Victorian politicians and car enthusiasts have expressed their sadness of Holden Australia facing the end of its road, following the shock announcement the iconic brand would be axed by 2021.
The brand will be retired by Holden's global parent company General Motors as the American car giant decides to retreat from right-hand drive vehicles internationally.
Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien labelled the move as "terrible" as hundreds of Victorians would face unemployment.
"For somebody whose first car was a VH Commodore, I'm gutted to see Holden close," Mr O'Brien said.
"I'm gutted for those 600-800 Victorian workers who are going to lose their jobs.
"To see a major company like Holden fold its tent is terrible for Victorian jobs and the Victorian economy."
Holden's demise comes after supermarket giant Kaufland recently pulled the plug on its plans to create about 1500 jobs through the construction of 11 Victorian stores.
Mr O'Brien said he was unaware if the state government had any discussions with Holden about the decision before the axe was announced.
But he hoped discussions had taken place in a bid to save the brand from closing down.
"This is a really tough time for Victorian jobs and the Victorian automotive industry.
"What a very, very sad day for Victoria … the end of the iconic Holden brand."
Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said the brand's retirement was "disappointing" and a "day of great shame sorrow" for Australia.
The closure marks the end of 160 years of the brand's association with Australia.
Lions Pride Holden Car Club Secretary Harry Elvin said he was blind-sighted by the news, despite the brand admittedly struggling in the automotive market.
"It never occurred to me in any way, shape or form - even after the closure of the factories," Mr Elvin said.
"It was always in the back of most our minds that the brand would continue one way or another.
Mr Elvin said the announcement proved Holden had hit rock bottom after years of a downward sales spiral.
"They were the biggest sellers back until about 8 years ago, but they've collapsed into a heap," he said.
"I think Nissan sold more than the combined Holden brand in 2019. So I suppose it was pointing there - but it was really a shock announcement today."
He hoped the closure would open doors for start-up engineering companies to manufacture Holden parts to meet future needs.
But Mr Elvin ensured the club's heartbeat would continue to beat strong, despite the demise of the brand.
"We will work like hell to keep the brand alive through our old cars," he said.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/victorians-shocked-as-holden-announces-its-closing-down-in-2021/95dede24-e928-4b26-aa52-f6dfe2e131ab