By on June 25, 2014

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The next Holden Commodore will come from GM’s European product portfolio, but it won’t carry the Commodore name either.

Aussie outlet Carsguide is reporting that despite pleas from Holden, GM is determined to kill the nameplate, since the new Holden large sedan will be so different from the iconic rear-drive model.

According to the outlet, GM may even mandate a name change to Chevrolet if they feel that Holden has become damaged goods following the shuttering of Australian factories, stating

A Holden insider told News Corp Australia last year the switch to Chevrolet could happen if General Motors believes the Holden brand image has been damaged by the shutdown of its factories.

“There is no emotion in this,” the insider said. “It will all come down to money. If General Motors thinks sales will go down because the Holden brand is on the nose, then they will switch it to Chevrolet.”

Marketing experts say it would cost between $500,000 and $1 million to rebrand each of Holden’s 233 dealerships nationwide, and that General Motors would likely foot half the bill for each showroom, forcing Holden dealers to pick up the rest of the tab or lose the franchise.

One Holden insider revealed that the company has been forced to conduct exhaustive research with Australian car buyers to prove the case to Detroit that the Holden brand is worth saving.

“The amount of money we’ve spent trying to defend the Holden brand to Detroit is ridiculous,” the insider said.

“But when executives from North America come out to Australia, they take photos of Chevrolet badges that people have fitted to their Holden (cars), and use that against us.”

The next Commodore (or large Holden) will reportedly come from GM Europe, rather than China or America as previously thought. Holden’s HSV performance division has been spotted with an Opel Insignia OPC test mule, while Holden will be selling a version of that car, as well as other Opel products, through their dealers.

The Insignia will never be as great as a rear-drive Commodore, but it will not be a bad product for a future marketplace that is ready to shift away from large Australian sedans. The move to kill Holden in Chevrolet is mind-boggling, as Chevrolet’s failed foray in Europe demonstrated loud and clear. In a market with over 60 brands, the smart choice is on anything but killing a beloved brand in favor of an untested, foreign replacement.

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69 Comments on “Could The Holden Brand Die With The Commodore?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ALL OF YOUR BRAND ARE BELONG TO US.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Holden lineup already includes several imports.

    The Commodore gets a lot more love on the internet than it does in the real world, as the retail sales figures and long-term trend will attest.

    Killing off the brand wouldn’t make much sense at this juncture. As for Chevrolet, the bogans are aware of it, as some of them are inclined to swap out their Holden badges for the bowtie. (God knows why.)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      60% of GM Australia’s sales and profits come from Commodore sales. The current Holden CEO and Mark Reuss from now GM Detroit said the cars will be not badged Chevrolet after 2017. People here not just on the Internet are aware that GM has massive problems in the US. The Bowtie badging refers to the Chevrolet small block, the only GM US part that has some credibility here.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “60% of GM Australia’s sales and profits come from Commodore sales.”

        Well, that would be fascinating, but for the fact that Holden is a money loser.

        There are no profits. 60% of $0 is $0.

        Try to learn something prior to posting: http://www.caradvice.com.au/285597/holden-records-553-8-million-loss-in-2013/

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Wrong they are making profits on the Commodorees they make, but they are not making many and the imported range iis losing money. Not a very bright future for GM in Australia

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I realize that you don’t grasp this stuff at all, but it should be obvious even to you that Australian production is being shut down because it bleeds cash. Read your own media for two minutes, and this financial problem should become readily apparent.

            If the Commodore was a winner, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But as turns out, there aren’t enough bogans to keep it alive.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan
            I agree. I think GM is quite poorly managed. It appear poor decisions are made at all levels throughout GMs management.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Very aware of it but they are making money on the dwindling production they have but losing a massive amount on their imported products. Only way I down after 2017

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As usual, you are wrong on the facts and make illogical points.

            Australian production is a loser for the automakers. That’s why everyone is walking away from it. It only makes sense with tariffs and subsidies that are now too low to make a difference.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101 I am very aware that Australian production is unsustainable, it is also the case in the US, but the current downsized Holden is making money on the Commodore, not the Cruze or other imported products. Overall GM in Australia has massive problems with “dud” imports, that are needed to flesh out the Commodore sales

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Last year, Mike Devereux said:

            ““We don’t make money making cars in this country, we make money importing cars”

            http://www.caradvice.com.au/236428/holden-admits-commodore-and-cruze-are-loss-makers-plans-to-cut-workforce/

            Exactly the opposite of what you are saying. As usual, you get things completely wrong. Nobody should believe anything that you say.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH101 for a UAW Troll you can be pretty dumb. Mike was referring to the non downsized operation. The Downsized operation is making money on the Commodore nothing else, but overall here GM is losing money

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, they’re downsizing Australian production to zero for a reason.

