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Tech & Science Australians fell out of love with Holden because it fell out of love with us

22:53  18 february  2020
22:53  18 february  2020 Source:   smartcompany.com.au

Holden to be axed from Australia by the end of 2020

  Holden to be axed from Australia by the end of 2020 Approximately 600 jobs will be lost as General Motors completely disbands Holden's presence in Australia.Holden's global parent company General Motors has decided to retreat from right-hand drive vehicles internationally, informing Holden staff and dealers at midday today.

a car driving on a city street filled with lots of traffic: fired poor performance© Provided by Private Media Operations Pty Ltd. fired poor performance

By Gary Mortimer, Queensland University of Technology

The jingle used to tell us we loved “football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars”.

These days we love Japanese utes and small Toyotas, Hyundais and Mazdas more.

Monday’s announcement from General Motors, Holden’s US parent, that the brand will be “retired” and local design and engineering operations cease is doubtless based on strong financial reasoning, but poor brand management is also part of it.

The numbers didn’t stack up

Sales of Holden vehicles and a shift from large sedans to small and medium sized cars and sportscars and SUVs didn’t help.

Canberra 'very disappointed' with Holden

  Canberra 'very disappointed' with Holden Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews says she's "very disappointed" with Holden's decision to quit the Australian market altogether.General Motors on Monday announced it was retiring the Holden brand from sales in both Australia and New Zealand after the company ceased local manufacturing in 2017.

At its peak, between 2002 and 2005, Holden sold more than 170,000 vehicles a year. By 2019 it sold less than 40,000; none of them made here.

In November, it sold just 2,668 cars, down from 5,125 the previous November.

Global competition from Japan, Korea and Thailand for brands like Kia and Hyundai, added to its woes.

Internationally, Holden was only present in two small markets, Australian and New Zealand, which between them don’t even account for 1% of global sales, and require steering columns on the right hand side of car. It has made Holdens hard to internationalise.

a close up of a map: The blue countries drive on the left hand side of the road. Source: Wikimedia© Provided by Lifehacker Australia The blue countries drive on the left hand side of the road. Source: Wikimedia

Monday’s press release blamed “highly fragmented right-hand-drive markets”, the cost of growing the brand, and the unlikelihood of achieving a decent return on the investment if it tried.

Holden heartland mourns loss of historic car brand 164 years after foundation in SA

  Holden heartland mourns loss of historic car brand 164 years after foundation in SA Cara Bertoli owns fours Holden vehicles and worked at the company's plant in Adelaide's north for six years, and admits her heart sank when she learned of the decision to discontinue the brand."It's a bit of a sinking-heart feeling, I guess," she said.

General Motors isn’t even going to bother to sell foreign-made sedans in Australia, although it will continue to sell speciality vehicles.

Yet its brand is ingrained in Australian history.

Holden defined a brand

Brands are a combination of tangible and intangible elements. Among the tangible elements are visual design elements, like logos, colour, images and packaging, such as the Holden “Lion and Stone” and distinctive product features, such as the feel of the leather, the sound of a roaring V8 and the quality of the duco.

But that is only part of what makes a brand. Tangible elements can be easily copied and are a feature of nearly all products. The challenge is to develop and leverage intangible qualities.

These can include experiences (such as service) and feelings such as reputation, personality and values.

Nostalgia is a Holden value. It’s rich history, dating back to 1856, has helped define the brand.

‘I was battling to hold back tears’ over Holden's demise: Mark Skaife

  ‘I was battling to hold back tears’ over Holden's demise: Mark Skaife Retired Australian motor racing driver Mark Skaife has revealed he was “battling to hold back tears” after hearing news General Motors will axe iconic brand Holden after 72 years of operation in Australia. On Monday, GM International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett released a statement explaining financial woes have led to the demise of Holden.The shutdown is expected to cost at least 600 jobs as General Motors ceases making vehicles suitable for Australian roads.

Many of us who grew up in the 1970s remember family car trips to the beach in a Kingswood station wagon. In the 1980s, we watched Brock, Richards and Perkins win Bathurst. Movies like Puberty Blues made the Holden Sandman panel van every young man’s dream, and every parent’s worse nightmare.

a close up of a sign© Provided by Smart Company

General Motors killed it

Being Australian was at the core of that

identity.

General Motors took it away.

On October 20, 2017, it stopped production of all Australian-made vehicles and began importing Commodores from Germany.

Then in December last year it axed the Commodore, after 41 years.

It killed the value that was left in the brand.

We fell out of love with Holden because it fell out of love with us.


Rock climber injured in 15-metre fall at Morialta Conservation Park in Adelaide .
A man suffered injuries to his head, arm and spine in a climbing accident at the popular Morialta Conservation Park, in which he fell 15 metres before being winched to safety.SA Ambulance said the 48-year-old man fell about 15 metres this morning in the park in Adelaide's north-east.

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