benjamin Roethig
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Daniel D
        That company doesn't exist. Nobody wants to produce cars in Australia. Its not cost effective to do so. This is the end of the road for Australian auto-manufacturing. End of the line. It doesn't matter how long they hold their breath, they won't get what they want. The question is whether they want the Holden and Commodore names to live or die. And quite frankly, they might be pleasantly surprised by how well an Impala or Lacrosse based Commodore performs.
        Robert Ryan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Daniel D
        I hope GM does do that.
      the general
      • 11 Months Ago
      GM like FORD made cars in this country to be sold in the USA.......Now they need them know more.now it's time to have the governments..buy the factories and partner with another like VW.......Think about it..Former foes make great business partners.......VW......call them you be glad you did......
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 11 Months Ago
        @the general
        What the heck are you babbling about?
        rbnhd1144
        • 11 Months Ago
        @the general
        Not always a good idea, Remember British Leyland, they were owned by the British Govt at one point, Today Bmw owns Mini and China owns MG, the MG factories were disasembled and sent to China.
      The_End
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sell it to Tata Group!!! So Holden can share platform with the Jag!
        Semislicks
        • 11 Months Ago
        @The_End
        if you knew whats good for holden than it should be sold to VW Group. They managed to pull Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini and Porsche out of brink!
        to your email L
        • 11 Months Ago
        @The_End
        Hmmm that would be ironic in a way wouldn't it-Jag as British Leyland bought GM 3.5 L (215) Buick V8 for their Rover Marque later used in many Jags and derivatives and used in Ford US Lincoln's aka the LS8, if Tata bought em they could put it in their Tata Holdens, which would be then an ex GM marque.
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