GM officially confirms it is closing down the Holden brand

Following our news story yesterday, GM has now officially confirmed it will be closing down the Holden brand. This means all Holden and New Zealand operations, including engineering, design and financial services, will be closed down. And the timeline is by 2021.

GM handed out a statement today confirming that, following a “detailed analysis of the investment required for Holden to be competitive”, it can not prioritise the investment for the brand for the long term in Australia and New Zealand. GM International Operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said:

“Over recent years, as the industry underwent significant change globally and locally, we implemented a number of alternative strategies to try to sustain and improve the business, together with the local team. After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritise the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally. This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team.”

So, what does this mean for the future of GM products in Australia? What about the promised C8 Corvette? Well, GM says it will focus its growth strategy on the “speciality vehicles businesses” and says it plans to “immediately work with its partner” on developing these plans.

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We understand this could mean a new brand of some kind might be set up purely to sell vehicles such as the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette, and the Silverado and Camaro. We suggested some Holden dealerships could become Chevrolet showrooms, however, this probably won’t be the case. In the statement today, Holden said:

“Holden will work with its dealer network on appropriate transition arrangements, including offering dealers the opportunity to continue as authorised service outlets to support Holden customers.”

As for the impact on the industry, it’s understood around 500-600 employees will be directly affected by the total shut down of the Holden brand. The government and Holden says it will be assisting those affected with “separation packages” and other employment transition options.

Lastly, Holden says it will be honouring all warranties and servicing offers made at the time of sale of its vehicles. It also says it will provide servicing and spare parts for “at least” 10 years via its nation-wide aftersales networks. Any recalls or safety-related issues will also be handled by Holden, working with government agencies.

We, and we’re sure you, have a lot of questions for Holden. There is an official Holden web page which does provide some answers to your potential questions. See below for the highlights:

Where can I get my Holden serviced?

Holden will establish a national aftersales network to support existing customers for at least the next 10 years. All current Holden dealers will be offered the opportunity to transition to Holden authorised service outlets.

Will you honour my warranty?

Yes. Holden will continue to honour all existing warranties.

For how long will Holden provide spare parts?

Holden will provide existing Holden customers aftersales support for at least 10 years, including warranty, service, spare parts and any required recall or field actions.

How far will I need to travel to get my car serviced in future?

Holden will establish a national aftersales network. All current Holden dealers will be offered the opportunity to transition to Holden authorised service outlets.

What happens if there is a vehicle recall?

As required, Holden and its aftersales network will also continue to handle any recalls or safety-related issues if they arise, working with the appropriate governmental agencies.

Can I still buy a new Holden?

Yes, Holden Dealerships still have a range of new, demonstrator and used vehicles available for sale. If you are interested, you should contact your local Dealer while stock lasts.

When will Holden close?

We are committed to looking after existing Holden customers – and our plan is to provide aftersales support for at least 10 years. We will work closely with our dealers and customers around the appropriate timing to cease sales in Australia and New Zealand.

What parts of the Holden operation are impacted by this decision?

The National Sales Company; Design, Engineering, Maven, Holden Financial Services. We will retain a team to support our aftersales operation.

Wouldn’t it have been better to close Holden when local manufacturing ended?

We believed at the time that Holden could continue as a full-line importer.

What happens to Lang Lang Proving Ground?

We will explore options around the Lang Lang Proving Ground.

What happens to HSV?

We plan to focus our growth strategies in these markets on the specialty vehicles business and plan to immediately begin work with our partner on that focus.

What happens to Holden’s collection of historic vehicles, vehicles of national significance?

We will preserve key heritage vehicles and are working through plans with GM and local partners and institutions.

Is Corvette still coming to Australia and New Zealand?

We will work through this and share information in the coming months.

What is the future of Holden in Supercar racing?

We will begin discussions with the organisers of Supercars and Red Bull Holden Racing Team. We will update you on these discussions at the appropriate time.

Will Holden continue to sponsor Red Bull Holden Racing Team Racing?

We are aware of our commitment and we will work through with Red Bull Holden Racing Team the implications of this decision.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.