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Bye-bye Commodore: Holden axes passenger cars

Holden’s new boss hits the ground swinging, announcing that the brand will offer an exclusive SUV and ute lineup, seeing the end of the Commodore and Astra.

HOLDEN HAS OFFICIALLY axed the iconic Commodore.

Following one of its worst sales records in history last month, acting chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said that both the Commodore and Astra would be removed from showrooms as the lion brand went to an exclusive SUV and ute lineup.

The Commodore first graced Australian showrooms in 1978 and now its story comes to an end, following after Ford which cancelled the Falcon in 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,” he said.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage.”

Commodore sales are down almost 40 per cent this year and Holden has dropped out of the top ten as sales continue to slide. This latest announcement comes just a week after Holden’s previous boss David Buttner, who had been in the position for 16 months, stepped down from his role.

Cancelling the Commodore and Astra will see a lineup consisting of the Colorado ute, and the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax SUVs. Once existing Commodore and Astra stock have been sold, there will be no more new Commodores or Astras imported.

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

“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play.”

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

New metal arriving into Holden showrooms soon will be the MY20 Equinox and MY21 Colorado. Added in the coming years will be the Corvette sports car, slated to arrive in 2021.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae