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Holden Discontinues Commodore, Astra, No Replacements Planned

Of all the capital sins committed by General Motors, poor management is probably the second biggest mistake of the American automaker. The biggest offender, as you may have guessed by now, is the substandard build quality.
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To get an idea on how management ruined the business model of General Motors, just take a look at the European division. Groupe PSA had to snatch up Opel and Vauxhall in order for them to post a profit, and The Big G is also troubled by the market forces in places such as South Korea.

Another example of GM ruining things by not caring at all is Holden. With the discontinuation of the rear-driven Commodore, the Australian arm has been reduced to nothing more than an importer of badge-engineered sedans, hatchbacks, and pickup trucks. The present-day Commodore? Yeah, that’s an Opel…

As much as Holden tried to persuade the Australian public that the re-badged Insignia is the spiritual successor to the Commodore VF Series II, the charade will end in 2020 with the discontinuation of this nameplate. Along with it, Holden will also pull the plug on the Astra that also starts life as an Opel in Germany.

"Holden announces exclusive SUV and ute lineup" is the title of the press release that confirms the discontinuation of both nameplates, and looking through the contents, you’ll find quite an interesting bit of information there.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” said Kristian Aquilina, the interim chairman and managing director of the once-proud Aussie brand.

Dave Buttner, the previous CEO in charge of Holden, stepped down from the job for personal reasons according to General Motors at the beginning of December 2019. It's unclear if those personal reasons include the shame of shouldering the discontinuation of the Commodore, but remember that the Ford Motor Company held its head up high when the last example of the Falcon rolled off the assembly line in Campbellfield, Victoria in October 2016.

The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades. But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and utes,” concluded Aquilina about the auto industry's status quo.

Here’s some food for thought. Instead of different badging for Opel and Chevrolet models, wouldn’t it be a lot better for Holden to close up shop? The Australian public has had enough of this empty braggadocio and the meddling of the corporate beancounters from General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.

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