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"Why Holden turned its back on bogans"

Discussion in 'News/Updates' started by ozNick, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. myls362

    myls362 Member

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    I don't envy those working at Holden at the moment. Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, has said for the company to survive it must get a return on investment of 9%+. She has sold Opel, shut down Chevrolet in India, and pulled out of South Africa. There is a huge Holden car park put there with little loyalty beyond us V8 driving fanatics. The entire Holden range has to sell otherwise we could be getting our cars serviced at an Isuzu dealer like they are in South Africa.

    Holden is in the crapper beyond the Commodore because they brought in junk from Korea thanks to the masters in Detroit. I blame the old GM and Tony Abbott for Holden's problems. They have an unenviable task of turning this around. I'll keep the VF forever but I would like to buy a Bolt and a next gen Colorado.
     
  2. zero_tolerance

    zero_tolerance Donating Member

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    Actually it's more like this:

    GM Holden has a long proud history of producing large, powerful rwd sedans which were highly desirable to many generations of Australians. Their imported products have never been much chop in Australia but the local product has always sold well and was at the top of the sales charts for many decades.
    Then around 2005, some bright spark within GM decided that it would be a good idea to rebadge Daewoo vehicles from Korea and sell them as Holdens. These vehicles were cheap, nasty, inferior and were always rated at the bottom of their segment in reviews. They were poor quality and extremely unreliable, which resulted in many customers abandoning the Holden brand, never to return. These vehicles severely damaged Holden's image and reputation and negated all the good work it was doing with the local product.
    Fast forward to 2017 and with the imminent closure of it's local factory and end of the Commodore as we know it, Holden suddenly realises that it's loyal customers who have repeat purchased Commodores and spent large sums of money with them over the years, will not settle for the imported garbage Holden is dishing out.
    Knowing that they have nothing decent to replace their local product with, they decide to give their loyal customers the middle finger and insult those who have been so loyal to them for many years.
    Instead, they hire a bunch of nut jobs in their marketing department to promote a new gay, trendy, feminist image in an effort to attract new customers. The problem with this is:
    a) This image flies in the face of everything the Holden brand has stood for in the past.
    b) No amount of marketing is going to help if the product is poor. While Holden was busy dishing out Daewoo garbage, other brands like Mazda, Hyundai and Kia have re-invented themselves with quality products that people want to buy. As a result, people are turning to these other brands first when looking for a new car and Holden doesn't even make the shortlist. Surprise surprise.
    c) Holden is a car company. It has no place to be pushing views on equality, gay rights etc etc. I don't see any other car company using it's brand to push these views on the public??? Holden should ditch the social engineering and concentrate on delivering a quality product that people actually want to buy if it wants to have any chance of survival.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  3. lowandslow

    lowandslow Well-Known Member

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    What if i told you GM doesn't want Holden at all?
     
  4. Noeleter

    Noeleter Active Member

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    That's an interesting point but GM don't even seem to be maximising it's value for a sell off. Find it hard to believe that they would be happy just to let it fade away.
     
  5. lmoengnr

    lmoengnr Well-Known Member

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    Until the 20th of October, then it basically ceases to exist...
     
  6. zero_tolerance

    zero_tolerance Donating Member

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    Well they can at least let it die with dignity instead of turning it into a mouthpiece for the gay rights lobby.
     
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  7. zero_tolerance

    zero_tolerance Donating Member

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    Hence why I said car company and not car manufacturer.
     
  8. Reaper

    Reaper Tells it like it is.

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    You won't be buying a Bolt in Australia, possibly a Colorado but that has no guarantees and if you think Holden shut up shop because of a PM who was in office for less than 10 weeks, you have just painted yourself for the fool you probably are.

    Bottom line - GM says they are not done pruning and I firmly believe Holden is well and truly in the firing line. Their supply of product was sold off with no agreement beyond current platform cycles going forward.

    GM have made it crystal clear they have zero interest in anything RHD so prospects for Holden are slim at best. IMO they are gone and I'm thinking it will be in the next 5 years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  9. Sabbath'

    Sabbath' Shipwrecked

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    Coming to a Holden dealership near you.
     
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  10. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. GM is only interested in all things American for American's. Holden is definitely on the chopping block....
     
  11. thestig

    thestig resident misanthrope

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  12. Batca

    Batca Active Member

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    How have Holden turned their back on bogans, they still sponsor Collingwood ...
     
