Goodbye Holden

It doesn’t take a genius to work out why Holden cannot survive in Australia without massive taxpayer subsidies. For years the workforce has been featherbedded, with the excesses outlined by Grace Collier in yesterday’s Australian. For years, the company cannot produce cars that people want to buy at the prices they charge.

Nick Cater describes the preferences of South Australia for ‘assisted development’

In other states, the promoter hires a venue, charges the baby boomers a small fortune and ensures the Stones turn up at the appointed time. In South Australia, the government builds the venue, the baby boomers still pay through the nose, but the premier has to bung the Stones a wad of cash to convince them to turn up at all.

Now the Premier of the ‘pen pushing state’, Jay Weatherill, thinks the future of Holden is entirely in Tony Abbott’s hands.

Not at all. If Weatherill thinks taxpayers should continue to throw good money after bad at Holden, he doesn’t need the Federal Government. The South Australia Government can equally hand out subsidies, and increase taxes on SA taxpayers.

It is Weatherill who thinks that the subsidies pay back many times over – let him test the waters by throwing money at all sorts of manufacturing industries. South Australia can become the experiment state – and SA taxpayers can reap the rewards of a manufacturing subsidy bonanza.

Tony Abbott should be clear though – there will be no bailing out of the South Australian Government if it decides to embark on a debt and tax-led recovery.

There must be millions of projects crying out for taxpayer funding, all with claims of returns many times over the subsidies provided.

We, in the other states, can watch as SA sinks and can then move in and buy the bankrupt State at a firesale.

About J

J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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150 Responses to Goodbye Holden

  1. vlad

    the company cannot produce cars that people want to buy at the prices they charge

    I wouldn’t take one of those things if you gave it to me.

  2. sabrina

    Partly management and partly union at fault. Labour cost is one-fifth of the cost of production of a car in this country. There is scope for cut there – at both management and labour levels. But until GM’s policy of restricting exports is in place, taxpayer funded handouts will not result in any sustainable outcome for the industry.
    Let’s enjoy cheaper cars from overseas, subsidised by overseas taxpayers – as long as we can. Eventually the Great wall will be everywhere.

  3. johno

    Not even Jay Weatherill is

  4. Rabz

    C’mon johno, don’t keep us in suspense!

  5. johno

    Opps

    Hit the post button before I was ready.

    What I want to say is that not even Jay Weatherill is so stupid or gullible to believe the crap he is sprouting about the multiplier. No one with the intelligence to become a State Premier can be that stupid.

    It’s all political rhetoric about getting money out of Canberra, or at least to appear that he is trying. After all, he faces a State election early next year and there is a possibility that the Liberal Party’s most pathetic division could get its act together to chuck him out.

  6. johno

    There you go Radz.

    Hope it was worth the wait. :-)

  7. James of the Glen

    If you buy SA, the first action to take would be to topple every wind turbine. SA’s electricity prices are the highest in Australia and third highest in the developed world.
    And still the Rann “madness” continues, courtesy of his man A-G Rau (the genius who thinks it’s OK to place turbines (higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge) just 1 km away from residences.

    Off course, it’s not the electricity sale per se that is the sugar on the table, it’s the rivers of gold Renewable Energy Certificates subsidies that are the real prizes.

    The second action would be to find the complete list of beneficiaries of the wind farms’ scam.

  8. Bob

    Labour may well represent 20% of the cost of production. But, what percentage do taxes represent, and why is that figure not published?

  9. Louis Hissink

    Wasn’t South Australia home of that multi-function polis project?

  10. Abraham

    Ah South Australia … the socialist nirvana, even socialists avoid. (Except Sarah whats-her-names)

    If the Government establishes an interment camp for say 33 000 illegal immigrants there, Holden (which with all the taxpayer money it has received is semi-nationalised anyway) could access cheap labour. It’s a communist dream come true.

    Surely the socialist ALP and its communist sidekick, the Greens, would be overjoyed at the prospect of cheap labour toiling away at a national(ised) icon such as Holden? So very jingoistic …

  11. Leigh Lowe

    It is Weatherill who thinks that the subsidies pay back many times over – let him test the waters by throwing money at all sorts of manufacturing industries. South Australia can become the experiment state – and SA taxpayers can reap the rewards of a manufacturing subsidy bonanza.

    Spot on.
    The numbers being produced by tame economists for peak automotive industry bodies are a joke (something like a $30 return for each $1 of subsidy), but nowhere, except here, is the the obvious question being asked …. if car subsidies have such leverage, why isn’t Weatherill just tipping the subsidies in himself?
    And why aren’t Queensland and WA circling to steal the “Golden Goose” that is the automotive industry away from SA and Victoria?

  12. Rabz

    Wasn’t South Australia home of that multi-function polis project?

    Yes. It’s dismembered remains were recovered from a barrel in a disused bank vault in a li’l hamlet outside Adelaide, if I remember correctly.

  13. Samuel J

    Louis – yes the MFP. I remember it well. I think its proponents continue to argue it was a great idea before its time. One of the more ridiculous projects in Australia (along with desal plants etc). There has never been a shortage of wacky ideas to throw taxpayers’ money at in Australia.

  14. entropy

    Isn’t the commodore replacement supposed to be front wheel drive?
    What sort of a twit would you have to be to by a large car powered at the front?

    And SUVs are a superior family car in every way. I will never by a large sedan /wagon again.

  15. entropy

    Well,except for handling, but other benefits of SUVs far outweigh a small disadvantage there.

  16. Rabz

    Aaargghhh- apostrophe fail in the comment above – apologies, peoples.

    BTW, if Weatherdill and his motley crew of corrupt incompetents are finally ejected at the next SA election, could the Liberals please do something about the inexcusable gerrymander that’s in place there?

    FFS – if you don’t you’ll be lucky to last more than one term in government.

  17. H B Bear

    South Australia – mainland Tasmania.

  18. Splatacrobat

    Pull out the old moulds and patterns and make retro Holdens. It worked for Mini, Dodge cruisers and Fiat bambino.

    Capture a new generation with Sandman panelvans, HG Monaros, and FJ utes.
    You know it makes sense!

  19. And Another Thing

    I lived in Adelaide for a few years, but had visited it before and after that. The trouble is that it has had Labor governments for far too long and has been in a state of stagnation during those governments, which is to say, usually. Now it’s crunch time. At the next election Adelaide can become Australia’s Detroit with Labor or face some hard graft back to some sort of fiscal responsibility with the Coalition.

  20. And Another Thing

    Actually, H B Bear is right. Australia’s two most vulnerable states have been turned into basket cases by the Labor-Greens gangrene. Luckily the territories have some federal support and the other states are holding out. But how long can responsible forces hold off the same pestilence spreading throughout Australia?

