Holden fans devastated over brand axing

Holden owners are devastated after the car company announced they will no longer sell vehicles in Australia and New Zealand.

General Motors (GM) announced on Monday that the company had made the "difficult decision" to retire the brand from sales. The company's design and engineering operations will wind down by 2021.

Holden fans have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment at the loss of the popular brand.

Sean Thompson, a producer at Nine News Sydney, said he will miss the "important Australian icon".

"Genuinely saddened by today's news. They might just be cars to some, but Holden holds a special place in my family's heart. It's more than a brand," he tweeted.

Paul Syvret from Brisbane echoed Thompson's thoughts, saying "I actually feel physically ill; almost like there's been a death in the family".

"Holden has been part of my life since I held my first set of car keys 35 years ago," he added.

GM Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said: "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."

Other commenters were concerned for the hundreds of people who will be out of jobs as a result of the decision.

In New Zealand, there are 29 Holden dealers in the North Island and 12 in the South Island which could be affected.

GM said it took a detailed analysis of the investment that would have been needed to keep Holden competitive in Australia and New Zealand and come to the conclusion that they couldn't keep the brand going.

GM international operations senior vice president Julian Blissett said: "After comprehensive assessment, we regret that we could not prioritize the investment required for Holden to be successful for the long term in Australia and New Zealand, over all other considerations we have globally."

Some Twitter users weren't surprised by the news. The announcement was described as "inevitable".

Rob Arcus said it's "been coming for years and surprised it didn't come sooner".

The Holden Motorsport Fans Facebook page expressed their sadness at the news with some people saying an entrepreneur should buy the company.