It’s little wonder that vehicle manufacturers like Holden, Ford and Toyota are getting out of Australia when you see financial losses like Holden have sustained in 2014.
Holden is still the second most popular vehicle brand in Australia and despite being number two they really only account for just under 10% of vehicles sold in Australia.
Part of the problem is that Australia is over subscribed with choice. So many different manufacturers have been selling cars in the Australian market place for so long now and Europe having been in a depressed state, a lot of European cars are offered at very competitive prices.
The Holden story continues to look a little sad, considering the place they held in the Australian and New Zealand motoring history, with losses racking up to over $360 million in the past 12 months. Holden sales are down in 2014, by about 5%, with figures of just over 106,000 vehicles. So far in 2015 sales have continued to fall by nearly 9%. Holden’s total losses after tax over the past three years stands just over $965 million.
All this is happening with a backdrop of employment settlement costs for the autoworkers and other write downs relating to the exit from the market in late 2017.
Holden still employs over 3000 people in Australia, with the largest number at its South Australian factory and a small number at the Melbourne engine factory.
Holden keeps talking about its bright future as national sales company after confirming again that they will finish manufacturing towards the end of 2017.
Even with these losses and declining sales, Holden is still reporting that there are no plans to change the scheduled end-date for local assembly.
Holden is not happy about the size of the loss but says it is not unexpected, given the need to pay entitlements to thousands of autoworkers being made redundant.
Some Australian newspapers are contrasting Holden’s result with luxury car importer Porsche Cars Australia, which increased revenues by 37% last year and tripled net profit after tax to nearly $19 million in 2014. Can rebadged Opel’s save the Holden brand, only time will tell?