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General Motors Shuts Down Their Holden Operation

After their lowest monthly sales ever since their opening in 1948, General Motors has culled the Holden operation in Australia for good. What this holds for the Australian economy may be worrisome.

164 years of history, gone.

General Motors, Holden’s parent company, established iconic Aussie car brand way back in 1948 – this particular manufacturer over 164 years.

The fact, not only a sign of times with our ever-growing global economy but also highlights how uncompetitive has been.

What went wrong

To be plainly honest, Holden lost its relevance within the minds of Australian consumers. Holden’s go to marquee vehicle the Commodore sits in the 5th least popular car category in Australia, classified as a ‘large car’. Little to Holden’s knowledge, marketing idea to the modern Aussie consumer needed to include SUV’s and small cars which have ten times sales large cars do in recent years.

In Addition, Aside from losing their relevance, Holden had poor cost management. To the surprise of many, the average salary of a production line worker at Holden sat at $80k – $100k. A whopping amount of remuneration for their somewhat 600 odd employees – most unskilled.

The Aussie economy – a matter of cutting our own lunch.

One thing we can learn from the leadership of US President Donald Trump is the mandate to buy America first. In order to avoid tariffs and support their own economy, Americans manufacture in the US they also buy goods. Unfortunately, our own demise as host Andrew Baxter describes Aussies LOVE to cut our own lunch and buy foreign products. General Motors 

Moreover, Not only does this reduce spending in our home economy, but also adds pressure to the various manufacturers operating here.

The Aussie government is a part of the problem

Let’s make this clear – this isn’t a government bashing session, that would be too easy. Nonetheless it is important to know that in 2013, $2.13b of Aussie tax-payer dollars was funnelled into Holden to keep the brand afloat under the Abbott government. Fast forward to December 2019 and here we see the Morrison government has replaced all of their Holden government cars with Toyotas and BMW’s.

A contract once previously held by your beloved Holden Capris now belongs to the Japanese and the German’s. Like everyone else who never purchased a Holden car – the Aussie government is a part of the problem.

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It’s time to look after our own backyard first

Once you turn something off, it’s very hard to resuscitate it and bring it back. There is no doubt, the manufacturing industry within Australia is being turned off – extremely quickly. Farmers, car manufacturers, and various other producers of Aussie goods are struggling as our consumer sentiment is pointed towards overseas products. General Motors

The problem – the effect that this has on economy. Sure, you will save a couple of extra dollars by purchasing Chinese made clothes, however this will come at the sacrifice of jobs and of expenditure in our backyard. Quite simply, this puts our already vulnerable financial system at greater risk. Hosts Andrew Baxter and Mitch Olarenshaw both believe that we are in a desperate time where we need to start supporting our own, buying locally and instilling a cultural renaissance to support fellow Australians. The Holden case, as sad as it is, is a warning for us all before it’s too late.

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