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We should have seen it coming. Over the past couple years, as General Motors made announcements that it was discontinuing sales activities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, and Indonesia, our collective bad-news alarms should have begun shrieking: Holden, GM’s Australian division, probably isn’t long for the world either. And that is indeed the case: last month GM announced that it the Holden brand will be phased out by 2021.
The days of Australian-market GM vehicles that are actually produced in Australia are winding down. The last iteration of the home-built Holden Commodore was unveiled this week, capping a model line that dates back to 1978. Holden parent General Motors announced late in 2014 its intentions to end vehicle manufacturing in Australia.
General Motors today announced plans to end vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand, as well as greatly reducing its engineering presence in the region. Presented here is the press release explaining that decision.
GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand
Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017
DETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017.
A couple months ago, Chevrolet announced that the Impala was being retired from NASCAR competition. The company also confirmed that the brand would be racing a new nameplate in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series. The twist was that Chevy didn’t reveal the new car’s name. Ever since, the rumor mill has been in high gear trying to figure out the mystery, with a new rear-drive sedan called the SS being the prime suspect.
One of the biggest recurring disappointments of my elementary-school days was thinking that I was going to class to see a movie, and finding out I was really going to be sitting through a crappy filmstrip presentation.
One of the wonderful side effects of technological progress is the wake of marketing silliness that follows so closely behind. It makes sense that any improvement to a consumer-oriented product would be fodder for advertising and promotion, but oftentimes those improvements quickly become industry norms—and the initial hype surrounding them sometimes proves embarrassing in hindsight.
Just a thought: What if the 1974 Pontiac GTO was never actually named “GTO?” What if, instead of disappointing GTO loyalists, this extensively upgraded compact Pontiac had instead been called the Ventura GT?