  21. Brett

    At the next election Adelaide can become Australia’s Detroit with Labor or face some hard graft back to some sort of fiscal responsibility with the Coalition.

    They will choose Detroit; they don’t know any other way.

  22. Rabz

    Just read the Cater piece, which he referred to at the IPA bash last night.

    There is an “economic modelling tool” (which I won’t name) that makes some of the most absurd assumptions I’ve ever seen outside of standard Keynesian hypothetical bollocks.

    Apparently it’s widely used by state and local governments, which explains some of the reasons for their increasingly erratic behaviour.

    When the modelling tool was outlined to me recently, the representative asked what my background was – I told him I was an economist. He looked crestfallen at the revelation.

    I’d wager the SA government is basing its absurd multiplier enhanced predictions on the use of this “economic modelling tool”.

    Quite frankly, its use should be outlawed.

  23. .

    The worst thing that Weatherill is crapping on about is job losses whilst Gillard’s carbon and mining taxes killed of projects like Olympic Dam.

  24. iamok

    I have a good little business that needs some unfettered govt support – take away the risks for me will you? Where do I sign up?

    And while I am at it, where were the govt handouts when I got caught up in a liquidation a few years ago?

  25. Fibro

    Too true Brett, the mindset is too deep and the welfare nanny culture has been entrenched for way too long. Any state that still elects Sarah Moron-Young says it all.

  26. egg_

    There must be millions of projects crying out for taxpayer funding, all with claims of returns many times over the subsidies provided.

    Kill the $1.2 Bil p.a. ABC that employs 1,000 “scribblers” if you want value for the taxpayers’ dollar.
    Bourgeois hypocrisy if Aunty survives and we are left as virtually hick primary producers of a Century ago.

  27. egg_

    And SUVs are a superior family car in every way. I will never by a large sedan /wagon again.

    Traded in the V8 Commodore wagon?
    Partner thinks softroaders are crap after having taken troup carriers through most of Oz deserts.
    The shite power-to-weight puts me off them, although they’re low geared and chew juice – do they even bother to post their fule economy in the waddler class?

  28. Chris M

    At the next election Adelaide can become Australia’s Detroit with Labor or face some hard graft back to some sort of fiscal responsibility with the Coalition.

    One would wish. The reality is the SA Liberals offer little real difference to Labor, they are Labor-lite. I wouldn’t bother voting for either of them.

    And James I’m pretty sure the SA power prices reached the zenith of the worlds most expensive, you claim only the third place?

  29. Gutho

    It is Weatherill who thinks that the subsidies pay back many times over – let him test the waters by throwing money at all sorts of manufacturing industries. South Australia can become the experiment state – and SA taxpayers can reap the rewards of a manufacturing subsidy bonanza.

    And if he need help, he can call on his Union mates who gained a wealth of experience running successful orginisations such as ACTU SOLO ACTU BURKES ACTU TRAVEL and other successful ventures.

  30. Mike of Marion

    ABC Radio 891/Peter Martin banging on about ‘making electric cars at Elizabeth’. Delusional

    Mike

  31. Mike of Marion

    Now Tony Wright banging on on Radio 891.

  32. cant remember

    Question:- After the war the government of the day wanted to set up a car industry!
    How much money did the government originally give GM to set up in AU??
    The name Holden was the AU part of the Yankee company.
    How much money has been subsidised to the company since it was set up and why hasn’t the Holden side of the company been registered on the stock exchange if it is registered on the stock exchange why don’t we hear more about their profits and losses like we do for Qantas???????

  33. tomix

    Capture a new generation with Sandman panelvans, HG Monaros, and FJ utes.
    You know it makes sense!

    Nonsense. Resurrect the Valiant!

  34. KC

    I like Samuel J’s idea – competitive federalism in action!

  35. Empire Strikes Back

    Pull out the old moulds and patterns and make retro Holdens. It worked for Mini, Dodge cruisers and Fiat bambino.

    Nice idea, but nostalgia is outlawed. Imagine trying to engineer an HQ for ABS, ESC and a bunch of other nanny state ADR features. Then consider how heavy it would be. The wiring loom on the new S-class Merc probably weighs as much as an HQ.

  36. Mike of Marion

    Empire Strikes Back

    #1106132, posted on December 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Pull out the old moulds and patterns and make retro Holdens. It worked for Mini, Dodge cruisers and Fiat bambino.

    Nice idea, but nostalgia is outlawed. Imagine trying to engineer an HQ for ABS, ESC and a bunch of other nanny state ADR features. Then consider how heavy it would be. The wiring loom on the new S-class Merc probably weighs as much as an HQ.

    Besides, I still resent having to double declutch the HQ three on the tree gearbox to pick low gear!!!!!!!!!

  37. Infidel tiger

    All the retro cars have been shithouse or had nothing in common with the cars they were based on.

    The PT Cruiser is perhaps the worst car of the last 50 years. The so called Mini retro is the size of a small village and has as much in common with its predecessor as cheeze whiz does with Camembert.

  38. .

    I think Holden were moving in the right direction here, dunno about the colour:

    http://www.holden.com.au/concept-cars/torana-tt36-

  39. Mike of Marion

    And the HQ handled like a bucket of poo!!!!!!

    And 3 hard applications on the drum brakes – you might as well be in angel gear!!!!

  40. .

    Peter Martin is really aiming low with his ideas re: “subsidise electric car production”.

    They are not “green” and they aren’t good enough to mass market yet and why would we want to subsidise that?

  41. Empire Strikes Back

    I know what you mean Mike. I recently drove a car with drum brakes for the first time in 10 odd years. The ride on new cars with big wheels and low profile rubber can be pretty harsh, but the big discs that fit inside are a definite improvement.

  42. H B Bear

    Bring back Mike Rann.

    At least he only f**ked the help in the Parliamentary Dining Room.

  43. Fibro

    Great idea to subsidise electric cars.
    Open up more mining and burn more fossil fuel to power them I say and then let the left loonies deal with that one. When that falls over, we all get cheaper power like we should have in the first place.

  44. Yon Toad

    Mr Abbott can fix a number of problems in one fell swoop:
    Relocate ALL ABC employees and offices to SA. The ABC has experience in running an organisation whose employees are overpaid, unionised, and producing a product that very few want. So, let em run Holden out of their idiotically large budget.

  45. entropy

    egg_
    #1106071, posted on December 11, 2013 at 9:53 am
    And SUVs are a superior family car in every way. I will never by a large sedan /wagon again.

    Traded in the V8 Commodore wagon?
    Partner thinks softroaders are crap after having taken troup carriers through most of Oz deserts.
    The shite power-to-weight puts me off them, although they’re low geared and chew juice – do they even bother to post their fule economy in the waddler class?

