‘Won’t take long’: Holden’s big clear out
Motorists could save thousands of dollars off the list price of a new Holden as dealers desperately try to shift their remaining stock following yesterday's shock announcement of the brand's axing.
While Holden's US owner General Motors (GM) has said the company isn't set to fully close in its current form until the end of the year, some dealers have said they expect to clear their remaining models within, "weeks or months", as they switch to other manufacturers' brands.
On Monday, GM said it would exit the Australian and New Zealand markets by the end of 2020 and ditch the historic Holden brand in a move set to cost around $1.5 billion.
The move comes just three years after local manufacturing ended with the shuttering of the Holden plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide's northern suburbs. Holden has sold globally produced cars in Australia with its own badge on them since local manufacturing ended here in 2017.
Late last year the company also announced it would stop selling its most iconic car, the Commodore.
Website Car Advice has spoken to dealers who have said they expect to know by the middle of the week the amount to which they can discount remaining Holdens.
They expect showroom models to be marked down by between $2000 and $10,000 per vehicle.
Motorists who signed on the dotted line for a new Holden before the announcement may be able to renegotiate the drive away price.
The website quoted a Holden bulletin regarding its 204 showrooms that said it wanted to "move quite quickly" on shifting stock.
That could ease the yet to be sold Astras, Colorados and Commodores out of the door.
"It won't take long," one dealer told Car Advice. "I reckon everyone will be sold out of their Holden stock within weeks not months. No-one wants to hang onto them now, we want to get rid of them as quickly as possible or even put them on the used-car lot."
Many dealers own multiple showrooms selling a number of car brands. They will be keen to excise the Holden name quickly and turn to other badges.
As many as 800 jobs are expected to go from Holden, with many of them to cease by the end of June.
The firm will be reduced to a rump of around 200 staff who will remain to administer Holden owners' car servicing needs.
GM has given a 10-year guarantee to Holden owners that it will continue to provide servicing and spare parts for at least a decade through its aftersales network, which would also continue handling recalls if they arise.
GM has blamed "significant change globally and locally", which despite attempts to "sustain and improve the business", have ultimately brought about its demise.
"After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritise the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally," GM international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said.
He said Holden had been a "powerful driver of the industrialisation and advancement of Australia and New Zealand" over its "proud 160-year history".
"This was an agonising decision for us and one we didn't make lightly or easily," Mr Blissett said. "We only did it after looking at every possible other opportunity."