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GM Holden, a subsidiary of General Motors, is the only existing, major automobile manufacturer still in founded in Australia. Originating as a saddlery business, Holden expanded their operation in the early 1900s to produce automobile upholstery, and shortly after began manufacturing car bodies from their Port Melbourne factory.
Today, GM Holden, Australia’s second-highest selling automobile manufacturer, produces car shells in Elizabeth, South Australia, and engines in the Port Melbourne factory. Assembly is carried out at various plants around the country.
Holden is a part of Australian history, with a famous 1960’s advertising jingle comparing Holden Cars to ‘Football’, ‘meat pies’ and ‘kangaroos’. Although the most recognized and popular model is the Commodore, introduced in 1978, Australian roads are also filled with lines such as the Barina, Statesman, Caprice and Captiva.
Today, Holden holds approximately 15% market share in Australia, but also successfully exports many locally built cars. In 2006, GM Holden exports from Australia were responsible for almost AUD$1.3 billion in earnings.
The Holden Commodore is an icon of Australian driving, with many evolutions taking place over its 30 year history. The current, critically acclaimed 6-cylinder VE model has been designed for greater fuel economy amidst the global shift toward smaller cars.
The Holden Racing Team is undoubtedly Australia’s most successful V8 Supercar team, having been represented by drivers such as Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Garth Tander. The racing team is tightly partnered with the Holden Special Vehicles division, who produce high-performance variants of the Commodore, Caprice and Ute.