    LOL. In fact, I used to own and drive a V8 kingswood for years! Perfect surf /B&S vehicle. At the time. But our HX Berlina was the last Holden I will ever intend to own.
    My current SUV is a diesel that averages 7l/100km. Pulling a van it still managed 11l/100km. It’s height makes it easy to put kids in their car seats, the third row gets used for ballet/TKD etc shuttle runs after school every week, and also on trips when the dog takes up one of the seats in the middle row. It doesn’t handle like my old MX5, but it sat in the garage once master entropy turned up and did 300km in two years, before I saw reason (well, Mrs Entropy frequently waving the mortgage statement) for the Mazda and me to sadly part our ways. Oh, the SUV is Korean.

  46. Dr Faustus

    There is an immutable truth: a business that depends on government subsidy, or tax concessions for its return on capital is a failed business that hasn’t gone under yet.

    So, no surprises to see the ALP advocating for business failure on a grand scale – it’s in the DNA.

  47. And Another Thing

    FThe so-called Mini
    Don’t forget that the British unions were then hell-bent on destroying the motor industry over there. And they succeeded. The real, original, Mini was sold for less than it cost to make it, and all the models made by that company, British Leyland I think it was then, were of very dubious quality, perhaps a deliberate ploy by the unions.
    Holden might have asked itself why buyers were spending thousands more on a smallish BMW four-cylinder years ago before the deluge. Its response to the opposition was to go on doing what it knew rather than learning anything, pay the unions whatever they wanted over the award and expect Australian taxpayers, even those who wouldn’t buy a Holden under any circumstances, to pay for it all.

  48. Yohan

    The local economy of SA is a microcosm of what left/progressive economic policy has done to this country.
    What we often forget, is the progressive left really do believe that regulation, intervention and subsidies leads to good economic outcomes and higher living standards.

    - Subsiding failed big business leads to jobs growth and wealth for all, due to the Keynesian multiplier effect.
    - Raising energy prices, using artificial scarcity implemented by regulation, will lead to new jobs growth in green industries.
    - Increased hiring in Heath, Education and the public service, is a great way of redistributing wealth away from the selfish private sector and benefits society overall.

    Every economic fallacy you can think of is still being pursued, moreso here in SA than anywhere else on the mainland.

  49. Andrew

    Herald Sun reporters stating that at a 2pm meeting that has been called, Holden will be telling their workers that they are closing in 2017.

  50. Art Vandelay

    The South Australian (both Labor and Liberal) approach to economic development can be summed up with this Reagan quote:

    If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

    and the policy of ‘picking winners’ based on dodgy modelling from consultants from big accounting firms (rather than dodgy modelling from economists).

    It’s a policy that has landed us with Holden, Mitsubishi, the multi-function polis, a Defence Industry which hasn’t sold a single submarine or ship to another country, a film studio which hasn’t made a single feature film, wind turbines as far as the eye can see, a desalination plant which is at least double the size needed etc. They even conned John Howard into contributing billions of taxpayer dollars towards the Adelaide-Darwin railway which, according to those highly paid consultants, would unleash an export boom to Asia.

  51. .

    and the policy of ‘picking winners’ based on dodgy modelling from consultants from big accounting firms (rather than dodgy modelling from economists).

    Lulz…

    They even conned John Howard into contributing billions of taxpayer dollars towards the Adelaide-Darwin railway which, according to those highly paid consultants, would unleash an export boom to Asia.

    Hmm. For the NT once MAK gets their phosphate up. Oly. Dam is dead. WA has the FMG facility and NT has ports built for MAK.

    What exactly were SA going to export that doesn’t leave Bonython, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth?

  52. Oh come on

    Good riddance, mooching tax eating scum.

    Personally, I never forgave them for the JB Camira.

  53. Art Vandelay

    What exactly were SA going to export that doesn’t leave Bonython, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth?

    Good question! I don’t think they’d thought that part through. I seem to recall some references to manufacturing and agribusiness (a meaningless bureaucratic term if there ever was one).

  54. egg_

    a Defence Industry which hasn’t sold a single submarine or ship to another country,

    May as well kill that, too, eh?
    Stick to ag for our soldiers at arms to retire to?

  55. wreckage

    SA produces a lot of wheat, a good prospect for bulk export. And ultimately I think JH only assented because the project was a joint venture with a lot of business investment. Which just goes to show that Big Vision and megaprojects tend to be stupid whether government or business drives it.

  56. Kaboom

    Mike of Marion
    #1106138, posted on December 11, 2013 at 11:20 am:


    Besides, I still resent having to double declutch the HQ three on the tree gearbox to pick low gear!!!!!!!!!

    Mike, I think that synchro on first came in with the HK or HT. It was a lazy synchro, and if you were fair up it, yes, double declutching was necessary. However, I don’t think there was ordinarily any need to double declutch a HQ into first. An EH, however….

    entropy
    #1106334, posted on December 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm:

    But our HX Berlina was the last Holden I will ever intend to own.

    Entropy, if you had a HX Berlina, it would be worth more than an Enzo. Are you thinking a VX?

    Also, your earlier comment:

    entropy
    #1105998, posted on December 11, 2013 at 8:25 am (and 8:27 am):

    And SUVs are a superior family car in every way. I will never by a large sedan /wagon again.


    Well,except for handling, but other benefits of SUVs far outweigh a small disadvantage there.

    Had you not considered an X5, if you wanted handling?

    Full Disclosure: Kaboom is a GMH tragic, who currently doesn’t own one. His beloved VX Berlina made way for the X5.

    It is sad to see Holden going down the chute, and I’m seriously thinking about getting an HSV GTS, and parking it up for a few decades.

  57. wreckage

    The commodores were great cars, as were the falcons. But the family car space has been eaten up by SUVs and cheap vans, partly because fitting three legally approved safety capsules across the back seat even in a decent wide body falcon is nearly impossible. Their back seats are barely two-seaters if you have little kids.

  58. Tom

    10 out of 10 for the timing of this post, SJ.

  59. wreckage

    You can’t have the most rigid and desperrately slow environmental/development process in the world, the most rigid and vindictive safety rules in the world, the most expensive fuel and electricity in the world, and a thriving manufacturing sector. The ALP and greens have gutted the entire sector, and were working hard and diligently to make things worse; all the above were their goals to be striven for, not traps to avoid!

  60. Tom

    You can’t have the most rigid and desperrately slow environmental/development process in the world, the most rigid and vindictive safety rules in the world, the most expensive fuel and electricity in the world, and a thriving manufacturing sector. The ALP and greens have gutted the entire sector, and were working hard and diligently to make things worse

    Spot on, Wreckage. Can’t be said loudly enough. The left are finally achieving their objective in Australia. They can’t turn around and say that what is happening now wasn’t their exact objective.

