Commodore is Dead

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Thread: Commodore is Dead

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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    Commodore is Dead

    Long Live The Commodore

    Michael McWilliams
    Australia Correspondent
    GMInsidenews.com

    11 December 2019


    Six years almost to the day, since announcing the closure of local manufacturing, Holden has announced the end to the Holden Commodore name plate. All our hopes and dreams of cheaper version CT5 or similar to takes it place, where dashed with the confirmation by Holden, that the SUV KULT has officially taken the reins.

    "Holden is today announcing a modified portfolio dedicated exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles."

    A stalwart of the Australian and New Zealand markets, the Commodore punched on with local rival Ford Falcon
    for decades, each taking turns at car of the year until Ford ended the run of its longest running nameplate ever, in 2016.

    Holden endured an absolute battering since 2008, when the GFC put an end to a lucrative Pontiac export plan, including the Ute as the G8 Sport Truck. GM battened down the hatches after receiving a multi billion dollar bail out from the US Federal Government, with a series of measures that saw a shrinking global empire. This included Holdens management of other export markets including the Middle East, which has now shrunk significantly without Commodore or Caprice, and the stalled and then disabled management of the South Korean Daewoo capability.

    Since the GFC, General Motors has dropped out of Europe, closed plants in South Korea, and sold Opel (the German manufacturer building the ZB Commoodore) as part of a strategy to reduce global risk and focus on the perceived shift to autonomous ridesharing. In short, General Motors had bigger fish to fry, and Holden was pretty low on the list. At Commodores best, it sold 94 thousand units in 1998. Chevrolet sold over 100 thousand Silverados this year in 2 months...

    The political environment was just as difficult, with the spotlight being shined on value earned from government subsidies and a strong push for the continued reduction of import tariffs, and a promotion of free trade agreements.

    The value for Holden was diminishing too, with the profitability of the local products waning in the face of improving competition from Asian manufacturers.

    The last hoorah ZB Commodore was built in the image that market pundits and punters said it should. It is more refined, more efficient, with modestly shrunken dimensions, available with a european diesel and 8 and 9 speed transmissions.

    It failed to fire. We can (and have) argued until the cows come home about why the ZB Commodore wasn't successful, but I guess the simplest explaination is that what the Commodore had, can't be engineered. It's built over time. They would have had to deliver an almighty, firebreathing swiss army knife to have even come close to the Commodore.

    General Motors just don't have that product anywhere in the world. That's why they called on Holden to supply them with hero cars in America, as the Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet SS.


    ...oh, they also cancelled the Astra. Per ardua ad Astra...
    Quote Originally Posted by PR blurb
    Holden is today announcing a modified portfolio dedicated exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles.

    Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said the focus of the portfolio was consistent with customer preferences, with the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax rounding out a comprehensive SUV portfolio; and the Colorado tackling rivals in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment.

    “Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments.

    “So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing,” he said.

    The company has elected to retire the ZB Commodore and the BK Astra in 2020.

    At its peak, the large car segment in Australia accounted for 217,882 sales in 1998. This year it is projected to come in at about 8,700 units.

    “The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play,” Mr Aquilina said.

    The new Holden boss also paid tribute to the Commodore nameplate and its place in the Australian automotive industry over time.

    “The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” he said.

    “The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades. But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and Utes.”

    Sales and deliveries of Commodore and Astra will continue through 2020, albeit with diminishing model availability as part of an orderly runout.

    Existing Commodore and Astra customers can be assured that Holden will continue to back warranty and roadside assistance commitments, with spare parts supply guaranteed well into the future.

    In addition, all MY19 ZB Commodores and MY19 BK Astras ordered or delivered from today onwards will be subject to Holden’s market leading seven-year free scheduled servicing offer.

    All arrangements for accessing warranty, servicing and spare parts for Holden’s entire model line-up via the Holden’s national dealer network remain the same.

    Holden will be launching the MY20 Equinox in the first quarter of 2020 followed by a significant MY21 upgrade to the highly regarded Colorado to launch in Spring. Holden will also lodge production orders to GM’s Bowling Green factory for the highly anticipated mid-engine right-hand-drive Corvette next year.
    Last edited by mikmak; 12-10-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    All of this happened because GM/Holden had no transition plan in place for its car buyers, the closure announcement happened so fast that Holden had no time to arrange proper contingency plans...remember this is a company now bragging about RHD Corvette and yet, they can't do a Commodore based on the Cadillac CTS or even a RHD Camaro??

