RIP Holden Commodore: Iconic Aussie vehicle to be retired

Holden drops Commodore

Holden drops Commodore

Australia's Holden Commodore in its previous guises was once an iconic rear-wheel sedan that also formed the basis of South Africa's Chevrolet Lumina SS and the USA market's Chevrolet SS, both V8-powered brutes that provided plenty of good old fashioned bang for the buck.

In a move that has shocked the automotive industry, both the ZB Commodore and BK Astra will be withdrawn from the market next year as Holden looks to narrow its portfolio exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles. But this year, that's set to come down to around 8,700 units.

This is a far cry from its heyday, when the Commodore was Australia's best-selling auto by far, even hitting the 94 000 mark in 1998, according to CarAdvice.

The Commodore's value to Holden is also hampered by the fact it is no longer built by Holden parent General Motors.

Of course, there was also a station wagon and an El Camino like single cab bakkie called the Ute, which also featured prominently in South Africa's Chevrolet-badged range.

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Alongside the Commodore, Holden is also putting the much less beloved but no less trusty Astra to bed in 2020 as well, with similar reasons heralding the end of the enduring vehicle co's signature hatchback.

The current Commodore is a twin to the Buick Regal sold in the United States and China and the Opel Insignia sold in Europe.

Local production ended in 2017 when Holden closed its vehicle assembly operations in Adelaide.

At the peak of large auto sales in 1998, Australians bought more than 217,000 vehicles, but those figures are likely to reach only about 8700 cars this year.

"So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing".

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"Now, with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for ..."

The drastic decision comes hard on the heels of the news last week that Holden Australia's former chairman and managing director, Dave Buttner, was resigning after the shortest run at the top in the company's 71-year history.

Holden launched the Commodore back in October 1978 and there have been 16 models released since.

This has led to rumors that GM may eventually replace Holden with Chevrolet in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Holden is assuring current Commodore and Astra owners or those who have already placed orders that servicing and warranties will be honoured.

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