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William Maley

Rumorpile: GM May Sell Distribution Rights of Holden

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It hasn't been an easy go for Holden for almost the last decade. Sales have been declining for the past eight years and buyers haven't been wowed by either the new Commodore or their growing lineup of crossovers. This has reportedly brought the vultures out.

The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday that Inchcape, one of the largest independent vehicle importers has started discussions with General Motors about possibly taking over the importation of Holden vehicles. According to sources, the talks are going very slowly and there are "extreme sensitivities on both sides of the negotiating table." The talks will not include the transfer of Holden's engineering and design offices, along with the Lang Lang Proving Grounds. Inchcape has also hired one of the largest accounting firms to perform due diligence and looking into various scenarios. 

The likely reason Inchcape is looking into this possibility is due to GM's restructuring plans. Already, the company has pulled out certain markets and is planning to possibly shut down various plants in the U.S.

Inchcape handles the import and retail duties for a number of automakers such as Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and more in 32 countries. In Australia, Inchcape handles Citroen, Peugeot, and Subaru.

"Under the leadership of [GM Holden CEO] Dave Buttner, who was appointed in August last year, we are turning around the Holden business, growing sales, re-engaging and re-energizing our distribution network and launching exciting vehicles like the all-new Acadia. We are fully focused on supporting Dave in building a strong Holden for the future, as it remains an important part of GM's business," a spokesman for GM told the outlet.

When reached by CarsGuide for a comment, a spokesperson for Inchcape said, "We are always assessing a range of opportunities and initiatives in support of our Ignite strategy and we do not comment on speculation."

Source: Australian Financial Review (Subscription Required), CarAdvice, CarsGuide


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Wish them the best, I am sure many hardcore Holden fans want them to return to the history of years past with big V8 powered RWD auto's, sadly the market for that is going away. Future desires by the public change everything.

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I could see that, as part of GM's ongoing retreat from global markets. 

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52 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

I could see that, as part of GM's ongoing retreat from global markets. 

Is it a retreat or a focus on profit markets with a potential relaunch under specific names only in the future with a focused ICE / EV product line.

I have been thinking about some of the things Mary has stated and I wonder if she is not long term looking at a global launch of either Buick or Chevrolet with that focused ICE / EV portfolio.

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Holden is just another brand on the way out...most likely end up as a Chinese brand...

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An "all-new" Acadia is big problem. Debuting years old product from another market into Australia???? Of all places? Get the HELL outta there if that's the best you can do! Maybe someone else is doing that too, but the race to the bottom will have unintended consequences.

1 in every 10/100/1000 CLA-minded people will consider test driving a Genesis G70 for the same price. Once they do they'll probably never go back to Mercedes... for example.

You can do the reverse, like bring a Ford Ranger and slap some extra steel and safety equipment. You can bring the Caprice and SS...and give Holden much needed production volume. 

But you cannot take a Regal and call it a commodore. However you could badge engineer a commodore and get away with calling it a GNX. It'd have the performance chops with the correct drivetrain and hardware.

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9 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

 You can do the reverse, like bring a Ford Ranger and slap some extra steel and safety equipment. You can bring the Caprice and SS...and give Holden much needed production volume. 

But you cannot take a Regal and call it a commodore. However you could badge engineer a commodore and get away with calling it a GNX. It'd have the performance chops with the correct drivetrain and hardware.

Alas, the opportunity for that is all in the past now, with the demise of the RWD OZ models....the Holden brand no longer has anything special, just rebadged GM FWD appliances now...

Edited by Robert Hall
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I am surprised that GM has not shuttered Holden at all.  GM is largely selling in Australia what is made here.  Holden no longer has a unique selling point, so there is no point in having Holden survive.

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On 2/8/2019 at 10:35 PM, daves87rs said:

Holden is just another brand on the way out...most likely end up as a Chinese brand...

Jesus.. why does everything always always always go to .. "end up a Chinese?" 

Anyway.. I never ever understood why GM had Regional names for the sake of nostalgia or loyalty at all. A simple marketing campaign 70 years ago would have cleared up a lot of BS and had brands like Chevy and Buick highly recognized brands in those countries in the first place. Holden? For what purpose? With exception to the Commodore, the most majority of Holden's vehicles have always been imported Opels, Daewoo, or Isuzu rebages anyway. Even the Isuzu Trooper was rebadged as a Holden. Those companies are all gone or reworked.. Australia is simply not a manufacturing friendly country.. and they slit their own throats.. as I don't think any major manufacturer is still there. Toyota left a few years ago as well. 

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7 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

Jesus.. why does everything always always always go to .. "end up a Chinese?" 

Anyway.. I never ever understood why GM had Regional names for the sake of nostalgia or loyalty at all. A simple marketing campaign 70 years ago would have cleared up a lot of BS and had brands like Chevy and Buick highly recognized brands in those countries in the first place. Holden? For what purpose? With exception to the Commodore, the most majority of Holden's vehicles have always been imported Opels, Daewoo, or Isuzu rebages anyway. Even the Isuzu Trooper was rebadged as a Holden. Those companies are all gone or reworked.. Australia is simply not a manufacturing friendly country.. and they slit their own throats.. as I don't think any major manufacturer is still there. Toyota left a few years ago as well. 

Yeah, it wasn’t much-but at least it is a name that folks have heard of...

I noticed they are not car friendly down there. Perfect place to go all EV........

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5 hours ago, daves87rs said:

Perfect place to go all EV........

How so?  Vast rural areas suggest otherwise.  And if Aussies miss their REAL Commodores and reject the FWD Opel version, what makes anyone think they'll leapfrog to adopting EV's with all of their inherent shortcomings?

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6 hours ago, ocnblu said:

How so?  Vast rural areas suggest otherwise.  And if Aussies miss their REAL Commodores and reject the FWD Opel version, what makes anyone think they'll leapfrog to adopting EV's with all of their inherent shortcomings?

Funny you ask....

I have numerous Aussie friends (many American transplants) who see the same problem there we see here-the dying love for good old fashioned fashion metal. They are just much farther along than we are....

And you are right-it is a much tougher place for EVs-but a great testing ground to try all that new fangled stuff too....

If i had my way, RWD would be rushing back there in a hurry ...  🙂 

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Using the name of a local company was a master stroke by Gm. For 70 years Holden was able to sell it's cars as an "Australian Car for Australian Conditions", one that could take the punishment of the terrible Australian roads. Great marketing.

Cultural cringe has played a big part in killing off Holden, Australians don't believe anything made in their country could be as good as something made in Europe or Japan.

Edited by emjaya
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1 hour ago, emjaya said:

Using the name of a local company was a master stroke by Gm. For 70 years Holden was able to sell it's cars as an "Australian Car for Australian Conditions", one that could take the punishment of the terrible Australian roads. Great marketing.

Cultural cringe has played a big part in killing off Holden, Australians don't believe anything made in their country could be as good as something made in Europe or Japan.

True about the marketing when U think about it.. but that was for the time.. some 70-40 years ago. People were more loyal.. and ironically that loyalty kept them fed. Same thing goes for America.. the other English colony. Its why they scrutinize the smallest thing from Cadillac.. but see a BMW not starting as no big deal..

CUE=Bad Engineering.

S#!tty Engines needing to be replaced=German Excellence.

Edited by Cmicasa the Great
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