            It would be nice if you would know what you’re talking about, just once.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @PCH 101 You are not a very bright UAW Troll, that needs researchers constantly feeding them information. Your Reuss reference was out of date. Maybe better researching skills next time?

      • 0 avatar
        JEFFSHADOW

        H-O-L-D-E-N; take the O-L-D, add an “S” and “MOBILE” and you have a returning brand with more market value here in the USA. Now that the idiot Ron “Zero”-ella is gone from GM maybe deserving brands that have true history here can make a comeback. I have five Oldsmobiles and I’d buy fifty more new ones…
        This is for USA production.
        This morning I saw a recent model GTO (Pontiac Holden) and yesterday we had a newer Commodore visiting our dealership. Only two people here knew what it was. One manager said it was a Citroen!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I like Olds but did you happen to experience that last post MY98 batch? There is a reason they are seldom seen, and this area was Oldsmobuick country.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          …What?

          Oh wait, Oldsmobile.

          First I was getting “HENS MOBILE” and “SHEN MOBILE”.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          You are thus the only person (or perhaps the only person under 70) who cares about the Oldsmobile brand.

          It’s dead. It’s staying dead. GM has too many brands NOW even after killing Pontiac and Oldsmobile.

          • 0 avatar
            JEFFSHADOW

            Last time I drove my 1972 Toronado I got dozens of “thumbs up” from people of all ages. Same thing happens when I drive the 1998 Aurora or my Oldsmobile 455-powered GMC Motorhome. There just might be more than one person who likes Oldsmobile!
            You may want to visit an Oldsmobile Club of America car show and meet 700 people who LOVE Oldsmobiles.
            GM never had too many brands(outside of Saturn and Hummer). Stupid management destroyed a division because they were accountants, not engineers.
            The third world lowlifes out here are buying the POS imports.

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            I’m at a point in my life where I’m more familiar with dead GM brands than living. I’ve owned a (terrible) Pontiac, and remember Olds, Geo, Daewoo, Hummer, Saab, and Saturn. I’ve driven (medicore) rental Buicks, owned a (craptastic) Chevrolet and (admittedly solid) GMC, and never wanted an overprice Cadillac.

            The dead have eaten the living at the RenCen.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Chevrolet should be, or should have been killed off in America, and replaced with Holden (badging). I might be able to bring myself to own a Holden, but a chevy (or any GM)? Not in a million years.

  • avatar
    carguy

    GM would be foolish to retire the Holden brand. The Holden name has as much brand recognition in Australia as Chevy has in the US. That goodwill can be used to help sell GM imports from Korea and still give the product and Aussie flavor via a familiar badge.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Carguy,
      The current Holden CEO does not mention GM Korea, those cars have failed here. Now it is rebadged Opels, that is right they did not last here for leather.GM is between a rock and a hard place as fas sourcing cars for the local market.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @RobertRyan
        I could never see a FWD Korean, German or UK GM ever wearing a Chev badge.

        Australians remember and see Chev’s as a proper car with the rear wheels driving the vehicle and a V8.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        Much of GMs small cars such as the Cruze and Spark are designed in Korea by what is left of what was Daewoo. While GM will probably sell the Insignia as a Holden they will also need lower cost cars which will most likely come from Korea.

  • avatar
    Victor

    In Brazil those who knew better would swap the bowtie with Opel badges on anything from the Corsa to the Omega. GMC badges would go on trucks.

    Those were the days. We had a inline-6 Omega, rwd, manual transmission. Now all we get are either korean or locally-developed GSV derivatives like the awful Spin. So dad switched to Renault, I went the PSA way and we never looked back. Because I would drive a proper Opel with a bowtie telling me a white lie at the front, but I will never drive a crappy Daewoo.

    Regardless of how much money there is on the hood, like you guys say. And in Brazil that is a lot these days, it is the one single way GM has been selling cars here for the past decade.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      The Commodore was sold in Brazil from memory a very basic version

      • 0 avatar
        Victor

        Back in 1999, when GM ceased the Omega A production here, instead of making the Omega B they started bringing from Australia what was actually the VT Holden Calais, with the 3.8 V6. It was no V8, but there was nothing basic about it. All of the Commodore generations afterwards made it here until 2012, always rebadged as Chevrolet Omega CD.

