The news that came out this week that General Motors will drop the Holden brand, stopping the production of 5-year-old make-up by 2021, is particularly strong. At a time when bushfires were threatening to destroy our wildlife and leading us to question different aspects of our national character, it seemed a particularly brutal blow to lose a brand that wrapped Australian identity.
Of course, this final chapter of the Holden story was the year to make it. Many people point to 20, the year that then-treasurer Joe Hockey challenged Holden to “come clean” about his production plans in a speech in the federal parliament.
Days later, Holden announced that it would cease Australian production, and that the last car manufactured in Australia in 2017 closed the production line.
The Times has reported the long slow death of the Australian automotive industry over the past few years, A.J. The story goes back to 2017 when the last Holden factory was closed, And this was made clear in the 21st Our auto industry was a thing of the past. In that article, John Mailer wrote, “To the Australians is simply to sit and wait for the inevitable consequences of a respectable, distinct and at once vivid art.”
Holden’s news is an unforgettable move, clearly out of a job loss (the company still employs several hundred workers in Australia and New Zealand).
Every major political party in Australia is busy blaming others, offering nothing positive or giving positive solutions. And if you have an old Holden sitting in your garage, it’s become even more valuable: According to a news release at Lloyd’s Auction, the car dealership of antique cars (among other things), twice the price of vintage Holdens as 24 hours after GM’s announcement.
The tendency to mourn Holden’s loss is rooted in a lot of our nostalgia – nostalgia for a time when production was booming and Australian summers were long and lazy and beach-oriented, not as Damien Guh wrote in this week’s news analysis, “When summer is scared. Children filter air into bunker homes, leaving indoors. When thunderstorms and bushy marsupials rush into a marvelous, smoky silence.”
Damien’s analysis touches on something else: Australians are hungry to move forward, tackling the reality of a changing economy and climate.
If we had leaders who were expecting us to go that positive way, many Australians say, perhaps the losses would not feel so overwhelming.
Do you have a particularly Australian memory of Holden? Tell us [email protected].
Here’s our story for the week:
Australia and New Zealand
Last week we asked you if you find it difficult for Australians to describe other words and qualities of Australia. Here’s a reader’s suggestion (some more curiosity was removed)
“Sheila. Adami. Mate. In Maa (as I forget your name) yes-no. N! (Very short and preceded by a nasal ‘n’ word. Thongs (so foreign that my bloody Apple changed it to” things “)). )
This will keep you flat like drinking a tick. I came to the sun like a bucket of shrimp.
– Mike Young
Australia enjoying the letter? Register here Or forward to a friend