International motorsport legends say they are fighting back the tears after the sudden collapse of the iconic car brand Holden.
The Australian racing brand Mark Skaife was one of the people crippled with emotion after one of Australia’s most popular brands announced they would close on Monday.
The racing legend told it Sky News despite ‘disturbing signs’ he did not expect the company to collapse in his life.
“Two of us fought to stop the tears, it was one of which I know we might be big sooks, it’s a very big change in a landscape I never envisaged, I just never thought in my live a day when we would see Holden leave this country, “he said.
Mark Skaife (photo left, with wife Toni Skaife) won the Bathurst 1000 six times as Holden Ambassador before retiring in 2008
Skaife has won the Bathurst 1000 six times as a Holden Ambassador before retiring in 2008.
He described the company as something iconic Australian, it seemed like losing part of the culture when the news became known on Monday.
“It is part of the social fabric of Australia, you have been blue or you have been red – the reality around football, meat pies, kangaroos and holden cars – it has been part of our psyche,” said Mr. Skaife.
One of Holden’s most famous drivers, Bathurst V8 champion Greg Murphy, also shared similar feelings, saying that he is still recovering from the abrupt announcement.
“I think it will take a long time. It is a bit of a shock, I think only because of the history that so many people have had and the memories and the idea that the brand would be here forever, “he said.
But Murphy said he understood the reasoning behind the move and said it ultimately came down to finances.
‘It makes no financial sense anymore and they had to do something about it. Difficult decisions had to be made, “he said.
One of Holden’s most famous drivers Bathurst V8 champion Greg Murphy (photo) said he said he will process the news for “some time”
After closing the company’s local production activities in 2017, GM announced it would stop the brand in both Australia and New Zealand.
GM will not only take the name Holden ax, but will also stop selling cars in Australia.
Holden suffered from crumbling domestic sales, while GM also announced plans to close a car factory in Thailand and remove the Chevrolet brand from the market there.
Together, the two shutdowns will cost the American multinational more than $ 1 billion.
GM has promised to offer ‘fair’ redundancy packages for its 600 employees who have been left in the dark, most of which have disappeared by the end of June.
Ms. Aquilina described the abandonment as “painful,” but said the company had driven away “every conceivable option” to keep the brand afloat.
“Every strategy, every plan, we looked under every stone,” he said Monday.
“We have tried to find a way to defy gravity.
“But the hard truth was that there was simply no way to come up with a plan that would support a competitive and growing and thriving Holden and also provide a sufficient return for our investors.
“I am personally convinced that GM has tried everything to keep Holden running.”
The closure was announced on Monday – two years after stopping production in Australia and the brand started selling only imported vehicles (stock)
Holden’s parent company told it ABC drivers still have access to warranty, spare parts, maintenance and recall actions “for at least the next 10 years”.
GM Holden’s interim director Kristian Aquilina told the public broadcaster that these services “will work in exactly the same way as today” and that Holden’s owners are not affected in any way.
Daniel Gardner from WhichCar magazine said that GM has a legal obligation for post-sale promises.
“If the words of the management team can be trusted – and they have to, because Holden is legally obliged to support existing owners for a number of years – Holden says 10 years [ongoing support],’ he said.
‘If you own a Holden and have just bought one, you can maintain it, buy parts and there will be at least 10 years of after-sales service. Not much will change. ”
About 200 people continue to work to switch to this new system exclusively for after-sales.
With the closure of Holden, 600 jobs will be cut in areas such as management, marketing and engineering.
The production of the cars ends in June, but enthusiastic fans can buy cars that are still in showrooms or that have recently left the factory.
It is expected that by 2021 no Holden cars will be for sale.
TIME LINE OF HOLDEN IN AUSTRALIA
1856 – Holden starts as a saddlery in South Australia.
1917 – Holden produces bodywork.
1931 – General Motors buys Holden Motor Body Builders.
1948 – The FX, the first Australian-designed car, is released.
1951 – Holden’s first ute goes on sale.
1958 – South Australian factory opens in Elizabeth, although it does not assemble its first full car until 1965.
1968 – Kingswood and Monaro enter the market.
1969 – Holden makes its first V8 engine.
1971 – Holden launches the HQ model. Considered by some to be the best Holden ever.
1978 – Commodore replaces Kingswood.
1990 – The last Australian boss of Holden, John Bagshaw, stops.
2003 – Holden opens $ 400 million V6 engine plant in Port Melbourne, export to Korea, China and Mexico begins. Toyota takes Holden’s position as the best-selling car brand.
2009 – Parent company, General Motors, fils for bankruptcy in the US, but survives.
2013 – Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government will reduce support for car manufacturers, despite the request for help.
2013 – Holden decides to end production in Australia by 2017. The Holden Commodore must become a fully imported car.
2017 – The company rolls its last car off the assembly line on October 20 and ends more than 50 years of car production on the Elizabeth site.
2019 – GM announces that it will discontinue its Commodore and Astra models in 2020.
2020 – General Motors announces the retirement of the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand.
Holden’s parent company, GM, said the ABC production of the cars will end in June – however, enthusiastic fans can still buy cars in showrooms or have recently left the factory (stock)
GM said that drivers still have at least 10 years’ access to ‘warranty, spare parts, maintenance and recall actions’ (stock)
REACTIONS FROM THE PRIME MINISTER AND FORD ON CLOSING HOLDEN
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT HAPPY
“I’m angry … all these years, they took money from Australian taxpayers just to make the Holden brand on their watch wither – that’s disappointing.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who notes that governments have contributed more than $ 2 billion to GM.
“Holden runs away from Australia.” Trade Minister Karen Andrews.
BUT THE UNION LEAVES THE GOVERNMENT
“This conservative government … has consistently refused to support Australian production and we see the result, with over 600 jobs lost at Holden.” Donherra Walmsley, representative of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union.
HOLDEN DEALERS ARE IN THE MATE
“They knew they were doing it hard, but their understanding was, from the interim (Holden) CEO, that they would work on a bigger plan hoping to turn it around. But that is clearly not the case. It has become a huge blow to our dealers. “Brian Savage, chief of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association.
EVEN FORD ARE DONE THEIR RIVAL
“We are all saddened here at Ford Australia to hear the news that Holden will cease its activities. Holden is an iconic brand that occupies a special place in the heart of many Australians and has done so much to shape the Australian automotive industry and the country. ‘Ford on twitter.
Ford wrote genuine tweets after they heard their competitor was closing
BUT GM’S BOSS IS SO ONLY
“We are deeply saddened … On behalf of Holden and General Motors, it was an absolute privilege for Holden to be with so many of you for those important life experiences – family vacations, getting traditions to work, getting your L-plates and your P plates. Bringing a newborn home. First jobs, last jobs. ‘interim chairman and general manager Kristian Aquilina.