Holden will officially become a full importer of vehicles after October 20, 2017, when the Elizabeth plant goes offline for good. However, as it has said in the past, GM once again committed to Holden for the long run and believes the brand has a bright future ahead.
GM President Dan Ammann told Car Advice Holden will have a major part in GM’s future through electrification, self-driving cars and ride sharing. Ammann expressed gratitude for Holden workers’ service to GM over decades of local production, but said the decision to end Australian manufacturing was the right one.
“Although that chapter of Holden’s history is closing, there is a new chapter opening up and we are right at the forefront of it and there should be no doubt about our commitment to the market, to the brand and to making it as much of a success in the new world.”
He said GM has invested into the right technologies and vehicles to ensure Holden has a strong portfolio in the future and the automaker will deliver proper right-hand-drive vehicles. GM notoriously has left out RHD support from many vehicles. That won’t be the case moving forward, evidenced by the Holden Equinox and Holden Acadia; both the D2 and C1 platforms support right-hand drive.
“I think all the pieces are in place from a portfolio kind of view… we feel really good about that, the right-hand drive question I have talked about for years, we are delivering through with that with the new product, we are at the point now that with the portfolio in particular and investment in future technologies, there are no more excuses.”
On the road ahead, Ammann is realistic and said Holden’s brand-building journey will take years following manufacturing shutdown.
“The decision we made was made in the best interest of the business in the long-term and we are committed to making sure that Holden is incredibly successful for the future,” he said.