The iconic Holden Commodore is no more after the carmaker announced it would axe the car from its line-up to focus solely on utes and big SUVs.
The Commodore was once the most popular vehicle in the country, with Holden selling almost 95,000 cars bearing the name in 1998.
This year Holden has sold just 5471.
Today the company announced it will take “decisive action to ensure a sharp focus” on more popular models.
The Holden Colorado ute and the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox, and Trax SUVs will soon comprise the full Holden lineup, which Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said is “consistent with customer preferences”, according to the company.
“So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 per cent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing,” Mr Aquilina said.
It’s incredibly likely Holden will see that trend continue all the way to comprising 100 per cent of Holden’s sales, given today’s announcement that will soon be all they sell.
The Astra hatchback will also be dropped.
Since going on sale in 1978, the Commodore has been a popular family car and a central part of many an Australian childhood.
While the Commodore is a quintessentially Australian car, its historic name’s place in the culture is now the only thing Aussie about it.
Holden, owned by US conglomerate General Motors, ceased producing cars in Australia in October of 2017, joining Ford and Toyota in withdrawing from local car manufacturing in recent years.
The locally built Commodore was replaced with a smaller, less powerful sedan made by German manufacturer Opel, a former GM subsidiary sold to the French PSA Group in 2017.
The German Commodore proved significantly less popular with Australian buyers, who struggled to fall in love with a softer looking sedan that crucially lacked no option for the thundering V8 engines that made performance oriented Commodores of the past so popular.
The axeing of the Commodore name is a clear sign of the car brand’s struggles. This year the lion badge has appeared on less than 40,000 new cars sold.
Despite its decision to stop selling the Commodore and Astra, Holden promised customers who have already bought one their warranties will continue to be honoured into the future, as will roadside assistance commitments and spare parts supplies.
“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” Mr Aquilina said.
Although the Holden range is being narrowed to utes and SUVs, the company said it still plans to lodge orders with GM for right-hand-drive mid-engine Chevrolet Corvettes to be delivered locally next year.
What are you favourite memories and what will you miss about the Holden Commodore? Has Holden made the right choice? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Originally published as Holden axes iconic Aussie car