There’s a term we haven’t heard in a while.
At a dealer conference last Friday (which has been on the books since late last-year and is no-way in response to the rumours), he addressed the crowd in no uncertain terms:
“I’m looking directly at you. Believe me, it’s not going to happen. There is no plan [that will alter Holden’s distribution]. I did not join the company to close Holden.” – Dave Buttner, Chief Executive Officer, Holden
The denial of GM pulling out of Australia was reported by CarAdvice, though the entire industry was set on alert after reports by the Australian Financial Review said that Inchcape, the independent distributor that handles Peugeot & Citroen among other things, was “running the numbers” and doing their due diligence before taking on the home-grown marque.
The Friday meeting also saw high-level dealers looking at a new marketing campaign that better emphasises Holden’s range of SUV’s and the Colorado ute. This (to us) gives us the impression that Holden may be preparing to say goodbye to its Commodore & Astra, both cars assembled by Opel, which is now a part of Groupe PSA. There were also rumours running round that Inchcape could be looking to return Opel to the local arena, which would spell the end of the Holden-badged version of the Astra and Insignia.
Holden will be rebooting itself on the back foot it seems, with sales from its rather wide product lineup beaten by Koreans Hyundai & Kia last month, with Ford having passed them in 2018 while they suffered their worst sales since 1961. But with significant updates planned for its lineup throughout the next year and a half, it’s possible that Holden can pick up what’s left and run with it. We’re rooting for them.