  61. egg_

    No more selling luxury cars to China, eh*?

    *And the Middle East, South Africa, NZ, USA, et al.
    (Chevrolet Lumina, SS, Caprice, et al).

  62. wreckage

    I don’t think it was Tom, I think they genuinely are that stupid once outside their field of expertise, which is purely and only politics and politicking. And even there they let their belief in Big Arse Theory blind them to reality. Like importing a huge slab of traditional Middle Eastern, Chinese and East Asian people and expecting them to be an ALP voting bloc in perpetuity.

    They used lies in their mother tongue to trick JH’s Chinese constituents into voting against him. Clever, if you think the average Chinese family is full of blockheads, or likely to forgive you for playing them. Just wait till they tell the Muslims that they have to allow gays to get married in the Mosque.

  63. wreckage

    You can’t subsidize your way out of a totally crap industrial policy, because you need a surplus from somewhere to pay for it, and you can’t maintain surpluses if you keep crippling every sector year after year.

  64. blind freddy

    Wasn’t South Australia home of that multi-function polis project?

    No Rabtz — it is in fact a zoo!!!

  65. Tom

    Leftards will say: “but, but it was nothing to do with us … it was because of the high Aussie dollar”. Well, half the reason for the overvaluation of the AUD is mining. The other half is the Liars unprecedented, record government debt (treasury bonds, notes and other securities) — now $300 billion, heading to $400 billion+, for which a large capital inflow was required. That’s more than four times Keating’s debt funded spending spree racked up between 2007 and 2013.

  66. Isn’t the commodore replacement supposed to be front wheel drive?
    What sort of a twit would you have to be to by a large car powered at the front?

    And SUVs are a superior family car in every way. I will never by a large sedan /wagon again.

    This is the real reason why Holden went under, really.

    People just don’t buy large family sedans any more. You either get a Corolla-sized eco-car or you get a SUV or Hilux type pickup.

    That’s why their new sedans are FWD. Because they know anyone who prefers RWD has already moved on to SUVs.

  67. .

    I agree Yobbo.

    I only really want sedans for the boy racer/luxury deal.

    I want a good european hatch and a 4WD for fishing etc, maybe a beat up patrol for serious shit.

  68. Pedro

    Weatherill is missing a great opportunity. He should buy holden and let his State really become a manufacturing powerhouse and global beacon for the timely revolt against homo-economicus.

  69. Steve D

    egg_: #1106512, posted on December 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    No more selling luxury cars to China, eh?

    I think the Chinese affiliate is building them themselves.

    Hmmm…I wonder if they are still making them there? Shall they outlast the Australian production?

  70. Yohan

    a film studio which hasn’t made a single feature film

    You are being a bit harsh there Art, Bad Boy Buddy is a renowned film that proudly brings SA culture to the world.

  71. egg_

    You either get a Corolla-sized eco-car or you get a SUV or Hilux type pickup.

    Agreed, although the SUV is ironically a North American concept (a ‘compact car’ on stilts) and most are FWD-origin in base form.
    This is too small a market for a BMW M5 based platform, even if we exported a few, sans subsidies.
    Aunty wins the day.

  72. Louis Hissink

    South Australia – they were home to that Zeta car too, come to think of it. Made by a refrigerator manufacturer??

  73. .

    Yohan #1106633, posted on December 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm
    a film studio which hasn’t made a single feature film

    You are being a bit harsh there Art, Bad Boy Buddy is a renowned film that proudly brings SA culture to the world.

    That’s my ma, my pa…this is my cat

    WTF is that?!

    Elsewhere in the fillum…

    Ooh you’re a bad boy, bubby….

    You’re a queer kid!

    One of the wonders of nature!

    Come near me again I’ll rip your ferkin prick off!

    Thank god for the salvos…

  74. Louis Hissink

    Zeta – made by the Lightburn company – goal? To employee 10,000 people. Problem? Yes. The role of business is not to employee people for the sake of employing them, but to produce stuff that people want. Lightburn did it for the wrong reasons, and that’s why it failed.

  75. Mrs Beardsley

    I just bought a beautiful 2013 Fiat 500 Pop, for $14,000 drive away. I just could not find a better deal. Imported Holden’s made at competitive costs will benefit every Australian by giving them a competitively priced choice.

  76. Mike of Marion

    Louis Hissink

    #1106670, posted on December 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Zeta – made by the Lightburn company – goal? To employee 10,000 people. Problem? Yes. The role of business is not to employee people for the sake of employing them, but to produce stuff that people want. Lightburn did it for the wrong reasons, and that’s why it failed.

    No, Lightburn made concrete mixers!!!!

  77. Pete of Perth

    VW factory in Dresden.

    h/t to sinjin @ Tim Blair

    vw

  78. Pete of Perth

    I had a lightburn (under)power drill that belonged to my Grandad. Had fins on the back, no chrome though.

    drill

  79. tomix

    No, Lightburn made concrete mixers!!!!

    And washing machines.

  80. .

    I had a lightburn (under)power drill that belonged to my Grandad. Had fins on the back

    Epic lulz…was this for flight stability when you threw it at a wall for being such a piece of shit?

  81. stackja

    Australian Dictionary of Biography of Holden

    Sir Henry James Holden (1859-1926), saddler, carriage-trimmer and motor-body manufacturer, and Sir Edward Wheewall Holden (1885-1947), motor-body manufacturer, were father and son.

    During the South African War Henry captured large government saddlery contracts in the teeth of interstate competition.
    World War I presented further opportunities in the leather-manufacturing market; but more important were the economic consequences of the 1917 government embargo on the import of completed car-bodies.
    After the war Holden pressed the Federal government to maintain high protection: in the 1920s the tariff on imported motor-bodies was 100 per cent.
    In close association with General Motors, Holden’s established a dominant market position throughout mainland Australia.
    n August 1929 General Motors revised its order levels downwards, and Ford suspended expected orders. In September Holden informed the annual general meeting that the business remained ‘inherently sound’, but in October the plant closed temporarily for lack of continuous work, and Ford announced it would be placing no further orders. To utilize slack capacity Holden’s diversified to the production of golf-club heads, steel filing cabinets, and wooden packing-cases for fruit. Merger with three other Australian motor-body manufacturers was considered, but rejected, and in January 1930 Holden set out for the United States of America to discuss amalgamation with General Motors.
    Holden’s major competitors had effectively ceased business and a similar fate appeared to confront Holden’s, although it remained solvent: its continued existence depended on orders from General Motors, which then constituted three-quarters of Holden’s remaining demand. In February 1931, after withdrawing an all-cash offer, General Motors offered £1,116,000 for Holden’s—£550,000 in cash, and the remainder in non-convertible cumulative preference shares in the proposed new company. No ordinary shares were to be held by the former Holden’s shareholders. After disorderly debate among shareholders, the offer, recommended by the directors, was accepted: although the price paid was below the balance-sheet value of £1,410,666, it exceeded the market value of the shares by about half a million pounds.
    Holden became chairman of General Motors-Holden’s Ltd, and was appointed joint managing director in August 1931 and later sole managing director in a reconstituted administration. However, with the arrival of (Sir) Laurence Hartnett in March 1934 from General Motors’ English subsidiary, Vauxhall Motors, Holden was supplanted as managing director, although he remained chairman through the period of economic recovery when new plant and central administration were established in Melbourne. Bitter and disappointed at his displacement, he turned to other business activities and parliamentary service. As the company became involved in the munitions programme for World War II his contribution to the company declined further. He became honorary controller-general of army canteens in 1939-45 and visited troops in the Middle East. In 1942 the canteen administration ran into controversy over contracts and Holden was called upon to defend his policies. He remained chairman of directors of General Motors-Holden’s until, in ill health, he resigned in January 1947.

