On February 17, 2020, General Motors issued its official statement on the shutting down of Holden, Australia’s proud 160-year-old icon, by 2021.
While Holden’s sales has been dwindling for several years now – making its stay in the country untenable – the February announcement of its axing shocked many, including an angry prime minister and heartbroken Australians. Indeed a sad day for the country and the industry.
But what happens to Holden car owners once the Red Lion ceases sales, design, and engineering operations? In the same press statement, GM assured customers and all affected parties that there will be a dignified exit and all commitments made by Holden will be honoured through a smooth transition.
After the initial gloom, real-life questions have begun to surface, and so we have endeavoured to answer them in the FAQs that follow.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
1. When exactly is Holden shutting down?
Holden’s design studio will cease operation by July 01, 2020. Its engineering arm and the testing facility in Lang Lang, Victoria will close shop by the end of August 2020. Sales will continue until stocks last, which is estimated to be all sold by the end of 2020. All operations will have winded up by 2021.
2. Why is Holden leaving Australia?
Not only Australia but New Zealand as well. General Motors, Holden’s parent company, decided that the sales are not enough to justify the investments or sustain operations in these countries. After closing Holden’s manufacturing arm in Australia in 2017, the company focused on design/research/engineering and sales/marketing, but sales have consistently plummeted and failed to sustain the business.
3. What about my car’s warranty? What happens to it?
Check what your warranty stipulates. The closure does not change any of it. You will still benefit from what the warranty covers. If you have a recently bought car that came with a 7-year unlimited KM warranty, then you will enjoy the same promise.
GM's press release states that they will honour all issued warranties, guarantees, and scheduled servicing offers.
4. Where do I go for servicing if Holden's facilities will shut down by 2021?
GM promised to provide ongoing call-centre support. For at least 10 years, it will provide servicing and spare parts to Holden car owners by setting up national aftersales networks in the two affected countries. GM is looking at some of the current 185 Holden dealers in Australia and 31 in NZ to become authorised service outlets. Around 200 people will be retained to provide aftersales care to customers.
Also, servicing at centres other than a Holden dealership will not void your warranty coverage.
5. Who will handle recalls if they ever arise in the future?
The aftersales network will handle recalls and similar issues and coordinate with appropriate agencies of the government to respond to such possibilities.
6. I bought my Holden through Holden Financial Services (HFS), what happens to the contract I signed with them?
Your contract remains in force, and HFS will continue to be of service to you. This is true for all HFS financial products aside from loans, such as guarantees and insurances.
7. Will there be aftersales outlets/servicing centres near me?
The answer to how many service centres will there be and where they will be set up remains to be seen. While GM looks at tapping the existing dealerships, there is no confirmation about this yet.
8. I’ve recently bought a ZB Commodore, what happens to its resale value?
Depreciation will not be kind to your ZB Commodore. Even prior to the closure, the resale value of the imported Holdens had not been good. It’s highly likely that models manufactured before October 2017 will fare better in the used car market. There are speculations that the value of some Holden models will hit the roof in the future, but this refers to the Australian-built Holden classics.
9. Can I still buy a Holden now?
Yes. There are a few thousands of Holdens (no exact number yet) in stock at the moment, including those currently coming out of the production lines. Production ends in June 2020. Sales will continue until stocks last.
10. How many employees will lose their jobs?
Holden currently employs 800 people, more or less. Of these, 200 will be retained to handle the company’s aftersales commitments for at least 10 years. Around 600 people will be separated within the year.
We’ll keep you posted for more updates about Holden, the location of its authorised aftersales outlets in the future, and other relevant bits of information. Visit Carpart.com.au for the latest industry news, guides and tips, and auto parts sourcing.