One of the more interesting hypotheticals people have considered in the wake of Holden’s unpopular exit from the Australasian market is which direction it would have travelled in a post-Vauxhall, post-Opel world. With each of those marques recently sold to PSA, it would have had a big impact on Holden’s line-up.
Now, exactly a year after Holden’s demise was announced, a new report from over the ditch has offered a curious set of answers. CarAdvice reports that Holden would have made a dramatic shift to Chinese-sourced vehicles, rebadged and re-engineered for the Australian and New Zealand market.
According to the report, Holden had been in talks with Chinese motoring giant SAIC, in regards to kicking off a tie-up with the recently relaunched MG brand and commercial specialists LDV. According to former Holden sources who spoke to the outlet, the course of action was investigated in 2018 and 2019, before being ruled out.
The cars had been set to be extensively re-tested at Holden’s huge Lang Lang facility to help them feel more suited to local roads. Holden, who appeared to get a little desperate in its dealings, even floated selling MG and LDV products with their original badges at Holden dealerships.
SAIC weren’t the embattled Holden’s first port-of-call, either. According to the report, Holden had initially approached Honda in the hopes of nabbing the Jazz (to be resold as a Barina) in exchange for gifting Honda its Colorado ute — to be rebodied and rebadged as a Honda ute during a boom time for the segment. The plan didn’t come to fruition.
Holden’s line-up was already full of all sorts of different flavours when, in 2017, it reportedly started seeking deals with other brands for future product. It was still producing and selling its homegrown RWD Commodore, alongside a series of US-based rebadged General Motors vehicles, the Thailand-built Colorado, and Korean-built models like the Trax.
CarAdvice sources also pointed out the way that General Motors would use the announcement and right-hand drive development of the all-new Chevrolet Corvette C8 as proof of the firm’s commitment to the region and to Holden.
Most Holden dealerships on both sides of the Tasman have pivoted to stock and sell a different manufacturer. All that remains now are service centres designed to serve out scheduled maintenance on models sold in recent years. The Corvette has moved across to GM Specialty Vehicles (GMSV), where it will be offered alongside right-hook versions of the Silverado.