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