General Motors (GM) is not only curbing its operations and representation in Australia and New Zealand with the demise of the Holden brand but it goes further to include Thailand, (note all these markets are RHD) where GM is finishing its operations with the Colorado Ute and the Trailblazer SUV, along with 1,500 Thai auto workers by selling these operations to China’s Great Wall Motors.
GM has also pulled the Chevrolet brand from that market. In a recent report by cable news in the USA, they estimated the cost to GM to wind down the Holden operation, to be in the range of US$1.1 billion of which about US$300 million will be a complete cash loss.
The news last month of the killing off of the Holden brand has been met with many angry reactions. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Australian public that he was disappointed but not surprised and that he was also angry like many Australians would be.
Mr Morrison’s anger is most likely connected to the $2 billion plus given to GM to secure the Holden operations. The Holden fans seeing this as the final outcome will find it difficult to forgive GM and their decision to move away from RHD and the Holden brand.
The word from GM on the demise of the Holden brand goes something like this; After a comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritize the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally. This decision is based on global priorities and does not reflect the hard work, talent and professionalism of the Holden team.
The final curtain for Holden will leave behind as many as 800 jobs in Australia, with many of them to cease by the end of June 2020.
However, GM officials said that around 200 jobs from the 800 will remain in their ongoing roles connected to the company’s pledge to offer up at least 10 years of customer service to existing Holden owners. This should at the very least calm the nerves of existing Holden customers and those looking to swoop in on a Holden vehicle fire sale.