General Motors has pulled the plug on Holden in Australia, but the company does not cease to exist. GM informed Holden employees that the company would be phased out over the next two years, with the brand entirely extinct by the end of 2021. If you own a Holden (or are considering buying one), you might be feeling left out – here’s what you need to know going forward.
Holden parts: You can also get Holden parts and get it serviced if you have one. Depending on dealer uptake of the bid, Holden obviously has expectations there will be little or no disturbance or inconvenience for current Holden owners as far as maintenance, parts and warranty issues go. GM has announced that approximately 600 of the 800 Holden employees would be laid off as part of their business exit. The remaining 200 employees will form the core of Holden’s maintenance, warranty, and spare parts dedication, based primarily in Port Melbourne.
Holden is currently in discussions with dealerships, the majority of which are likely to close, but some of which can be converted into independent service centers. Holden presently provides seven years of complimentary scheduled maintenance as a marketing tool, and that promise will be maintained for consumers – you will not be required to pay to get the oil changed.
What will happen to your Holden:
If you own a non-Australian-built imported Holden, its value would most likely skyrocket for a few weeks before settling into the usual pattern of depreciation for any European car. If you own an Australian-made Holden, especially a late-model Commodore with a V8 engine under the hood, you may be sitting on an investment with a higher growth rate than land.
For example, VF Commodores equipped with the coveted LS3 engine currently sell for as much as $50,000. That’s nearly $10,000 more than when they were new (around $42,000), considering the fact that they’re three years old and have thousands of kilometers on the odometer!
Can you still buy a Holden? You certainly can. In Australia, there are 185 Holden dealerships and 31 in New Zealand, and the doors will remain open for the near future. Many of those dealerships also have yards full of stock that can be bought. In reality, now might be the ideal time to snag a deal on a brand new Arcadia, Colorado, Astra, or Commodore.
What cars will spike in value? When considering a classic car as an investment, keep in mind that car values are unpredictable and highly susceptible to trends. In short, if you understand the market – and how to keep a car in good condition for an extended period of time – it can be worthwhile.
If you’re taking a gamble on a car you love, you’re better off driving it and enjoying the memories than storing it for a 50/50 chance of a later payday. Traditionally, the best models to invest in are high-spec, Australian-built vehicles with a racing background. As a result, 1970s Toranas fetch $200,000 at auction, 1988 Commodores fetch $340,000, and even Holden Kingswoods bring six figures.
If your vehicle meets these criteria, it might be worth considering long-term storage: High-powered engine made in Australia, preferably with eight cylinders, and some appearance on Mount Panorama in Bathurst.
Although GM’s potential presence in Australia and New Zealand remains unclear, the company has announced that it will continue to support its current vehicles and customers for at least the next decade.