164 years of tradition - GM buries Holden

A great brand, a long tradition. Holden was founded in southern Australia in 1856 as a manufacturer of horse saddles. Automobiles have been built since 1908. The Americans got on board in 1931, and the company belonged to GM for 89 years. The final end is now in 2021. Not surprisingly, the decline was looming. Production in Australia was stopped in 2017, when 2.900 employees lost their jobs.

Holden Commodore - a big name. But only an Opel Insignia
Holden Commodore - a big name. But only an Opel Insignia. Picture: Holden

Since then, Holden vehicles have only been imported, and GM has consistently pursued badge engineering. A once proud Holden Commodore is now only a derivative based on Opel / Buick, own developments are a thing of the past. The brand has lost massive market share since the end of its local production. The reason for the end is a further withdrawal from the markets for right-hand drive vehicles. The quantities that can be sold there are manageable, but the work involved in homologating new vehicles is high due to inconsistent regulations. Great Britain has already left GM with the sale of Vauxhall to the PSA Group, and Australia is now followed by other regions with New Zealand and Thailand. The Thai GM plant will be sold to the Chinese manufacturer Great Wall, which will further consolidate its market position in Asia. Detroit plans to bundle the funds freed up in investments in future technologies.

Holden and Saab were at home under the GM roof for many years. The first cooperation started in 1993. The Australians were looking for a drive for the new Holden Commodore. They came across the Södertälje turbo drives, which represented the most modern engine construction. Two test vehicles were built, but the engines never went into series production. Opel sabotaged the Holden - Saab cooperation, we did the drama a year ago veröffentlicht.

Holden engines for Saab

The use of the Holden V6 engine in the Saab world was more successful. The base engine from Australian production is basically a robust, honest drive. Saab was the turbo competence center in the GM group in the 2000s and optimized the basic engine for use in the Saab 9-3 II and other vehicles. First with 250, later with 280 hp, the drive was a thirsty way to drive a Swedish car with 6 cylinders, but always with a portion of driving fun in the background. Thermally loaded in the narrow engine compartment of the 9-3, the 280 hp ex works represented the highest level of expansion. In terms of the health of the machine, additional power was only recommended with a larger charge air cooler.

The last time Australian technology was used in the Saab was in 2011 with the new 9-5 and the Saab 9-4x. 300 hp was the most powerful expansion stage in the revised engines. Only Saab tuner Hirsch poured a little more power.

With Holden, the Americans bury another traditional brand. Not without billions of Australian tax dollars over the years subventionen to have received. The parallels to Saab and Sweden, where the state invested billions in infrastructure to secure the location, can hardly be overlooked. There are still 185 agencies with the Holden logo on the building, the future of which is now uncertain. 600 of the remaining 800 Holden employees will also lose their jobs. 200 remaining employees take care of the processing and the supply of spare parts. The legendary Lang Lang Proving Ground, which was only modernized two years ago with a double-digit million sum, is being given up and is for sale.

GM brings back Hummer 2021

GM appears to be an industrial dinosaur that is constructing its downward spiral. Cost savings are always followed by loss of market share and the resulting abandonment of entire regions. A sad situation for a proud, old company that was once entitled to a global presence.

One does not seem to have a conclusive answer for the future. Or maybe she is, and she's very American. After the end of Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Oldsmobil and the separation of Opel and Vauxhall, Detroit is bringing back a dead brand. Ironically, the Hummer brand is to be revived according to the plans in Detroit. The label in the group, which is probably the least missed by the fans, should take care of the future from 2021. With an electric truck, dreams of living sustainability and emission-free mobility mature.

Values ​​that Hummer and the limited socially compatible vehicles never stood for. Any of the discontinued GM brands, including Saab, would have been better suited for an all-electric rebirth. Around $ 2,2 billion will go into the revival. Buyers will decide whether the money will be invested intelligently.

10 thoughts on "164 years of tradition - GM buries Holden"

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    Whether a large electric pickup is particularly clever or sustainable is probably seen differently in Europe and North America.

    The fact is that US manufacturers in North America dominate the market for large pickups and can probably still make money relatively easily.
    But the Japanese are also getting involved there and Europeans are already looking at it. And there is also a trend towards electric cars, Tesla has introduced its cyber truck, Ford has announced an electric F-150 and two startups, Rivian and Bollinger, are in the starting blocks.

    It was not to be expected that GM would voluntarily leave the market, on which they are still reasonably large, to the competition. It remains to be seen whether they will have the right arrow in their quiver with the GMC Hummer EV.

    And he probably won't save GM either, sooner or later in the USA, too, you will have to accept that there is more to it than just converting the cars to a different form of energy.
    Let's see if the group, which among other things has brought the turbocharger into large-scale passenger cars (maybe it could have connected the store more with Saab), will have another future-oriented idea ...

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    Did the Americans understand the Europeans at some point ???
    I don't miss any GM vehicles (nowadays).
    So, I can watch the drama ...

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    I wonder how soon GM become a simple financial service co, ie: 'We lend money', as Honestly, they have betrayed the very essence of Vehicle making in this world …… ..

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    I do not think that the Chinese are doing Volvo so well and it will only be a matter of time before the Chinese get rid of the Volvo issue.
    As for GM, a corporation that didn't want to understand Europe and never understood it.
    Away from me with you.
    Yes, even if Opel should bless the timing, this is more than just compared to the Saab brand.

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    GM should never have handled Saab. The Chinese impressively demonstrate the potential of Swedish car brands at VOLVO. The prices that VOLVO calls are now a cheek, but they do it because they can do it. Saab would have had this potential too.

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    At some point, the happiness of every company ceases to exist despite itself.

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    ... and is good ...
    There is nothing to add.

  • blank

    As always insightful and informative. Thanks Tom.

    Although the article seems balanced to me, the trick of constructing some understandable GM strategy may not really succeed ...

    I find at most a little understanding and a little indulgence for one or the other retreat in the back corners of my brain twists.

    Be that as it may, it is a certain consolation to me. If GM were on the road to success after the sale of Saab, it would hurt me a lot more. That you now see an e-Hummer as the last lifeline, that you consider a (presumably bad) copy of the (stupid) Cybertruck to be a big hit, that is a certain satisfaction. May the GM group simply follow the brands that have so far pushed them into the abyss and are good ...

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    Since the Opel left GM, they have been in the black again. Just why?!

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    Sad, sad, but for me another proof of never, never, never buying anything from GM production. This has already happened in the past. The other vehicle was more expensive but definitely not good. In general, in recent years I have heard of who wants to buy the "big botch" at all. Electric lobster? Really a brilliant decision, although the part has space for a power plant. If you see a coal or oil power plant that produces electricity, that would fit in with the rest of the technology. But it is absolutely necessary for an overland trip in the land of unlimited possibilities. Or, from GM's point of view, should every city be covered with Hummer e-mobiles.

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