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Expert predicts next GM subsidiary to fall will be Holden


Holden is a vital engineering center for GM and was key in the development of the Zeta RWD platform

Holden is a vital engineering center for GM and was key in the development of the Zeta RWD platform

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The continuing downfall of General Motors in recent months has led to some serious scrambling at the carmaker’s subsidiary brands as each struggles to keep its head above water as the ship goes down. We saw it first with Hummer, which GM decided to offload as far back as the middle of last year, and subsequently we saw the Saab, Saturn and Opel brands start to deteriorate. Now it appears as though GM’s often forgotten subsidiary, Holden, may be next on the chopping block.

Holden, which operates in Australia but also produces the Pontiac G8 and several variants of that car for international sale, is on the brink of collapse according to Clive Matthew-Wilson, a local industry expert and author of the internationally recognized Dog & Lemon car buying guide.

GM’s Aussie subsidiary has already halved output at its Adelaide plant from 600 cars per day to just 310 and more reductions, including job cuts, are expected to come.

Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Wilson predicted that the entire Australian automotive industry, which is supported by companies such as GM, Ford and Toyota, is not likely to recover from the current economic downturn, and that no amount of government interference can prevent the industry’s eventual downfall.

While GM's plight is no secret in automotive circles, Matthew-Wilson also claims that Ford’s Aussie division is not doing as well as it may appear, citing tumbling sales for the Blue Oval in the first quarter of this year. However, there is little argument against the fact that Ford still finds itself in a better situation than its other Detroit rivals, GM and Chrysler. Nevertheless, Matthew-Wilson is predicting that GM's Holden brand will be the first to slip, followed by Ford and then Toyota.

Historically, GM and Ford have competed head-to-head in the Australian market, particularly in the large rear-wheel-drive segment but now buyers are turning away from these cars and embracing more efficient, smaller vehicles. Currently, Ford is pondering introducing FWD to its famous Falcon nameplate, but if you talk to Clive Matthew-Wilson the point is moot, and the Australian car industry has reached the point of no return.
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Comments (5)
  1. The only Australian made and built car for the GM brand while the rest of their line-up are all from Korea - ( Captiva SUV, Epica mid salloon, VIva and Barina ) with the exception of Astra.
     
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  2. This guy is not an expert. Economics was to tough for him so he abandoned that. He bacame a mechanic and got bored with that so he decided to publish the dog and lemon guide.

    He doesnt have any industry contacts with any of the local car companies AND he drives a 1957 Morris Oxford with a retro-fitted airbag cause he thinks its safer than a modern car FFS! The guy's a 6 pack short of a slab.
     
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  3. Holden deserves to produce smaller rear-wheel drive cars, such as a revived Torana or a poor's man 1 Series. Falcodore, shut up.
     
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  4. I saw an interview with GM officials during the time they were begging for money last month and they implied that they don’t need any of the Volt factories (engine, battery, etc) to be up an running in order to still get the Volt out by Nov 2010. The official basically stated that GM would get the initial run of parts from other factories if needed and that the initial low production numbers were not a problem to build even without all of the factories running.
     
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  5. Gidday I’m a Canterbury university student and I’m doing a paper on Holden VS Ford and was interested in your guys advice on the topic.
    Which is your preference?(Why?)
    Do you think there is much of a difference?
     
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