Holden to axe brand in New Zealand, Australia

Holden vehicles will no longer be sold in New Zealand and Australia, General Motors announced today.

The operations will wind down in 2021.

GM international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said in a statement it was a "difficult decision" to axe the brand.

"Through its proud 160-year history, Holden has not only made cars, it has been a powerful driver of the industrialisation and advancement of Australia and New Zealand," Blissett said.

"After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritise the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally."

The statement says GM analysed the investment required for Holden to be competitive, including the support needed to grow the brand and delivering a profit.

GM says it intends to focus its growth strategy in Australia and New Zealand on the specialty vehicles business, and has plans to begin work immediately developing these plans.

GM Holden interim chairperson and managing director Kristian Aquilina says the announcement will be "felt deeply" by Holden fans.

"Today's announcement will be felt deeply by the many people who love Holdens, drive Holdens and feel connected to our company which has been with us for 160 years and is almost ubiquitous in our lives.

"Unfortunately, all the hard work and talent of the Holden family, the support of our parent company GM and the passion of our loyal supporters have not been enough to overcome our challenges."

He says GM will work closely with customers, dealers and partners to make sure there's a smooth transition.

All warranties and servicing offers made at the time of sale will still be valid for Holden customers. Servicing and parts will be available for at least 10 years.

Any recalls or safety issues will continue to be dealt with if they arise.

Impacted Holden employees will be given employment transition support.

Holden customers in New Zealand can call 0800 465 336 if they have any inquiries or questions about their warranties and service agreements.