The latest victim of GM’s crumbling empire is the cancelation of Holden as its dedicated Antipodean brand, as announced last month. Holden’s demise had been inevitable ever since GM announced all local Australian vehicle production would cease in the summer of 2017. Since local production stopped, all Holden vehicles were imported models from GM’s many and various overseas plants, with SUVs and pick-ups coming in via Chevrolet from the USA, small cars from the former GM Daewoo plant in South Korea, plus ‘regular’ volume saloons and hatchbacks from Opel in Europe, all re-branded as Holdens.
With GM’s sale of its European Opel-Vauxhall divisions to the expanding French PSA Groupe, it was only a matter of time before GM would stop selling now rival products such as the Astra and Insignia to its own GM divisions, including Holden, as well as Buick and Chevrolet in Brazil.
The current Opel Insignia was rebranded as the Holden Commodore in Australia and New Zealand, a historic model name held in high esteem down under, with the imported Insignia unable to convincingly fill the large boots of its former Australian-built model.
In the USA, Buick’s model range has now been severely depleted as well with the withdrawal of the Astra, Cascade and Insignia (Regal) models, all sold under the Buick banner. This leaves just the US-built Envision and Enclave SUV models in the Buick range today; quite a contrast to the halcyon days when the full Buick model line-up ran to at least 15 different models. The Brazilian Chevrolet range has also recently seen all imported ex-Opel and GM Daewoo models withdrawn from its family of cars.