  82. egg_

    Mrs Beardsley
    #1106680, posted on December 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    GM’s market share is predicted to go from 10% to 3% if they go the Korean-supplied ‘cheap & cheerful’ route.
    I.e. if you want Korean, buy Korean.

  83. egg_

    Steve D
    #1106618, posted on December 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    D. ‘All the above.’ ?

  84. Myrrdin Seren

    Grace Collier’s revelations in the AFR did it for me in terms of any remaining sympathy or nostalgia for the local industry.

    Those inflated, taxpayer subsidised wages must undoubtedly flow through to inflated, taxpayer subsidised union dues and other baksheesh – keeping Kim Il Carr and his revolting factional buddies rolling in hay.

    And that and the tariffs keeps new car prices high, which roll through to the insanely high prices of used cars in this country.

    No wonder at times we look like Cuba – with people keeping 30 and 40 year old cars on the road.

    And all because Grace did what no professional journalist could – and go read publicly accessible FWA documentation. Hello Media Party, hello Stenographer’s Gallery – let us know when degree qualified journos can do some journalism, instead of carrying water for the ALP, Greens and ACTU all day ( actually investigative journalists excluded ).

    In the wash up of all this, I hope Grace has a good personal security plan – there are going to be a lot of people wanting to throw shovels over her front fence.

  85. Whso02

    Ford and Holden have been offering 5 year old designs as NEW to Australians for years.
    Just look at US TV shows of 5 years ago.

  86. Yohan

    Grace was right on the mark with her article in a general sense. But her quotes regarding payout figures for Holden employees was complete bullshit. 300-400k for each worker, total rubbish.

    They get 4.5 weeks pay for each year of service, plus another 1k for each year of service. A 20 year veteran would end up with 130k, excluding accrued sicks days and annual leave.

    Its still a lot better than the standard payout, which is 2 weeks for each year of service.

  87. And Another Thing

    Given the excellent history provided by stackja, and that we now know Holden is going, it’s time to debate whether General Motors should be allowed to continue to use the name of the original coach-builder. Who knows, Toyota, which builds cars that people want, may be more inclined to stick around if it could build “Holdens”. The name certainly still carries an enormous amount of goodwill.

  88. sabrina

    Grace Collier should learn from Philip King before writing like a novice masquerading as an expert.

  89. Tom

    Grace Collier should learn from Philip King before writing like a novice masquerading as an expert.

    Sabrina, I’ve been taking note of your contributions here over the past year and it’s obvious you’re just another lefty academic sniper who’s never worked in the productive economy.

    Collier’s analysis of the GMH situation yesterday was detailed and devastating. If you want to snipe, you need credibility. Compared with Collier, you have fuckall.

  90. .

    What is so good about Philip King?

    Yohan are you sure Grace isn’t correct?

  91. .

    Sabrina, I’ve been taking note of your contributions here over the past year and it’s obvious you’re just another lefty academic sniper who’s never worked in the productive economy.

    Fucking obvious.

    Sabrina is an airhead, to wit, an oxygen thief.

  92. Rohan

    Ahhhhhh, the foley of aggressive Enterprise Bargaining. If you bargain too hard, the enterprise goes broke.

  93. Gab

    Grace Collier was in the Union movement for eight years before she saw the light and left. Today she’s a successful businesswoman. The leftards have never forgiven her for that.

    Philip King died in 1808.

  94. steve

    Grace Collier should learn from Philip King before writing like a novice masquerading as an expert.

    I think you mean Phillip Adams

  95. JC

    Whenever I see or hear about a business that’s in trouble I always wonder if it can be fixed. I think Holden could be.

    Wages for both Holden and the component makers would need to be reduced by 30%, the unions told to get the fuck out of there. Energy prices which for South Australia, thanks to renew balls is the most expensive in Australia, that of course could have to change.

    I think there could be a shot at repairing it. I’d have a go.

  96. egg_

    Ahhhhhh, the foley of aggressive Enterprise Bargaining. If you bargain too hard, the enterprise goes broke.

    As does a good parasite not kill its host.

  97. Infidel Tiger

    I think there could be a shot at repairing it. I’d have a go.

    Go for it, but if you ask for one dollar of taxpayer help we’ll shoot you and stuff you in the boot of a Torana.

  98. My first car was a Ford Cortina. White. Very second hand. Don’t recall it ever breaking down on the road though. I do remember cars of that era having lots of air space around the engine.

    As you were.

  99. JC

    No Taxpayer money, IT.

    The idea would be to turn it into an more upmarket brand and move away from the commoditized every man’s segment which means you have to be huge to get the economies of scale.

    Basically you follow along the lines of Telsa which essentially took the manufacturing playbook used by computer makers and make stuff along those principles.

    However there could be no room for unions.

    I think it’s quite possible.

  100. Wages for both Holden and the component makers would need to be reduced by 30%, the unions told to get the fuck out of there. Energy prices which for South Australia, thanks to renew balls is the most expensive in Australia, that of course could have to change.

    The problems Holden face aren’t just related to costs though. They don’t have the R+D capability to compete with companies like Toyota in the SUV and compact market. That’s why they have always stuck with the Commodore, because it filled a niche the Japanese companies didn’t see the point of trying to fill, because of the size of the market (large family sedans of that kind were really only ever popular in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa).

  101. egg_

    in the boot of a Torana.

    Per Mitsu’s speculation, BMW are said to be returning to 6-cyl (turbo) as their performance car base.

  102. JC

    A strong aussie would help to source your components from overseas. It’s not a given that a strong currency is the end of the world and people shouldn’t automatically fall for that line of bullshit.

    World comods like steal etc are priced in US dollars, so if/when the price of steel goes up a rising aussie would dampen the impact of the rise.

