Many virtual pages have been written on this very forum (and many others) about Holden's announcement to shutter their manufacturing plants and engineering divisions.
While it's plain to see the reasons behind GM's decision, many fans are viewing this as the death of Holden and in general are being those people who you've invited to a party but instantly regretted it because all they do is complain. And not too surprisingly those outside our borders are somewhat confused at the outcry. Sympathetic yes but not terribly empathetic.
Here's my attempt at explaining it to you.
What we have to look forward to...
This is it. This is the real kicker. Holden's imported range is so lacking in talent that you might as well say that the Commodore has been shouldering 90% of the Holden brand.
This pint sized suppository was brought in to capture the market of people who came to Australia from Asia and haven't yet grasped that we actually have space to park a car. Except they'd be shocked at the last century tech and general fit and finish of it. Highlights included bright paint, foglights and alloy wheels while buyers who can't change their own gears where rewarded with an auto around 12 months ago. Yay.
Holden released the new Barina with all the confidence of a company that could say the new car was 1000% better than the old one. The unfortunate side was that that didn't mean it was better than what was already on sale by Holden's competitors. Holden was plainly aware of this so they packed it full of kit, kept the price low and sent it out into the real world, a world which spanked the living crap out of it. The single spec Barina was solid but unrefined, cheap not only described the price but the interior as well and the 1.6L engine which can be traced back to the stone age provided the performance of a horse with its legs cut off. Within the first 2 months on sale the Barina was a competitor in Wheels mega test of city cars and came dead last. Holden have since release the CDX in the hopes that MyLink will distract you long enough to ignore its other flaws and the RS which brings some added performance but not anything near hot hatch levels. Yay.
The Cruze was meant to be Holden's saviour. With the sales of the Commodore tanking, Holden took the approach of building the Cruze on site as well. Which in the beginning was looked at as sound reasoning (questions were asked about profitability though - foreshadow alert) because the Cruze sedan was selling really well as its size and looks tickled the market's fancy. But then the competition upgraded their cars. Mazda's 3 was the giant killer, followed by every soulless person's favourite the Corolla. Hyundai's i30 and Elantra combo as so successful that combined they would sit at the top of the sales tree. The Cruze's 1.8L engine did the most damage as it was slow and gutless. The interior so desperately needs an update that I completely discounted it from my list at checkpoint 1. Holden was able to design the Cruze hatch which should have sparked a sales jump (Australia is a hatch market) but that never happened and then the wagon was imported from Korea just before Holden updated it's Cruze range. So the wagon was stuck with all the old tech. To make matters worse, Hyundai pulled the most epic stunt and changed its mind on importing their i30 wagon (the old one was a fleet queen) and undercut the Cruze by thousands of dollars. Guess which one I see more of on the roads. The Cruze is to be updated in 2015 and it's literally the only bright point on Holden's horizon. Shame that it'll be 2 years too late. Yay.
Duh. Holden tried to out-Camry the Camry. Failed. Yay.
This is the right product at the right time... but... Holden got screwed with the soon to be release Opel Mokka taking the 1.4T engine exclusively only for Opel to give up the goat. Then Holden completely read the market wrong and priced the base Trax $2000 higher than the newer competition. Plus the upspec model is lacking equipment that the competitors are heavily pushing at similar prices. Chalk that one up to GM being tightwads again. So while the perfect car, it has had its growth stunted by short sightedness. Yay.
This thing is old. Like really old. And while it is still relatively good value the competition have done the old release new product trick and the Captiva looks like the ******* child it is in GMs "global" line up. Hopefully the new one isn't too far away because like the Trax, this market is white hot. Yay.
This brand new, all new, totally new truck needed to be updated 12 months after being released to remain relevant. So that's just great.
So as you can see, there is little excitement on Holden's radar. No Camaro. No Corvette. No Impala. Nothing RWD. Nothing sporty - the RS doesn't count. No Commodore which was the halo.
Commodore was the car that some on this forum would point to and say "This is why Holden is great". Many of them forgave the faults of the rest of the range because the Commodore artificially elevated them higher. Without the Commodore the harsh truths are suddenly there for everyone to see. Hyundai and Kia, the two South Korean brands we all took great pleasure in mocking are suddenly the better quality brands. Of course they've been improving for years and their range has been better than Holden for the last 2. But of course Commodore blinded everyone... There are many tough years ahead for the car brand and its fans.