Things haven’t shaped up for General Motors’ Holden subsidiary since the end of local production last year. Coming off of its worst sales performance in company history, the brand has ordered production to cease for Commodore and Equinox models.
Wheels reported Wednesday that new managing director and chairman, David Buttner, ordered the production stop as unsold inventory continues to grow. Holden reportedly has “thousands” of cars sitting in holding yards, but poor sales figures mean the cars are simply gathering dust. It’s understood Holden management completely misread the situation the brand would be in after ending local production.
“We’re trying to get back to a reasonable stock carry level by the end of the year, so we can get into the new year in a healthy position,” Buttner said.
Buttner’s decision to halt production of the Commodore and Equinox gained an OK from executives in Detroit, Michigan. The GM mothership brought on Buttner to turn the troubled brand around after years of declining market share and, let’s face it, a PR crisis following the end of local production. Many feel Holden remains in name only after locally built cars were taken off the table.
What’s most troubling is the Holden Equinox’s performance. The crossover launched last December as the market turned to more utility vehicles, but Holden has sold just 3,621 units in the first nine months of 2018. Holden’s rivals sell that many crossovers in a six-week period.
Buttner isn’t sugar-coating Holden’s situation any longer. He said the decision to turn off the taps on production means accepting Holden faces an “uphill battle” in the sales race.
Amid the downturn, Holden will soon introduce the Acadia full-size crossover SUV. It will mark the second utility vehicle launched at Holden since the end of local manufacturing, and the first time Holden will source a vehicle from GMC.