Holden's demise "like a death in the family"

The iconic lion is no longer.
The iconic lion is no longer.

News that international motoring giant General Motors will shut down the iconic Holden brand by the end of the year has been met with resignation and regret by motoring enthusiasts across the region.

Mid North Coast motoring personality, Andrew Miedecke, said it was disappointing to see such a legendary Australian brand discontinued, but he believed the writing had been on the wall for a while.

"I could see it coming," he said.

He blamed poor management from parent company General Motors for the brand's demise, saying the manufacturing of the cars should never have left Australia.

Holden was the answer to everyone's prayers in Australia.

Joel Wakely

Harrington author, Joel Wakely, whose 2017 book The Passion for Holden tracked the many models the brand released in 69 years of manufacturing, agreed with Mr Miedecke.

"It was a foregone conclusion when they stopped manufacturing in Australia back in 2017," he said.

"I predicted in the book that it was all going to turn to shit."

But while both men agreed it was a shame to see Holden go, they believed there were plenty of reasons why the brand would be remembered fondly.

"Holden was the answer to everyone's prayers in Australia," Mr Wakely said.

"It was lightweight, it was economical, it was affordable. It was everything Australia wanted and at the right time."

He described the 1950s through to the 1980s as the grand heyday of the Holden in Australia.

Joel Wakely's book 'The Passion for Holden'.

Joel Wakely's book 'The Passion for Holden'.

Mr Miedecke believed there had never been a more iconic car in this country.

He started his motoring career in the spare parts department of a Holden dealership in Launceston when he was 15 and went on to race Holden V8 supercars alongside Peter Brock, who he described as the iconic Australian Holden driver.

"The Holden in Australia was a superior car for most of its life," Mr Miedecke said.

"They had more than half the market for a long time."

Mr Wakely said there was a period when General Motors was easily making the best cars in the world.

Among a long line of Holdens he owned, he described the 2002 CV8 Monaro as his favourite.

"It offered everything - style, prestige, charisma," he said.

"It went like shit off a shovel."

Mr Wakely said the strong sales of his book - which exceeded 20,000 copies - indicated the love Australians felt for the brand.

The Holden Torana.

The Holden Torana.

Local motoring columnist, Chris Goodsell of Road Ramblings, said various people he had spoken to both inside and outside the motoring industry had described Holden's closure as "like a death in the family."

"That's the sort of passion Holden has engendered in numerous generations of Australians," he said.

Mr Wakely didn't believe the death of the brand would necessarily translate into increased value for existing Holdens, except in the case of special models.

But Mr Miedecke disagreed.

"I think the Australian-built Holden will become more collectible," he said.

"There's always demand for a good Holden."

In any case, all three men lamented the passing of an iconic brand.

"It's a real shame," Mr Miedecke said.

"I think we've lost a bit of Australia."