General Motors Pariah or Saviour – They did the holden name well

Holden exportGeneral Motors is now seen as a pariah because of retiring the Holden brand in Australia.  But David Brown reports that while GM has made some huge mistakes, there were times when they were good for Holden.

In 1944 the Australian Government called for proposals to establish local car manufacturing. General Motors had the best offer including taking practically all of the financial risk.

And they let Holden actively pursue Australian Development. It was not a corporate giant stamping on a regional minion.

For example developing cars for the export market.

In 1973 – Holden exported a record 41,181 cars.

In 1983 – Holden was our biggest exporter of manufactured goods with sales in today’s terms of roughly $615 million.

The opportunity for support fell in a heap when GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and began to focus on profitability not total car sales.

Motoring Minutes are heard around Australia every day on over 50 radio channels through the Torque Radio networkMotoring Minutes have an average daily audience of over 150,000 listeners. 

About David Brown 269 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto