Holden Commodore axed after 41 years of Australian motoring

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 11 Dec 2019 13:27
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sprinkle a little socialism and get all Government department's to buy Holden, Pressure Private pirates to buy Holden. HWT used Mitsubishi and management drove Ford The Age was commodores then RAVS, then came use your own car.
My father worked for Rupert at the Adelaide News. They had their own fleet (along with in-house 3 bay fully equipped workshop but I digress) and an all Aussie car buying policy, we grew up in and around XB/XC Falcons, Chrysler by Chryslers, Galants, Holden Gemini etc etc. Made good sense to them, their readership were working class (mainly) men on their way home from work (The News was an afternoon paper) so if you supported local businesses who employed local workers you sold more papers.

Even the top management could aspire to nothing fancier than a Statesman or LTD and neither they should have either. My dad moved to Melbourne to work in another News Corp business and brought his Aussie car with him. After he took early retirement his successor changed the rules and bought a BMW.

Policies like this are what helped to kill the Dunnydore, Falcon and Camry (contender for most boring car ever built). It should have been mandatory for government departments, local councils etc etc to buy Australian. After all the taxes, rates etc paid by the workers in the factories are what keeps government coffers flowing.
untenderedn old fashioned point of view I know and I am sure I will be shouted down by Right Wing Eco Rats and Left Wing folk (who seem to think that anything Australian is to be avoided like the plague lest you turn into a bogan) alike but the system worked back then and with the casualisation of our workforce which has resulted from the mass exit of manufacturing from this country are we really any better off?
BrentonGolding
Camry is world's best selling sedan, although the M3 is likely to take over and is even more boring apart from its electrc grunt.

While I agree with you about Govt departments should buy local, what happens if there is no local. Which was starting to become the case prior to the closure as the cars they made here were all large sedans and the Cruz.

While loss of govt fleet buying didn't help and they only loss some away from local, it wasn't the driving factor. You can see this in the Commodore and Falcon's resale price, which were very low compared to imported sedan's. So they are being bought new in numbers where resale price wasn't a deciding factor.

Why you don't make it mandatory is because then you are forcing govt money to be spent on untendered which means you may not be getting the best price.

System worked back then for a few reasons. First it made new cars very expensive and you only have to look at the number of new cars sold per capita vs today is nearly half as much. Around 2000's 2nd car prices dived due to rising wages in US$, lower tarriffs and lower price new cars as they moved away from western manufacture.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
People often forget that the first Commodore was built when Malcolm Fraser imposed up to 57% tariffs on imported vehicles.

Ironic given that at the time Malcolm's specially built LWB Chrysler Regal had to be assembled covertly in the Tonsley Park factory at night so the militant union boys wouldn't sabotage it....
Carnot
and car companies were happy with production numbers that today are well below sustainable.
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

I will surely miss my VX Commodore Sad it may not be much for a v6 but I loved it! I had to buy a Holden Cruze JH Sedan as my VX overheated too much and stuffed up the cooling system, I think this was due to a engine oil change over as it used to have 10W 40 and soon after 5W 30 was put into it, I've had problems regardless of the so-called engine oil compatibility
It's a shame GM has axed the Commodore! One of Australia's top selling car's and most favourite!
You wonder what's NEXT!? I still would like to see GM bringing out an anniversary edition of the HQ Kingswood and HQ Monaro, I suggested this to them and they got back to me saying that nobody would be able to afford it

I would also like to see all of the GM/Holden manufacturing shops to be converted into museums throughout Australia! The government probably wouldn't allow it but we got to have some memories for what was once Australia's top selling brand and trademark
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The major GMH facilities in SA have had the following fates.

Birkenhead vehicle assembly plant: GMH operations transferred to Elizabeth South, building leased to other industrial companies for ~20 years, demolished after it became derelict in the 1980s, has now been vacant pending development for almost as long as it was used by GMA/GMH.

Woodville manufacturing plant: vehicle body manufacturing transferred to Elizabeth South, remainder closed in 1990, site now occupied by retail (Bunnings and Harvey Norman) and an industrial estate.

Elizabeth South complex: parts already leased out to other companies, including one company that is manufacturing solar panels there.

I think that continuing to use the Elizabeth South complex for new industries will be a better tribute to the heritage of the complex than turning it into a museum. The National Motor Museum is less than an hour's drive away and already has a significant amount of content related to Holden and the other manufacturing operations in Australia.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yes, this is the Elizabeth site today:
https://www.lionsgateelizabeth.com.au/

The old Dandenong plant in Vic is still owned by Holden as their Service Parts Operation.

As for Fisherman's Bend - mostly torn down and turned into a Tech Precinct/Business Park/University.  Some of it is still their HQ and Product Development Centre:
https://www.goauto.com.au/news/holden/out-with-the-old-and-in-with-new-at-holden/2018-08-23/74972.html
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I will surely miss my VX Commodore Sad it may not be much for a v6 but I loved it! I had to buy a Holden Cruze JH Sedan as my VX overheated too much and stuffed up the cooling system, I think this was due to a engine oil change over as it used to have 10W 40 and soon after 5W 30 was put into it, I've had problems regardless of the so-called engine oil compatibility
It's a shame GM has axed the Commodore! One of Australia's top selling car's and most favourite!
You wonder what's NEXT!? I still would like to see GM bringing out an anniversary edition of the HQ Kingswood and HQ Monaro, I suggested this to them and they got back to me saying that nobody would be able to afford it
cityrail-rulez
The Cruze was the biggest smouldering pile of garbage ever brought into this country (along with the Craptiva).

Whether Holden even still sell cars here in 12 months time is questionable IMO.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The Cruze was the biggest smouldering pile of garbage ever brought into this country (along with the Craptiva).
Carnot
You're obviously forgetting the Camira, a sin for which the Dandenong factory should have been destroyed by F-111s.

Whether Holden even still sell cars here in 12 months time is questionable IMO.
Carnot
I reckon we'll see the Holden name phased out as new models arrive and keep their own identities. Holden Ltd could then be renamed to General Motors Australia, like it was originally before it was merged with Holden Motor Body Builders.

It will be interesting to see whether PSA Australia will go with Opel or Vauxhall branding when their new models start appearing here. The Peugeot 308 2nd generation is quite a nice car and will be a good model on which to base the next Astra.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yes, well the Camira was garbage.  Later iterations with the 1.8L and 2.0L were an improvement on the fiasco that the first series was (with its compulsorily shot engine rings allowing burning oil to escape out thru the exhaust in a haze of blue smoke).

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...

P.S The JD Camira with the 1.8L leaded engine was a hotrod with 85kW.  Then unleaded petrol arrived and it lost 22 kW due to detuning and a Catalytic converter.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Yes, well the Camira was garbage.  Later iterations with the 1.8L and 2.0L were an improvement on the fiasco that the first series was (with its compulsorily shot engine rings allowing burning oil to escape out thru the exhaust in a haze of blue smoke).

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...

P.S The JD Camira with the 1.8L leaded engine was a hotrod with 85kW.  Then unleaded petrol arrived and it lost 22 kW due to detuning and a Catalytic converter.
Carnot
Had forgotten the Camira. A mate purchased one new in 86/87? A 2.2 litre. Unsure of model. He was particularly fastidious with his vehicles and still had it a few years back, showroom comdition, perfect for a museum. But why would you want to?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I reckon we'll see the Holden name phased out as new models arrive and keep their own identities. Holden Ltd could then be renamed to General Motors Australia, like it was originally before it was merged with Holden Motor Body Builders.
justapassenger
Agreed, rename company back to GMA and rebrand models as Chevrolet.

The Holden name is poison now and will have to go.

If the above goes as I expect it will it will have been a remarkable fall from grace for the once iconic Aussie brand.

Footballs, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Chevrolets!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...
Carnot
A bit rarer than Australian-built examples of the XV10 Camry (aka JM/JP Apollo), but not by much.

Prior to the XV10 (the first wide body Camry, in production 1993-97) commencing production, the Victorian government paid Toyota $20M to increase the proportion of local components in the car. As a direct consequence of the immature quality control, the XV10 was a shatbox that was so unreliable that it is now outnumbered on the roads by the older V20 Camry built from 1987-92.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...
A bit rarer than Australian-built examples of the XV10 Camry (aka JM/JP Apollo), but not by much.

