Not too long ago, we heard news that Holden would cease producing cars in Australia by 2017. While that seemed like the death knell to some, it didn’t mean the brand was going away. If anything, Holden is planning a comeback of sorts. After having its market share chipped away by the likes of Toyota, Holden chairman and managing director Gerry Dorizas is quoted as saying the company going to be Australia’s #1 brand by 2020.
“The strategy or the point where we want to go is to go back to number one. In a boxing match there’s 12 rounds … I think we’ve gone through the eighth round. There’s still some rounds to go, but we’ll be back.”
Fourteen years ago, Holden had a 25 percent market share, but today the brand is struggling to reach 10 percent. A lot of this has to do with shifting demand to smaller vehicles and SUVs, according to Drive.com.au. In comparison, Toyota’s is currently just under 19 percent, but it has been as high as 22.
“The market shares are going to start levelling out,” Dorizas said. “I don’t see that we’re going to be 20 percent … I believe that it will be 15 percent one brand, 14 percent the other, so everything will come closer together.”
Dorizas realizes that the key to increasing sales is for Holden to adjust its product line, especially for younger consumers, and a “more focused dealer network.” He said, “Of course, we need the product strategy which is being deployed. We need the focus, together with the network, we need our focus as well. We have to refocus, it’s going to take time, it’s going to take a lot of work. I believe the notion of ‘no worries mate’ is not the identification of how we work. We will work hard, and we need to get the credibility back.”
He also said that the demise of Holden’s manufacturing in Australia would not hold it back. “We have always been an Australian brand, we will always be historically an Australian brand. The experience of the customer makes a brand, the correct product within the segments make the brand and also the best partners [dealers] … make the brand. In Australia Holden is Holden, so there is history behind it … we will come back.”