Australian automaker GM Holden LTD, a part of the General Motors global operations since 1931, will discontinue its flagship Commodore car line after the 2018 model year. According to News Corp Australia, plans are to close the Commodore car line in 2017 in order for GM to make way for the local production of GM’s iconic Chevrolet Camaro. The shuttering of the Elizabeth car assembly line signals the end of Holden’s Commodore line being built in Australia.
Although Holden Commodores from 2017 onward will be produced in China with an infused Buick chassis (that is only built in China), the 2018 models should catch the interest of Commodore enthusiasts. Holden may not be Australian made much longer, but the planned muscle car should help Holden close its Elizabeth assembly operation with a bang.
About GM Holden LTD
Holden is an Australian company located in Port Melbourne, Victoria, and has been in business since 1856. After starting out as a saddlery business, Holden began making cars at the turn of the last century before being acquired by General Motors in 1931. The Australian and Asian vehicle operations for GM are the responsibility of Holden, which produces various sedans, wagons, and luxury cars for domestic and international markets.
Holden employs 4,278 workers in the communities of Port Melbourne, Elizabeth, Fishermans Bend, Dandenong, and Lang Victoria. Holden cars are sold through more than 270 outlets across Australia. Revenues for the company have declined slightly, from $4.54 billion (AUD) in 2010 to $4 billion (AUD) in 2012, with a profit of $112 million (AUD) in 2010 and a net loss of $152.8 million (AUD) in 2012. The company added $420 million (AUD) in local wages in 2012 and added tax revenues of $120 million (AUD) to national and local governments in Australia.
The Commodore Car Line
There are 55 models and six body types that comprise the Holden car line. The products produced in the Holden Australian plants include the Volt, Barina Spark, Barina, Cruze, Commodore, Sportwagon, Caprice, Captiva 5, Captiva 7, Ute, Colorado, Colorado 7, Combo, Epica, and Monaro. The Commodore (along with the Chevrolet Caprice model) is the first to run on the company’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) system. These vehicles boast a lower running cost and lower carbon emissions than comparable “green” vehicles on the road.
The Commodore V6 Muscle Car
The anticipated 2018 Commodores will mark a departure from Commodores of the past. The vehicle is being designed as a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive V6. This is different from the rear-wheel V6 Holden Commodores of the past. The newly designed V6 is moving toward a sleeker European-style vehicle and away from the old box-shaped body characteristic of the prior model Commodores. Integration of the Buick and Commodore body styling into a European-style vehicle should help broaden the appeal of the new V6s beyond the Australian borders.
Holden has been and remains a strong national brand with a long and proud history of delivering quality Australian-built cars for more than 100 years. The closing of the Elizabeth car assembly line may mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new period in this storied company’s history, both for the company and for Australians.
This article was written by Philip Thompson. He love his Holden and is sad to see the company go. He writes this article on behalf of carsrm.com, number one in automotive CRM software.