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GM Holden Division Will Shut Down to the Tune of $1.1 Billion

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GM Holden Division Commodore
The beloved Commodore will soon be no more in Australia
Photo: GM

Car enthusiasts in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand were dealt a substantial blow this week when General Motors announced a move that will completely change the industry in those countries. By the end of 2020, GM will have exited these markets completely. This means that the GM Holden division will shut down, ending the 164-year-old brand that effectively created the Australian auto industry.

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The end of the GM Holden division

While certainly a massive move for GM, it wasn’t an entirely unexpected development. Three years ago, the company ended the local manufacturing of vehicles in Australia, ending such beloved models as the Commodore. This development led many to believe that GM’s overall presence in the country was on borrowed time.

It has now been confirmed that GM’s plans extend beyond a simple exit from Australia. The company has also withdrawn from New Zealand and plans to sell its Raylong plant in Thailand to China’s Great Wall Motor Company. These moves line up with GM’s official announcement, which stated that the decision to shut down the Holden division “accelerates the transformation of global markets.” In other words, there will likely be no “global market” for GM vehicles beyond production in the Americas and China.

This decision is expected to cost the company $1.1 billion as it continues to restructure.

Good for GM, bad for Australia

This downsizing is certainly nothing new for GM. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, GM began a large-scale reduction of its global presence. Between 2015 and 2017, the company pulled out of no fewer than four different markets, including Russia, Germany, Great Britain, and France.

Their newest move will certainly be a massive loss for Australia, a country that owes its auto industry largely to the Holden brand of GM. After 164 years of success and unique brands, dwindling sales and a refocused GM have doomed the beloved division.

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While Australian consumers will still have plenty of options when seeking out a new vehicle, it’s safe to say that, with the brand that put their country on wheels no longer in existence, car shopping will never quite be the same.