Holden Sticking With Australia Despite High Costs

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
holden sticking with australia despite high costs

With the launch of the all-new VF Commodore just around the corner, Holden’s Mike Deveraux doesn’t Ford’s bad news to steal the limelight away from his very important product introduction.

Amid a backdrop of constant squabbling between the governing party and the opposition, Deveraux urged both sides to find common ground over the fate of Australia’s auto industry

“…both sides of the equation understand how critical the auto industry is to the economy and how plugged-in in terms of its viability. We have a pretty solid plan. We will need to work closely with the opposition and government to make sure that Australia’s policy setting are competitive globally.”

As of April, the Commodore was ranked #10 in Australia’s sales chart and in danger of slipping. With the tide turning against large rear-drive sedans, Deveraux and Holden have to figure out how they’ll build cars for the Australian market without turning Holden into just another outpost for rebadged GM global products. Rumors of the Commodore becoming front-drive would be a blow for enthusiasts, and bring an end to Australia’s muscle car era, but may end up aligning better with market tastes. Ironically, Chrysler could end up being the lone auto maker to offer a rear-drive sedan in Australia should that scenario take place.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

More by Derek Kreindler

Join the conversation
6 of 17 comments
  • Budda-Boom Budda-Boom on May 24, 2013

    Check Chevrolet Worldwide, at the bottom of the Chevrolet homepage. The Commodore platform is being used in a number of other countries, although not as many as three years ago.

  • Th009 Th009 on May 24, 2013

    With the disappearance of the Falcon, there might yet be enough sales to build another V8 RWD Commodore ...

    • APaGttH APaGttH on May 24, 2013

      Agreed - with one less player it may help the Commodore. As others have noted, the VE/VF platforms are sold today in China, the Middle East, Europe (including the UK), the United States, and I believe Brazil. They are sold under the nameplates of Chevrolet, Vauxhall, and Buick, depending on the country. The bigger problem is very strong Aussie dollar is killing the export business. The platform itself is excellent - the Falcons fate was sealed as it was only in Australia, and for whatever reason really fell out of favor with the Aussie car buying public (while the Commodore is in decline, Falcon sales went off a cliff)

  • Ron B. Ron B. on May 24, 2013

    in Australia,it's not the car buyers not wanting the old commode or dunny door,(as GMS product is known locally) it's labor/green political policy in the various states which says any car with a V8 must be a gas guzzler so the anual registration costs are ramped up. Here,in Queensland,it costs around $1200 dollars per year to register any v8,whether it's a 7 liter Monaro or a 3.8 liter elderly Mercedes. on top of that is the rampant raping of the motorists wallet by the two grocery chains ,Coles and Woolworths who control all main fuel sales. premium grade fuel averages $1.60 per liter and with no competition the coles/woolies duopoly can charge what they like. Then there is the woeful quality and equally woeful resale value of both Ford and Holden. Any owner of a new Falcon will tell stories of how the auto trans failed just after the warrenty expired because the trans cooler leaked into the radiator,filling the trans with coolant. Or how the first of the Chev powered Holdens couldn't be driven in town in drive because the trans would overheat and die. And on it goes. new car buyers can buy a mitsubishi for $12,000 ,yet 2nd hand dealers still delude themselves by offering 10 year old Falcons for $20,000 .Finance deals have interest rates so low it's as if the new car sellers are giving cars away...which they probably are. As the deal worked out by the manufacturers sees the dealer being paid a bonus for each car 'sold' .So they dont rely on the profit they would normally have to earn themselves on each sale. With foolish Politicians in Australia only too willing to prop up thier union mates (union leadership that is,not rank and file workers) by handing over billions in borrowed money there hasn't been any incentive in australia for decades for the car manufacturers to strive to make a profit. They just dont need too. Little wonder the OZ sharemarket dived yesterday on late Friday trading, why would anyone park money in a shakey economy like ours?

    • TonyJZX TonyJZX on May 25, 2013

      i think a lot of that is true like many parts of the world, the place is getting very anti car, and anti BIG car if it costs the better part of $1,000+ to register and then another $1,000 on insurance + fuel costs + police enforcement then certainly who needs a V8 rwd car? automatic transmissions are in everyone's blood and yes, the 4L60/65 crap will swear me off GM autos for life Ford did the right thing by moving to ZF Holden will have the high end enthusiast market because obviously 6.2 liter supercharged manual 4,000lb rockets will always have a market with the immature (I like them!) but yeah.. as other people have said... this market will be CUVs, full frame compact diesel utilities (as low as $22,000 for a chinese one!) or B/C segment hatches which may be hybrid... everything else is niche

  • Greg Locock Greg Locock on May 28, 2013

    Commodore annual Australian sales since 2002 88,478 86,553 79,170 66,794 56,531 57,307 51,093 44,387 45,956 40,617 30,532 Fancy beating that trend?