SIGN OF THE TIMES: Can you get piece of Holden history?
BY next year, Holden will be no more in Australia.
In February, General Motors announced it was retiring the famous car brand by 2021, after manufacturing operations in Australia were shut down in 2017.
Signs - or a lack thereof - marking an end of an area in Holden heartland in Ipswich are evident.
The Holden signage in front of Llewellyn Motors in Booval was taken down last week.
The sign is owned by General Motors and despite many inquiries to purchase it, it can’t be sold off by the dealership.
“(General Motors) own the signage,” general manager David Rea said.
“We had a lot of inquiries from staff as well with everyone wanting a piece of history, which is understandable.
“We even had staff in tears (when the sign came down).
“A lot of guys drove their cars out the front and got pictures of themselves in front of it.
“It was an emotional, touching day. There’s a lot of emotion with the brand and especially in Ipswich, it was one of the strong market shares in Queensland.”
Llewellyn Motors assured those loyal to the brand that it will still service Holdens into the future.
“All the servicing, all the arrangements with warranty and so forth, tooling and support from the manufacturers is still there as it was before,” Mr Rea said.
Mr Rea said the Commodore was always a strong seller but the Colorado overtook it in recent years, with Ipswich home to plenty of “Holden lovers”.
Llewellyns sold all of its new Holden stock - 67 cars - within a month of the news breaking of the brand’s retirement.
“We sold three months’ worth of stock within a month,” he said.
“Inquiries just went crazy. There were some good buys around because Holden did discount the product a little bit which helped as well.
“I believe there are some little pockets of cars available in other dealerships country wide. But not much as the majority of them sold down now to nothing.
“It was quite amazing how much inquiry we got once it was announced in the media … not just from retail buyers but from businesses and fleet buyers as well.
“We even managed to swap some stock from other dealers who still had some for some guests who were inquiring here.”
Mr Rea said it was a shame things had turned out as they had as Holdens were still selling very strongly in Ipswich.
The dealership had two people fighting over a Colorado in the showroom around the time news broke that the brand was being retired.
“I’ve never seen that before,” he said.
“If I had 50 Colorados (now), I could sell them all,” he said.
“The Colorado is still very popular, even as a used car.
“We always outperformed the region as far as market share with the Holden brand.
“The Colorado was very strong and competing well in that space and outperformed most of its rivals.
“We all sort of shook our heads. Why didn’t Holden do something earlier? Obviously the brand still has a lot of resonance within the community and the marketplace.
“It’s a shame really.”
Despite losing Holden, Llewellyns sells new Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai, HAVAL and Great Wall vehicles.
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.