    It’s not a total given that an appreciating currency would hurt you, because don’t forget the overseas competitor is sourcing the steel with a weaker currency and would cost more.

    Wages should also reflect a great deal a flexibility.

  103. harrys on the boat

    Could we detonate the place on new years eve in a hail of fireworks?

  104. Infidel Tiger

    Basically you follow along the lines of Telsa which essentially took the manufacturing playbook used by computer makers and make stuff along those principles.

    Tesla? So you want a car that catches fire when it’s not looking for a handout?

  105. JC

    The problems Holden face aren’t just related to costs though. They don’t have the R+D capability to compete with companies like Toyota in the SUV and compact market. That’s why they have always stuck with the Commodore, because it filled a niche the Japanese companies didn’t see the point of trying to fill, because of the size of the market (large family sedans of that kind were really only ever popular in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa).

    There’s a golden rule we learnt in finance which I saw in operating in banking. You either have to be very big, allowing economies of scale to set in, or very small, boutique- like. You don’t want to be middle sized or competing with the big players, which Holden was trying to do. You get fucking killed.

  106. JC

    Tesla? So you want a car that catches fire when it’s not looking for a handout?

    Stop being an idiot. They’re manufacturing process is extraordinarily advanced. Three cars caught fire. Happens. :-)

  107. It’s interesting reading this article from 2 years ago noting the export market problems Holden were having. They used to do pretty well in the Middle East, and the article doesn’t really explain why that market collapsed, although the high dollar (and tariff problems with Brazil) certainly get a mention:

    Holden admitted its overseas sales have been hurt over the past two years by the strength of the Australian dollar, but the company was hit hardest by the end of its G8 export program to the USA when General Motors shut down its Pontiac division.

    “The Australian dollar doesn’t help,” Perry said.

    The quick turnaround in fortunes is pretty surprising:

    Overseas sales of the Commodore this year are likely drop to around one-tenth of their recent record, 60,518 cars in 2005, because of falling support since then in the Middle East, Brazil and the USA. Last year’s total was just 7817 cars. The only bright spots are relatively strong demand for the long- wheelbase Caprice in the Middle East and the growth of police car sales in America.

    The export slide has also seen output from Holden’s factory at Elizabeth in South Australia fall from 165,000 cars in 2004 to 66,061 last year, although the company hopes local production of the compact Cruze alongside the Commodore will eventually rebuild its total to around 100,000 a year.

  108. JC

    Steford

    stop fucking talking about business. You don’t understand enough to even know if you’re linking to a good or retarded piece.

    the arguments about the high aussie dollar are quite complex at the micro level. they are complex enough that you need to raise the hood each time it’s mentioned to really take a good look.

    Now fuck off back to the open thread with fatboy.

  109. Tom

    Whenever I see or hear about a business that’s in trouble I always wonder if it can be fixed. I think Holden could be.

    The problem is we haven’t had a recession for 25 years, which is a full generation. The Liars and the union scum thought they could regulate wages out of the ballpark and wealth would magically appear. We have been protected from reality by the mining boom.

    Abbott has no time to waste. There is big unemployment coming. Small business needs to be liberated from the Liars-Greenfilth regulatory-compliance nightmare. IR has to be tackled; McFarlane has just said on 7.30 that car industry productivity in Aust is half what it is in Japan. This can’t be kicked down the road.

    Real unemployment is already around 11%. The Liars have killed the employment market by making regulated wages unaffordable in the real world.

  110. JC, what I have noticed is that this blog is absolutely uninterested in the issue of the Australian dollar and its effects on the economy.

    I guess it just doesn’t fit into the meme that high wages and government spending and regulation are the source of all economic problems.

  111. egg_

    entropy
    #1106334, posted on December 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    In-law is v happy w his Korean TDI SUV; maybe when this ex-1 litre motorcycle rider slows down a lil more?

  112. Bruce of Newcastle

    the article doesn’t really explain why that market collapsed

    StevefB – Seven network news let the secret out this evening: Holden made cars no one wanted to buy.

    That will do it every time. How’s your Trabant going Stevie?

  113. Tom

    JC, what I have noticed is that this blog is absolutely uninterested in the issue of the Australian dollar and its effects on the economy.

    There or two drivers of the high AUD: mining and government debt.

    The reason the AUD is now $US0.91 instead of $US1.03 is that the debt binge is over and the resource boom has cooled.

    Regardless of what mining does, the AUD will continue to cool if Abbott turns off the debt binge. That is by no means guaranteed.

  114. Bear Necessities

    For those Unions that are outraged at Holden closing and think it should be able to continue as a going concern then I have a suggestion.

    Why don’t you start up a “Save Holden” Fund, market it to investors to contribute funds, when you think you have enough funds make an offer to GM to buy its Australian operations. If they sell it to you then all you have to do is:

    Sell cars that a person would want to buy which makes a reasonable profit.

    You would think that the AMWU and associated unions would have more than enough brain power to pull this off. They talk a really good game.

  115. Gab

    Unions trying to save Holden? Pfft. Unions at Toyota rejected a wage freeze today in order to try and save Toyota. The Greedy unions are the ones destroying car manufacturing in Australia.

  116. JC

    Stepford

    Intervention, that is unsterilized intervention to bring the Aussie down would be next to useless and end up causing the RBA losses. Stop linking to nitwits who don’t understand this stuff… thinking you have linked to a genius. You don’t fucking know who you’re linking to you dunce.

    If the money supply doesn’t increase no amount of intervention would work as monetary policy would have to be loosened and strongly signaled that it would continue to be. If the RBA believes that such a policy would cause more problems then they won’t do it.

    This is a great time to discuss why our labor markets are so inflexible and which fat arsed disgusting slapper made them so. Want to talk about that? Ummmm.

    JC, what I have noticed is that this blog is absolutely uninterested in the issue of the Australian dollar and its effects on the economy.

    Sure we do. We talk about it all the time. The currency is where it is because the markets brought it here. I like a strong market derived Aussie because it helps with my purchasing power and raises my income and net worth against the rest of the world. Lots of people like it.

    I’ve also maintained that it’s not a given a strong aussie hurts domestic competitors, as you really need to look at the mix.

    Lastly, you’ll notice most of the fucking arseholes calling for a weak Aussie are those people connected with high wage unionized enterprises. Fuck them. They’re caught with a massively high wage level relative to the rest of the world and want the rest of us to bail them out with a cheaper aussie, artificially manufactured by the RBA. Fuck’em and the air they breathe.

  117. JC

    Let me repeat, Stepford, that moron you linked to asking the RBA to intervene is a bigger numbnut than you are, because the only way to succeed with intervention is through unsterilized intervention otherwise it won’t work.