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  13. VS 5.0

    VS 5.0 Well-Known Member

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    Let's see what happens when the contract expires.
     
  14. myls362

    myls362 Member

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    You see to have forgotten Warren Truss and Joe Hockey goading Holden into leaving. The Liberals and the Productivity Commission have wanted to shut down the car industry for years.

    And this comment you made was totally unnecessary: "you have just painted yourself for the fool you probably are". The only fool is you.
     
  15. c2105026

    c2105026 Active Member

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    The reason we have 'Holden' brand is that after WW2 we had a lot of manufacturing infrastructure that could be used - folks like Chifley and Harnett had a vision and voila - Holden. Seeing 50% market share for medium-large 6cyl cars, Ford and Chrysler got in on the act.

    Our 'car culture' based on muscle cars, Bathurst 1000 and V8s stems largely from the period 1967-72; this was the classic time when Aussie car scene was at its peak. This closely ties in with what happened in USA. Then you had....supercar scare.....Energy crisis....arrival of decent Japanese imports, and a burgeoning local manufacturing scene focused on Japanese makes....the traditional hot-rod orientated car scene was under threat. In the 70s you had XA-XB GT, V8 Toranas.....yeh it was still going ok. Then you had XC Cobra, A9X Torana and arguably with the 1979-80 energy crisis MkII, Valiant folding and Ford basically giving up muscle car aspirations and set out to run a profitable business. Via Brock, GMH outsourced its special vehicle division. Now Brock and Holden had a great realtionship around this time but from '85 onwards Brock stopped winning enmasse. In '87 the business model went bad as Brock went down the energy polariser path.

    By now you had Group A touring Cars, and the V8 Commodore was more or less outclassed until everything that was better than a V8 was banned after '92. I would argue that any V8 Holden vehicle developed from the late 80s onwards was focused on a niche, enthusiast set that has strong aspirations of nostalgia.

    For so long GMH had been a one trick pony; one model line for its first 19 years, 6 with two then 5 with three. During the 80s GMH didn't know what they were doing. Camira, Piazza, Scurry, Drover, Astra, Barina - no wonder Holden nearly went broke! Just as well here was a nice veil of economic tariffs to protect Holden as a company from other car companies who knew what they were doing. Oh no, wait - the Button Plan from '83 sought to reduce tariffs, and rationalise the car industry. No other country of 15 million people (at the time) had two (or 3 counting the Magna) models lines developed especially for them, with very limited export potential.

    Fast forward to the 90s, Ford and Holden plants are being wound up one by one as market share drops. Toyota is doing well. Nissan closes up in '94. By '95 all you have left being assembled is Commodore, Falcon, Camry, Magna, and the Corolla. Fuel is cheap, the new V8 Supercar series gives Ford and Holden new marketing potential but....its not the same. There are muscle cars (HSV and Tickford) but they are now priced as high-end luxury cars. Not really Muscle. In '99 Corolla winds up, as a new platform (vastly improved mind you) is launched from Toyota City in Japan (what have satellite plants when you can consolidate?).

    Meanwhile going into the 2000s, small cars are getting better and better in terms of space and performance. Tariffs are falling, so they are getting cheaper. The SUV segment becomes a force to be reckoned with. Now Ford gets in on the act with the Territory, but it can't really compete with SUV expert brands like Nissan and Toyota. In from 2002-2008 fuel prices accelerate out of control, killing off demand for big cars. Mitsubishi dies in 2008 due to poor sales. The VE launched in 2006 is the right car, at precisely the wrong time. Changes to V8 supercar rules effectively make it a mockery as cars deviate wildly from basic structure of a regular Falcon/Commodore. Then the GFC hits - people buy cheaper cars (smaller cars) or don't buy new cars at all. Whilst this is going on, fleets are fleeing large cars in favour of...yes, small SUVs and small cars.

    While this is going on, internet, multiculturalism, feminism and general globalisation is unseating the white aussie male as the centre of the Australian economy. Women are having an equal (or more?) say in buying cars, which means either a small car or small SUV is more likely to be on the menu. People identify more with an international and/or cosmopolitan lifestyle of sophistication and luxury - this is not conducive to getting people to buy a V8 Commodore ute. Holden uses some of its spare assembly capacity to build the Cruze bit it can't compete with the Corolla in a crowded marketplace. In the end, Holden decides that it would be more profitable to just import cars rather than build them here.