    I can't understand why Holden just didn't do a VF III for as long as it could until it had replacements in place. It's clear that losing local manufacturing also killed the rest of Holden's sales. GM did all of this to Holden.
    Last edited by jpd80; 12-10-2019 at 05:51 PM.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    So long Commodore, we(Americans) hardly knew thee... fair weather and following seas to the big junkyard in the sky!

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Should of had a V8 Colorado ready and waiting when local production ended

    Up to 40% of Commodores were V8 (including Ute and Caprice) and the market was transitioning to dual cab 4wds. Its a no brainer and would have retained loads of Holden V8 owners while sucking in buyers from the entire dual cab segment.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Sad Day, way to go GM, you transition to a Tech Company will be your downfall, steadily losing market share!
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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by jpd80 View Post
    All of this happened because GM/Holden had no transition plan in place for its car buyers, the closure announcement happened so fast that Holden had no time to arrange proper contingency plans...remember this is a company now bragging about RHD Corvette and yet, they can't do a Commodore based on the Cadillac CTS or even a RHD Camaro??

    I can't understand why Holden just didn't do a VF III for as long as it could until it had replacements in place. It's clear that losing local manufacturing also killed the rest of Holden's sales. GM did all of this to Holden.
    they weren't allowed too!

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    I must admit I had a good chuckle when the press release included the phrase that "unfavourable exchange rates" were part of the reason for the cancellation of the ZB. I guess it doesn't apply to all their other products which although they come from Europe are also bought with unfavourable exchange rates.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by chinamonty View Post
    I must admit I had a good chuckle when the press release included the phrase that "unfavourable exchange rates" were part of the reason for the cancellation of the ZB. I guess it doesn't apply to all their other products which although they come from Europe are also bought with unfavourable exchange rates.
    the difference probably is there is no profit in hatches and sedans. They make good money on Colorado and could probably charge an extra 10k (at least) for an Acadia over a Commodore with similar build costs. Interestingly Acadia last month outsold Commodore.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    I don't think it matter what Holden sells now, they have made themselves
    far less Australian and their staunchest supporters have walked and taken
    their extended family with them. All that's left is the discount hunters and
    that's not enough to keep the ship afloat.

    Buttner left because he didn't want to be the CEO that killed Commodore.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Still adore our Holden Pontiac Commodore, 11 years in. There ain't no replacement in the US either.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by jpd80 View Post
    All that's left is the discount hunters and
    that's not enough to keep the ship afloat.
    I dont know, the big sellers to private buyers the Colorado and Acadia are not exactly cheap.

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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by tripowergto Jan2003 View Post
    Still adore our Holden Pontiac Commodore, 11 years in. There ain't no replacement in the US either.

    Great wheels!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpd80 View Post
    I don't think it matter what Holden sells now, they have made themselves
    far less Australian and their staunchest supporters have walked and taken
    their extended family with them. All that's left is the discount hunters and
    that's not enough to keep the ship afloat.

    Buttner left because he didn't want to be the CEO that killed Commodore.
    No



    (and this is incredibly insensitive of me considering but) he left because of personal reasons i'm told
    Last edited by mikmak; 12-11-2019 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Please keep rumors about personal matters private. EG Via private message please.
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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by tripowergto Jan2003 View Post
    Still adore our Holden Pontiac Commodore, 11 years in. There ain't no replacement in the US either.

    I swear I will never get rid of mine either. My brother and I bought matching white ones. Other than wishing the screen in the dash had a plug and play mod to add some sort of aftermarket navigation and iPhone/Android capabilities without changing the interface, I have ZERO complaints with the G8. Solid car indeed.
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    Re: Commodore is Dead

    I thought it would not be long before the garbage Insignia would kill off the Commodore (MMmm never saw this one coming), the Insignia will be gone in Europe soon as well it will start to get hammered with huge European C02 emission fines from January next year, l expect all gasoline Opels will end up powered by gutless 999cc 3-cylinder piss pots that the way EU legislation is pushing them.
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