    See this bruise, stepford, that’s it. See this one and this other one? Those are all bruises from selling Yen when the Bank of Japan intervened about 3 odd years ago to weaken the Yen and sterilized the intervention. the weakness lasted about a week and then the Yen began to strengthen again. It only weakened when the BOJ announced a huge QE program same time last year. The US/Yen rate was around 77 at the time!.

    Shut up and stop talking you fucking imbecile. And stop linking to shit you don’t understand.

  118. Bear Necessities

    The Fair Work regulations now giving Unions a powerful hand in negotiations and therefore able to leech more money from shareholders. The result a few years down the track is the reduction in membership of unions in manufacturing, construction, engineering, mining etc, due to firms closing or downsizing. I call it Karma. But the union bosses will still get their pay.

  119. .

    Lulz…Steve from Brisbane of all fucking people – lecturing to us on the necessity for a small open economy to have a dirty float on its FX rate…

    I lulz’d hard.

  120. blogstrop

    The old term for trade reality in the Hawke-Keating era was the “level playing field”. Somehow we knew it wasn’t level, particularly where agricultural produce was concerned. But somehow that level thing was all tied to “micro-economic reform”, which was a good thing. Perhaps that was intended to soften the blow of industries going offshore and jobs going with them. Then during the Howard government terms there was the “anti-globalisation” panic in the streets, usually around G20 time, wherever it was held. This globalisation stuff was pure evil and to be resisted at all costs.
    At the end of the day we have yet another example of unions screwing the pooch and making an industry uncompetitive. The task ahead for governments of any colour is to employ people in useful roles, investment roles (not just as baristas or the old service industry mop up), building infrastructure to make the country run more efficiently whether domestically (better roads and rail) or internationally for export of whatever we sell.

  121. JC

    Dot

    The moron really don’t know what he’s saying nor who he’s linking to. The US, Japan and the EU are basically QEing. China is linked to the US dollar so they are also in a defacto sense while we’re not. So the imbecile wants us to weaken our currency by printing more money which is the only way it would succeed. Printing when we don’t have to in order to cover up for the inflexible labor markets, the fat arse slapper created.

    I’d slap his ears till they were red raw if he was close to me. Red raw and bleeding.

  122. JC

    GM has China covered, no need for vehicles from GMH.

    I bet we’ll finally see the caddies and Lincolns here.

    I wouldn’t buy one but I really fucking love these .

    http://www.lincoln.com/crossovers/mkt/

    http://www.lincoln.com/suvs/navigator/

    They would send the Green left batshit

  123. Leo G

    “The Australian dollar doesn’t help,” Perry said.

    A high Australian dollar marginally helps GM Korea- but is being used as a smokescreen for the politics.
    GM is desperate to offset the effects of the decision to end Chevrolet sales in Europe. GM’s gambit of shipping Chevrolets into Europe from the Korean plant has failed miserably- so much so that GM is prepared to sacrifice Australian production to gain a minimal offset for marketing problems elsewhere.
    But what really guaranteed the end of GMH Australian production was the free trade deal we just finalised with South Korea, cutting tariffs on imports of cars and car parts.
    Last year we exported AUD$2 billion worth of motor vehicles from South Korea, our next-to-greatest export from that country. The FTA is set to dramatically increase that trade, and GM is positioning itself to take advantage.
    I’m disappointed that our media are not properly back grounding this story. It suggests to me that the media is preoccupied with anti-Abbott interpretations- particularly the ABC.

  124. .

    Mustangs. Thunderbirds. Corvettes.

    I can’t wait.

  125. Combine_Dave

    Aren’t a lot of the GMH vehicles currently already sourced from Korea (GM Daewo); Captiva, Cruise, Barina…

  126. Combine_Dave

    I guess if you want cheap buy Korea.

    If you want reliable go Jap.

    And if you want luxury go Euro.

    Not much room for GMH.

  127. egg_

    Leo G
    #1106899, posted on December 11, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Thought the FTA/GMH closure timing smacked of background deals Joe Public was kept in the dark of but per upthread, the industry pundits are seeing GMH drop from 10% to 3% market share if they go to the Korean-type models.

  128. Bruce of Newcastle

    There or two drivers of the high AUD: mining and government debt.

    Third, we are not trying to out print the Fed, ECB and Japan. We don’t have a peg like China and Switzerland. Of course our bloody dollar is high.

    Fourth, we are a relatively prosperous law abiding country that is not the US, EU, China or Japan. If you frequent the Sydney apartment market you will understand that the money wants out of those places.

    The Kiwi has come in from a buck thirty to 1.09 yesterday. That has happened because NZ is seen as a safe haven but not linked to China the way we are. On current trends they will hit parity with the Aussie quite soon.

    As Steve Kates said this morning, all this printing doesn’t end pretty.

  129. egg_

    Without the Commodore and Ute, the essential core of the GM Holden brand disappears. And it will not be recaptured by anything from GM Korea.

    GM will be staring at a prospect of worse than a halving of Holden’s market share.

    It will likely drop to less than 3.0 percent; a rival not for Mazda, but for Kia and Honda, with 2.6 and 2.7 percent market share respectively.

  130. .

    Like Holden or GM care. They’ll flog D-Max & Colorado, and make up for it with Korean small cars or US sedan imports.

  131. Leo G

    Thought the FTA/GMH closure timing smacked of background deals Joe Public was kept in the dark of but per upthread, the industry pundits are seeing GMH drop from 10% to 3% market share if they go to the Korean-type models.

    Julia Gillard said in November 2011 that she expected the FTA to be finalised by mid December 2011. It appears that she was prompted to delay Rudd’s deal until after the election by the AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver’s campaign against it. He called it a “quasi cows for cars agreement” that would sacrifice more manufacturing jobs in Australia.
    So the Korea-Australia FTA was wrapped up as a Lucky ’13 Christmas package for Tony Abbott.

  132. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Thank Christ, the end of this disgraceful racket is approaching.

    Well done all contributors, special mention to Leo and Tom.

    Tom: yes, unemployment is on the way. We as a country are going to pay a hell of a price for letting the unions run the country for six years.

    On the bright side: Lincolns, Cadillacs, Mustangs, Thunderbirds, Corvettes, all at reasonable prices. Can’t wait.

  133. Porcelain Monkey

    IATW

    Reasonable prices?

    Wouldn’t you be stung for a RHD conversion and compliance with ADRs?

    Can only wait and hope.

  134. Oh come on

    Some thoughts:

    *The Australian car industry’s predicament is identical to the Big Three in Detroit. Fortunately for us, our government has finally demonstrated that it’s not willing to throw good money after bad, unlike in the US. Unfortunately for us, the workplace relations arrangements that made the Australian car industry so cripplingly uncompetitive are national, so it would be impossible for new, hyper-competitive plants to open up in areas of Australia which are more business-friendly, as has happened in the US. Our industry is dead; theirs is thriving. Just not in the way it used to.

