Yours truly is a big fan of Australian made cars, owning a Pontiac G8 a lá Holden Commodore has made me appreciate the buildsmanship of these fine vehicles. It therefore is saddening to hear the news from Australia’s Drive that the Ford v Holden culture is dying off.
The Aussie publication recently attended the annual Summernats festival in the country, once a sea of Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons. Upon their arrival, they were struck by the change in scenery over the past few years. Mazdas, Toyotas and other imports ranked among the locally produced Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore. The publication decided to take a poll among showgoers on locally produced Holdens and Fords.
As everyone is well aware, the two companies will cease manufacturing in the near future due to high manufacturing costs in the country. With that said, Drive polled those in attendance to see if they would consider purchasing the latest iterations of the locally produced Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.
70 percent said they currently owned a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore, but a lowly 43 percent said they would consider purchasing a new model before the companies close up manufacturing for good within the next three years.
Why such low numbers? Those polled ranked concerns of build quality, fuel mileage and price ranked among the highest concerns.
“You can go out and buy a Hyundai i30 for little more than 20 grand, and the quality of that type of imported car has come a long way,” said a respondent.
Some were also turned off by the their experiences with the Holden Commodore saying, “I love the Commodore but I’ve had such a good run with Toyotas over the years that I wouldn’t change.”
The consensus stayed true through the whole poll that, simply, the big full-size sedans have lost their appeal with the younger generation. 85 percent mentioned locally produced large cars were just too expensive for the average buyer. This falls in line with dismal sales figures for Ford and Holden. Ford suffered its 10th straight year in decline in the Australian market, while Holden posted its worst annual results in a quarter of a century for 2014.
The rivalry is a storied one and can be compared to the likes of some well known competitions between Chevrolet and Ford, or Mitsubishi and Subaru. A shame because the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore remain excellent offerings for the full-size segment with, subjectively, gorgeous looks.
For the full list of polling statistics from Drive, they may be found here.