Prior to the XV10 (the first wide body Camry, in production 1993-97) commencing production, the Victorian government paid Toyota $20M to increase the proportion of local components in the car. As a direct consequence of the immature quality control, the XV10 was a shatbox that was so unreliable that it is now outnumbered on the roads by the older V20 Camry built from 1987-92.
justapassenger
V20 Camrys would survive a nuclear war.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...
A bit rarer than Australian-built examples of the XV10 Camry (aka JM/JP Apollo), but not by much.

Prior to the XV10 (the first wide body Camry, in production 1993-97) commencing production, the Victorian government paid Toyota $20M to increase the proportion of local components in the car. As a direct consequence of the immature quality control, the XV10 was a shatbox that was so unreliable that it is now outnumbered on the roads by the older V20 Camry built from 1987-92.
V20 Camrys would survive a nuclear war.
Carnot
My Mrs bought a Corolla in 92, and disposed of in 2009. Still going a few years later, as I watched it drive past. There's a reason many cars in the north of Oz are made by Toyota.
Conversely, brother in law had one of those wide bodied Camry things, a POS.
  Trans-Siberian Station Master

Location: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
Yes, well the Camira was garbage.  Later iterations with the 1.8L and 2.0L were an improvement on the fiasco that the first series was (with its compulsorily shot engine rings allowing burning oil to escape out thru the exhaust in a haze of blue smoke).

If you go on http://www.carsales.com.au there is ONE Camira for sale (a 1984 JD model).  A rare and almost extinct beast these days...

P.S The JD Camira with the 1.8L leaded engine was a hotrod with 85kW.  Then unleaded petrol arrived and it lost 22 kW due to detuning and a Catalytic converter.
Had forgotten the Camira. A mate purchased one new in 86/87? A 2.2 litre. Unsure of model. He was particularly fastidious with his vehicles and still had it a few years back, showroom comdition, perfect for a museum. But why would you want to?
michaelgm

There was also the Sunbird...!

My former TAFE College Head of Department affectionately referred to his vehicle as the "Dog-Bird" and used it as an example when describing production defects...!

Must have paid this bunch of testers a brown paper bagful of cash -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhkFyh9F8vo
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

There was also the Sunbird...!

My former TAFE College Head of Department affectionately referred to his vehicle as the "Dog-Bird" and used it as an example when describing production defects...!

Must have paid this bunch of testers a brown paper bagful of cash
Trans-Siberian
Was that the one with the Starfire engine? They were absolute rubbish those motors IIRC, known as the Mis-fire or the Back-fire to many.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The heavier VC and VH Commodores could also be bought with the 1.9l Starfire engine.  Almost all optimistic 54kW produced at the flywheel gone by time it reached the rear tires...  Dangerously slow.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Speaking of cars, I was witness to an unusual incident here in little old Adelaide today - I was trying to find a car-park at Burnside Village which locals can tell you is our very own version of Chaddy (it's even expanding again soon!). Anyway I had tremendous unexpected traffic problems going up a side street to get into the south entrance only to find that the fireys had only just put out a blazing Kia Sorrento - top half burnt right out to a shell.

There was a tow-truck there taking the shell away with the police supervising. I saw later on Nine News that the lady whose car it was got (not seriously) burnt trying to retrieve her handbag as her car turned into a fireball - no link on their website though. I guess it wasn't that interesting after all, I know it was scorching hot here today but bursting into flames in traffic is pretty extreme and a quite late-model car by the looks too.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
My Mrs bought a Corolla in 92, and disposed of in 2009. Still going a few years later, as I watched it drive past. There's a reason many cars in the north of Oz are made by Toyota.
Conversely, brother in law had one of those wide bodied Camry things, a POS.
michaelgm
I've seen some very interesting oddities around auctions recently including a 1989 Turbo Ford Capri in very collectable condition. You often see them with the headlights stuck in the upwards position (they were motorised fold-away ones) but this one actually had the left one only stuck up so it looked like it was winking at you. My mechanic tells me that demand for anything Aussie-made - especially the unusual - it on the up and up. And you don't get much more unusual that a Ford Broadmeadows-built Australian sports car (turbocharged no less but a small 1.6 litre engine) with the option of an electrically-folding roof. Fancy!
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Some Commodores are becoming quite collectible.  There's a mint VL Calais Turbo for $80K on carsales.