    *Regarding rebadged Holdens being sold to the ME, China etc – well, in China we didn’t export the whole car, just the drivetrain. But anyway, so what if the Zeta platform was designed here? It’s GM’s property. If it’s cheaper to build a car based on the same platform shared by the current Commodore in another country, then they have every right to build it where it’s going to make them the most profit. There is no moral – and certainly no commercial – reason why rebadged Commodores for export must be made in Australia.

    *Brickbats are due to be hurled at GM. I reckon they’ve been lying to us these past few weeks, for starters. I would be very surprised if the strategic decision to shitcan Australian production wasn’t made a year or two ago – I’d speculate not long before the introduction of Opel into Australia. Opel’s entry into the market seems to me to be evidence of a plan to separate GM’s Australian sales into low-rent Hyundolden and delusions-of-grandeur Opel after local manufacturing had been shuttered. The introduction of the Opel brand into Australia makes a lot more sense in the post-Commodore era. Prior to, it seemed rather inexplicable. Of course, if I’m right, then that means GM’s been begging for alms from the taxpayer (and being rewarded handsomely) to continue their Australian operations in the full knowledge that these were doomed.

    * I agree with JC. The industry is saveable. What needs to be done is that the base rate an assembly line worker receives needs to fall from $50/hr to $30. This would still make car assembly more expensive than in Thailand, but we can make a strong case that it’s worth paying the extra for the political stability and superior infrastructure that doesn’t fail, resulting in factory-destroying floods. We charge a premium for supply stability of our mineral and fossil fuel exports, and the rest of the world is willing to pay it. There’s no reason why this same logic wouldn’t apply to any other kind of export. Of course, the premium the car industry charges at present is much too high – especially considering IR stability is much less rock-solid than that of our political system. This would have to change, too.

  135. Oh come on

    The problems Holden face aren’t just related to costs though. They don’t have the R+D capability to compete with companies like Toyota in the SUV and compact market.

    Nonsense, of course they have. They can get it from other GM subsidiaries, which is exactly what they have done (consider that all but the final series of Commodore was based on the Opel Omega). If, way back when, Toyota decided to create a special marque for their cars built and/or sold in Australia, they could still draw on the parent company’s designs found in other markets.

    If you want to argue that Toyota designs better cars than GM, then in most cases I’d agree. But Holden was/is by no means an island.

  136. Yohan

    There was a quote a few days ago from a Union rep, who when asked about reducing the wages to the award rate as an emergency measure, he said NO, we wont do that because of the flow on effects it will have to wages in other parts of the industry.

    So there in a nutshell is the real truth. The Union themselves would rather see Holden and the like close, rather than have wages rolled back to something sensible.

  137. Combine_Dave

    Without the Commodore and Ute, the essential core of the GM Holden brand disappears. And it will not be recaptured by anything from GM Korea

    Didn’t the Korean sourced (originally) Cruise beat Commodore in sales at one point? The Captiva, possibly due to its sharp pricing, is also doing well and is comparable to the Commodore.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/157447/holdens-new-sales-champ-cruze-beats-commodore/

    http://performancedrive.com.au/australian-vehicle-sales-for-april-2013-toyota-dominates/

    I imagine that rather than dropping the Cruise from their lineup that GMH would just go back to importing Holden badged Cruises from Korea. The biggest danger to Holden here is that once all those bogans realise, due to all the negative press coverage, they’ve been buying Daewoos all this time they might switch off Holden completely.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Cruze#Second_generation_.282008.E2.80.93present.29

    Isn’t there some sort of medium sized front wheel drive sitting between the Cruze and the Commodore? I am guessing that GM would import this for the purposes of retaining fleet sales (the primary role of the Commodore previously?). Back in 2012 it looked like the declining sales of the Commodore (beaten by Camry and Mazda) would prompt GM to wind down their locally made large car.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/164535/holdens-future-models-small-car-certain-large-car-questionable/

    DISCLAIMER: I don’t like the Cruise or the Captiva, but I wish Holden could still be salvaged. Sadly with parent company struggling again, and with form at bklackmailing governments for handouts and then shutting up shop anyway it’s not worth the risk of constant ongoing government handouts.

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/12/sweden-rescues/

  138. Oh come on

    I use this with relish:

    “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”

  139. Didn’t the Korean sourced (originally) Cruise beat Commodore in sales at one point? The Captiva, possibly due to its sharp pricing, is also doing well and is comparable to the Commodore.

    The commodore has lost far more sales to the Hilux/Ford Ranger/Nissan Navara than it has to the smaller cars. People who want a large family car now buy a pickup truck or crossover SUV, because there’s very little disadvantage to doing so.

  140. Combine Dave

    Yobbo,

    Doesn’t look like a bad car… can’t see how it would be a threat to HiLux through :D

    Might have to add management decisions to the reasons behind Holden’s failure.

  141. Oh come on

    Yobbo: too right. And just think, in the 90s and early naughties when all the luvvies were sneering at the Americans for abandoning cars like the Commodore and Falcon in favour of SUVs. Remember? American drivers were raping Gaia with their gas-guzzling SUVs? Ford Crown Victorias (a US Falcon equivalent) were bought almost exclusively by taxi companies and police departments, and it’s been this way for years. Why would that have happened, I wonder?

    Well it seems that the Australian car buyer has found out; turns out we like our SUVs, too. And why not? The large RWD sedan configuration is simply not as practical for families as a five door SUV configuration. The Commodore will go the way of the battleship (like the naval theme?) but large, RWD sedans will continue to dominate the high end luxury division. That’s its future.

    The Commodore is going to go

  142. Bill Fairless

    General Motors and Holden’s amalgamated in 1931 because Holden”s were going broke and GM still needed someone to make their car bodies. 1.4 million pounds of assets were given away for a little over a million.
    Holden’s shareholders were offered preference shares in the new company ( General Motors Holden’s} and the majority of the ordinary shares were taken by G.M.
    Whilst the preference shareholders received or at times didn’t receive their dividend depending on trading conditions. The ordinary shareholders did not receive a dividend.This enabled G.M to avoid paying a 30% tax on dividends repatriated abroad. A fine example of this was in 1938 when the company made over a million pounds in profit and paid the preference holders a total of 30 odd thousand pounds and gave a bonus of 761000 1 pound shares to the ordinary share holders , basically itself.
    You have to love multinationals . They tell you they love you when all they want is to a screw.
    It was not until 1960 that the last of the preference shareholders were bought out and G.M.H.

  143. Rob

    Now the government needs to up the import duty for cars another 5% and that money used to train Holden workers and if Toyota go up it 7.5%

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