General Motors is retiring the Holden brand by 2021 and shutting design and manufacturing operations in Australia and New Zealand, as well as pulling the Chevrolet brand from Thailand.
These moves are part of GM’s ongoing global restructuring to get out of unprofitable international markets where mass vehicle production hasn’t been profitable. Those markets include Europe, Japan, Russia, and now Australia, according to an Automotive News report. GM pulled Chevy from Europe and Russia in 2015. In 2017, GM sold Opel and Vauxhall as part of its exit from South Africa and Africa.
GM’s Australian market share with the Holden brand was at 13 percent in 2009. It has since fallen to 4.1 percent, GM said in a statement.
Australia and New Zealand are both right-hand steering drive markets like Britain. The inefficiency of building right-hand drive vehicles became too costly for GM to justify continuing to build right-hand driven Holden vehicles with sales plummeting, GM officials said.