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.
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.