Holden Commodore read last rites

After ceasing local manufacturing in 2017, Holden’s interim chairman and MD Kristian Aquilina has confirmed that the Commodore sedan will be discontinued, ending 41 years of sales where more than three million Commodores were sold. The announcement comes after sales of the Commodore fell to just 5,417 for the first 11 months of the year:

“The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades,” Mr Aquilina said in a statement.

“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”…

The Commodore was also Australia’s top-selling car for 15 straight years to 2010, and took the chequered flag at Bathurst – Australia’s most iconic motor race – for the first time in 1980.

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

The nameplate continued as an imported model, but sales this year have slumped 37 per cent to just 5417 to the end of November…

Mr Aquilina said Holden’s decision was consistent with market trends and customer preferences.

“Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments,” he said.

“So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 per cent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing.”

As noted yesterday, there has been the massive shift away from passenger motor vehicles (PMVs) to sports utility vehicles (SUVs) over the past decade:

In the decade to November 2019, PMV sales fell by 41%, whereas sales of SUVs surged by 163%.

Moreover, a decade ago PMV sales outnumbered SUV sales by around 3-to-1, whereas today SUV sales are running 50% above PMVs.

This shift away from PMVs is also projected to continue, according to Roy Morgan Research:

The consumer has spoken.

Leith van Onselen
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