Holden dealers to remain despite factory closure

Posted on 22 Dec 2014 by Tim Brown

South Australian Holden dealers have come together to set the record straight about their future when manufacturing ends at Holden's Elizabeth site in 2017.

The group, comprising 25 regional and metropolitan dealerships, have launched a major advertising campaign to ensure the public that the Holden dealers network will remain in place despite the closure of the plant.

City Holden dealer principal and Adelaide Holden Dealer Council chairman Julian Newton said that while Holdens will no longer be manufactured in Australia, Holden dealers will continue to sell Holden products from General Motors’ global network.

“Genuine Holden spare parts will continue to be available, factory warranties will continue to be honoured and Holden servicing will continue into the future,” said Mr Newton.

“People only have to look at what happened when other major car manufacturers ceased production in Australia. In every case dealer networks remained in Australia selling imported vehicles. Holden will be no different.”

General Motors announced last December it would end manufacturing at Elizabeth in 2017 after more than 60 years.

An historical concept design of the Holden - image courtesy of Holden.
An historical concept design of the Holden – image courtesy of Holden.
General Motors blamed low export volumes, high running costs and a high Australian dollar for the decision.

Mr Newton said around 60-70% of cars currently sourced by Holden dealers were imported from overseas markets. “Our product will continue to come out of places like Europe, the US and Korea,” he said. “There’s nothing coming out of China — there’s been a bit of scaremongering that the next Commodore will be coming out China but that’s not true. We don’t want to lose the current Commodore but vehicles in the future will be better — features will include more advanced technology and more advanced fuel economy.

“We believe we’ll have the best portfolio ever post local manufacturing.”Mr Newton said the Holden dealership network employed more than 1000 South Australians and contributed $170m towards the state’s economy during the past 12 months.

At the Detroit Motor show in January, Cadillac marketing boss, Uwe Ellinghaus, told News Corp Australia: “We want to turn Cadillac into a global brand” and confirmed Australia was “part of our globe”.

Mr Ellinghaus confirmed Cadillac was planning right-hand-drive cars but said it would be at least three to four years, which should time coincide roughly with the planned shut down of Holden’s Australian manufacturing.