Either scenario is unfavorable to Australian enthusiasts.
The fate of Holden may boil down to two scenarios, neither of which are particularly palatable to Australians. On the heels of GM's announcement earlier this week that it will cease Australian manufacturing by 2017, Holden's future will see major changes.
Chevy Badge Engineering
Holden head Mike Deveraux is quoted as saying, "We are committed to the brand for the long term. The brand is going to be a part of the fabric of this country for a very long time." It would also cost an estimated $450,000 to $900,000 to switch branding at each of Holden's 233 dealerships.
However, with unique Aussie models like the Commodore facing extinction, News.com.au is shaking up rumors that the entire brand may be replaced with the bowtie badge. Since all GM cars sold in Australia beyond 2017 will be imported (and likely badged as Chevys already), the case for a separate marque is shrinking, despite GM's stated commitment to the brand.
A switch to Chevy would allow GM to take advantage of global marketing campaigns such as Chevy's sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer team. It could also temper backlash to the Holden brand during the withdrawal.
Another scenario is that the next generation of Holden sedans will be rebadged sedans built in China. According to News.com.au, a new sedan was slated to be built in both Australia and China. Now, with GM shuttering its Australian plants China will be the sole builder of the new four-cylinder, front-wheel-driver, likely badged as a Buick in China.
Reports of this car being the next Commodore are unconfirmed, but the lack of a V6, rear-wheel-drive passenger car in the lineup will buck decades of tradition. Ford, for its part, announced that it would kill the Falcon when it withdraws.
GM's announcement sent shockwaves through the Australian auto industry, which may cease to exist in a few years. Ford has already announced a departure and Toyota, the only manufacturer building cars locally, is viewed as very likely to pull out by 2018 due to a shrinking supplier base and a recent court ruling preventing a union contract re-negotiation in light of these new developments.