Holden dies

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General Motors is set to discontinue its historic Australian brand Holden as it pulls the plug on right-hand-drive production.

This will effectively see the company pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments.

Holden ended its local manufacturing operations in South Australia in 2017 after 69 years, but the brand was still selling importing rebadged cars from abroad. 

“The Holden brand will be retired from sales in Australia and New Zealand and local design and engineering operations will wind down by 2021,” General Motors said in a statement. 

GM President Mark Reuss, who once ran the Australian operations, said the company explored options to continue Holden, “but none could overcome the challenges of the investments needed for the highly fragmented right-hand-drive market, the economics to support growing the brand, and delivering an appropriate return on investment,” he said in the statement.

The company had “taken the difficult decision” based on “global priorities,” Julian Blissett, GM’s International Operations senior vice president, said in the statement.

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