Going back to the Camira, this ad from 1982 is rather... ahem.... embellished:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJQiYgMwho0
  Trans-Siberian Station Master

Location: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia

There was also the Sunbird...!

My former TAFE College Head of Department affectionately referred to his vehicle as the "Dog-Bird" and used it as an example when describing production defects...!

Must have paid this bunch of testers a brown paper bagful of cashWas that the one with the Starfire engine? They were absolute rubbish those motors IIRC, known as the Mis-fire or the Back-fire to many.
BrentonGolding


"Was that the one with the Starfire engine? They were absolute rubbish those motors IIRC, known as the Mis-fire or the Back-fire to many."

BrentonGolding


Yes...His UC Sunbird....sorry, Dog-Bird had the cut-down version of Holden's venerable 173 cu in (2.85 litre) straight-six cylinder engine (2 cylinders less) to produce the 1.9-litre (1,892 cc) engine, known as the Starfire that was also used in the locally built Toyota Corolla.Crying or Very sadEmbarassed
  Trans-Siberian Station Master

Location: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
Some Commodores are becoming quite collectible.  There's a mint VL Calais Turbo for $80K on carsales.

Going back to the Camira, this ad from 1982 is rather... ahem.... embellished:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJQiYgMwho0
Carnot

"Going back to the Camira, this ad from 1982 is rather... ahem.... embellished:"
Carnot

....Embellished....is an understatement:roll:; and the advert showing the Alien flying saucer beaming it down for gullible earthlings as a Shocked"Super-car"....in which to escape Surprised...Poetic Licence gone wild...!


Some Commodores are becoming quite collectible.  There's a mint VL Calais Turbo for $80K on carsales.
Carnot

Agree....VL Berlina and Calais with the Nissan built RB30E (from the Skyline)....and especially Calais Turbo with the RB30ET engines (also from the Skyline) are still good value because they are stylish and speed demons.   Also the RB30E engine can be "up-graded" to the RB30ETspecs.

Had a VL Berlina with the Nissan built RB30E engine & 5-speed manual - cranked-up to the max on Pacific Highway from Cameron Park to Wyong and hit a top speed of 225 kmph.

Standing joke about the VL Calais Turbo with the RB30ET engine was....it was Fast because it had the :shock:Extra Testicle (ET) Wink attached ...!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The ad bears only the slightest resemblance to the Camira ( Company owned) that I drove in the early to mid 80's. it seemed to have a malevolent intelligence  - would it conk on the South Eastern Freeway within easy reach of help? Would it, hell! Once it died half way between Coonabarabran and Narrabri, and the other great failure was between Echuca and Deniliquin. The worst of it was that the bloody thing wasn't even comfortable. The best view of it was watching it being driven away for good.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The ad bears only the slightest resemblance to the Camira ( Company owned) that I drove in the early to mid 80's. it seemed to have a malevolent intelligence  - would it conk on the South Eastern Freeway within easy reach of help? Would it, hell! Once it died half way between Coonabarabran and Narrabri, and the other great failure was between Echuca and Deniliquin. The worst of it was that the bloody thing wasn't even comfortable. The best view of it was watching it being driven away for good.
Valvegear
Our family had one that was just fine for most of its life, followed by the engine blowing up on the way to trade it in.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Well, times have changed since the hit boxes of the 70's and 80's and I think to a lessor degree the 90's. In general if your not getting 350,000 km with mostly basic maintenance and a few other repairs along the way you need to consider your choices in buying cars, ie buy something from Japan and more recently Korea and if you want extra life, its Toyota.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Sprinkle a little socialism and get all Government department's to buy Holden, Pressure Private pirates to buy Holden.
C2
The Productivity Commission forbid all government agencies from preferential buying of Australian made some time ago (in the nineties I think). We're so stupid we gave away our car industry - now they're whinging that our productive output per person has fallen into the toilet.

The car industry was helping to keep our standard of living high - time to get poorer.

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