        Ours was a 1997 Omega A.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Holden name will stay and GM will have no choice but to take the loss.

    The comment regarding the bowtie on some Commodores is a little over the top. There are some around, but only on a Mexican made V8 powered Commodore. They are few and far between.

    Chev got it’s name in the late 60s when 307 and 350 powered Holdens were available.

    I don’t see Chev, Opel, Vauxhall as an asset for GM here in Australia.

    Well, maybe Holdens would still be around if Holden transformed their large rear wheel drive cars into a global prestige vehicle with HSV.

    They would have been a better bet than Caddy.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Well, honestly, it’s not fair to expect GM to keep churning out these RWD, Australian built sedans and coupes. After all, GM is in the business of making money, not losing it. So the Commodore as we know it has indeed got to go; get one while you can. It looks like GM Australia will help develop GM’s global wares, and sell them too.

    That said, replacing Holden with Chevrolet would probably make things worse.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Kyree S. Williams
      Replacing Holden with anything else would be disastrous. They keeping the proving grounds open after initially wanting to shut them so as to re tune suspension settings for local tastes. Unlike Ford they are not retaining the the testing and design staff. What they want to do has changed, they were going to sell the proving grounds then another manufacturer wanted to buy them and GM quickly changed its mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Manic

        Replacing Holden with Chevy batched Korean cars would be exactly like mistake GM made in Europe.

        P.S. This here says there will be 140 design and concept building staff.
        http://www.caradvice.com.au/280348/holden-design-studio-to-survive-beyond-2017/

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Manic,
          Initially they are going to wind down everything but there has been a change of mind, no doubt influenced by Ford who are keeping all their design and testing staff.
          Never no might change again

  • avatar
    turboprius

    I don’t think the Commodore platform is going well for us. According to Good Car Bad Car, only 1,445 Chevy SS cars have sold this year. Maybe it’s the price that’s drawing people away.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      It has 0 advertising, and dealers here can’t get more than two a year. For a car no one knows about and is as unavailable as it is, that’s not terrible.
      At least its not like the ELR.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    200 mill seems like a lot of cash to blow to get rid of an established brand in favor of less-than-stellar Chevy. I’m not seeing the logic. I’ve never been to Oz, but I can’t believe there are people saying “I’d never consider a Holden, but a Chevy? Sign me up!”

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Ever notice how “global platform” always seems to mean “European?”

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Is GM that out of touch with the outside world? Can any name/image be more tainted and damaged than Chevrolet?

  • avatar
    RollaRider10

    Surely Opel’s foray into the Australian market in 2012/2013 proves that Aussies don’t really care for “new” European brands.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Which emphasis’s the huge problem GM has in trying to keep some profile in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      pacificpom2

      No it’s because OPEL pitched it’s models at a premium price. Just because it’s a “Euro” doesn’t mean we fall over and fawn over it.
      We admire the tech and engineering but we also appreciate value for money. What we got in the OPELS’s we could buy in a Mazda 6/Aurion for lesser money, or more to the point why spend that much on a smaller car. Perceived “euro” cachet and engineering could only take the OPEL’s so far.
      Now that Holden, or GM or shudder Chevrolet will import them the premium shouldn’t be too great or even match or undercut the Japanese

      On the demise of the Holden nameplate, GM is acting like the British motor industry, deleting and erasing the names (and history) that have been supposed. How many times has this forum lamented the demise of Oldsmobile, etc.. Holden should stay or become GM not Chevrolet as there are no Chevrolet models coming. We have or will have, GM Korea and GM Opels. I also note that GM didn’t banish Vauxhall to the scrap heap when they also import/build Opels. Chevrolet = Daewoo in the UK/Europe. The precedent has been set. Holden should stay to keep it’s history alive.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Holden and Chevy both carry baggage and have valuable recognition. Strong companies would hire someone without a stake in either brand to do some research and decide based on what’s going to help sales. Letting the BSD’s throw money at whatever knee jerk decision they “gut feel” is a great way to throw money (away). Badge every Daewoo as a Cadillac in Oz for all I care. Make up something new. Keep Holden and spend the $ on repairing the brand after the shutdowns instead of changing dealerships. WHO CARES? DO WHAT EVIDENCE SHOWS WILL MAKE MONEY! Don’t let the BSD’s “design” a study that includes a few stupid pictures of swapped badges. I could use that method to “prove” that Acura should invert the logo and sell Civics.


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