    Basically.....its not 1967 any more, and the world and society has changed. If enough people wanted big 6/8 cyl cars, I am sure Holden and Ford would build them. But this is not the case. Humanity in general has turned its back on the 'bogan', with GMH doing what it can to stem the red ink. Its business model was ultimately reliant on a shrinking market segment.

    Now local manufacturing has been a core part of Holden's identity. Without it....Holden is now an empty shell. It may well be the case that GM is pulling out of all RHD markets. They wouldn't sell anything in Japan, not much in India and UK brand of Vauxhall is now gone to PSA.

    That being said - I wouldn't be surprised if Holden is replaced by Opel (or Vauxhall) - it just won't be owned by GM.

    OTOH - Ford seems to be going fine, globally. They have a good range of cars that can be suited to RHD markets. Massively popular in the UK.
     
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  16. myls362

    myls362 Member

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    That's a pretty good summary. There are some pretty good books recently. Check out; Holden: Our Car from the Hagon Brothers, What happened to the car industry by Ian Porter and The Death of Holden by Royce Kurmelovs.

    This is gross mismanagement by General Motors. They have appointed a revolving door of Holden bosses. They have stuffed up their prescence in Europe, South Africa and India. Plus they retrenched their body engineering capability in Port Melbourne back in 2014. Holden can't engineer another RWD Commodore even if they wanted. For me, more than the loss of manufacturing, that is the worse.

    I'll be there in October to say goodbye. It's such a shame.
     
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  17. Calaber

    Calaber Nil Bastardo Carborundum

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    There's no doubt that Holden's internal woes started during the mid 70's. What was to replace the HQ sized car by 1978-80? Some proposals were clearly signs of desperation but the eventual decision to build the VB proved to be the right one, for a few years at least.

    But some cars which wore the Holden badge around that time were a joke and cheapened the Holden image badly. They hopped into bed with one company after another trying to fill gaps in their model line-up.. The Drover and Scurry - rebadged low-rent Suzuki's that were both bloody awful. The Camira- great engineering ruined by being thrown together by an uncaring workforce, mixing Opel and Isuzu panels to produce the Australian "J" car. Astra - a Pulsar by any other name. Apollo - Camry with a new nose.

    This sort of badge engineering must have created a nightmare for parts departments and helped to muddy the Holden identity. Would any serious Holden afficionado seriously contemplate buying a bastardised Jap car with the Holden emblem?

    The biggest difference between those days and the times we face after October 20 is that the cars will generally be much better than the dog's breakfast of makes we were offered thirty years ago. Even the Korean ones. Whether they will be competitive and turn Holden's fortunes around is another matter.
     
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  18. c2105026

    c2105026 Active Member

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    A significant issue is that the cars that'll be available after 20 October, won't really be Holden. If anything, after 2017 it will be rebadged Opel product, from a subsidiary that will probably be sold to PSA (and indeed may then be rebranded).

    OTOH Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo are 100% Ford product, as much a Ford as a 69 Boss Mustang or GTHO Falcon. A Mazda3 is as much a Mazda as an RX7. A Golf is as much a VW as a 68 Beetle is.
     
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  19. figjam

    figjam Donating Member

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    Some good, sensible, historical comments made in the last few posts.
    Unfortunately, a lot of people still believe that Joe Hockey and Tony Abbot forced GM to shut Holden down within 24 hours of their ‘parlimentary baiting’.
    But then, a lot of people still believe in Area 51 aliens, the power of pyramids, and that Elvis, JFK, and Harold Holt are alive and well somewhere in Russia..
     
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  20. c2105026

    c2105026 Active Member

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    It was probably the straw that broke the camels back - the deal breaker that forced them to announce. But before the final 'baiting' for lack of better term....I think the decision was well and truly made. Apparently senior staff were told the week before. Large corporations do not act on a kneejerk. For the previous 5-10 years the trajectory certainly wasn't positive. But if you look at it historically, we only ever had a solid auto industry in light of stiff tariffs.

    With GM pulling out of RHD markets like UK, Japan, India and Sth Africa it would seem that the plan long term was always going to wind up the Australian operation. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Holden brand beyond 2017. My money says PSA will buy the Holden name, shut it down, and import Vauxhall/Opel Product (like Corsa, Astra and the Opel-based Commodore). Until the govt permits importation of new LHD product, that may well be the end of GM in Australia.
     

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