Holden is saying goodbye to the Commodore after more than 40 years, as it moves its focus to utes and SUVs

Say goodbye to the Holden Commodore. Image: Holden.

Say goodbye to the Holden Commodore.

Holden is getting rid of its ZB Commodore and BK Astra models from 2020 as more people are opting for SUVs.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said in a statement.

“The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades. But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and utes.”

Holden VY-186. Image: Holden.

Holden launched the Commodore back in October 1978 and there have been 16 models released since. The Commodore was Australia’s best selling car for 15 years straight – between 1996 and 2010 – and more than 1 million Commodores were sold during that time.

At its peak in 1998, Commodores in Australia accounted for 217,882 sales. But this year, that’s set to come down to around 8,700 units.

More than three million Commodores have been sold since 1978.

Holden VZ-036. Image: Holden.

The Commodore was manufactured in Australia up until 2017, when Holden closed its plant in Elizabeth, South Australia. The vehicles were then replaced by a German-built model constructed German built model built by former GM subsidiary Opel.

Holden will now focus on SUVs such as the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax, as well as its light commercial vehicle, the Colorado.

Holden VX-7599B5. Image: Holden.

“Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments,” Aquilina said.

“So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing.”

Holden will continue sales and deliveries of the Commodore and Astra through 2020 with “diminishing model availability” until they run out. And those who still have a Commodore and Astra will still be able to get roadside assistance and spare parts.

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