Holden (featured on car female car insurance site womenscheapcarinsurance.org.uk) is one of the most iconic brands in the Australian car industry. While now a subsidiary of the US car company General Motors, Holden has established itself as a company well known in the Australian market, with a large manufacturing presence in the country. Today it is the second most bought brand of car in Australia.

History

GM Holden Ltd started manufacturing automotive components and repairs in 1908. The company was originally set up by James Holden as a saddler, but the interest in cars of Jamesí grandson, Edward, saw it move into the vehicle market. The company was bought by General Motors in 1931, but maintained its own manufacturing plant in Port Melbourne.

Popular Models

Arguably the signature vehicle of the Holden brand is the Commodore. First produced in 1978 as a full-size sedan car, it was later developed into a station wagon and utility vehicle. Over the years its popularity meant that it has been exported to every continent except Antarctica, but the Commodore also holds the dubious honour of being the most-stolen car in Australia.

A major redesign of the Holden range in the early 1970s saw the release of the HQ range, as station wagons, sedans, coupes and utility vehicles.

In 1990 Holden produced the Caprice. A long-wheelbase sedan with a powerful V8 engine it won the best luxury car category at the 2006 Middle East 'Car of the year' awards.

Market Performance

Over the last decade or so, Holden has seen its fortunes in the market become much more volatile. In 2011, itís Commodore was overtaken for the first time in 15 years as the seller of the most new cars of a single model in Australia, beaten into second place by Mazda. It has also seen its overall revenue decline, from 6.6 billion dollars in 2005 to 4.5 billion in 2010. While the global economic crisis has certainly contributed to this downturn, commentators have claimed that Holden has failed to change its strategy to adapt to a changing marketplace - relying on larger models when the trend is now for smaller cars, and not developing more fuel efficient models sooner.

Future

Despite its recent travails in the market, the Holden brand remains strong. While always having a strong export market to the Middle East, Holden will be looking to increase its export potential, particularly into the USA. The development of the Cruze model sees Holden attempting to capitalise on consumer interest in more compact, fuel-efficient vehicles.

 

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