Holden's demise 'a sign of the times'

Holden's demise has come at a challenging time for the automotive industry, its industry body says.
Holden's demise has come at a challenging time for the automotive industry, its industry body says.

Holden's demise in the Australian automotive market comes at a challenging time, the industry's peak body says.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said Australia's domestic auto market was one of the most competitive in the world with 67 brands offering 424 models all competing for just over one million sales each year.

"In addition, and set against a background of environmental, political and financial uncertainty, the automotive industry has seen its 22nd consecutive month of negative growth," Mr Weber said in a statement on Monday.

"There is no doubt that it is a very challenging environment and we have seen many long-term Australian businesses reconsider their future in this market."

But Mr Weber said Holden was an iconic Australian brand and would always be regarded fondly in the hearts of Australian motorists.

US parent company General Motors announced its decision to close down the brand in both Australia and New Zealand with its operations to wind up by the end of the year.

It said it could no longer justify the investment necessary to ensure Holden's continued viability in the context of its global operations.

The move will cut about 600 jobs across Australia and NZ with the potential closure of dozens of Holden dealerships.

Holden sales in Australia fell by almost 29 per cent last year in a total domestic market that was down by about eight per cent.

Australian Associated Press