Holden Logo – GM Holden Ltd. is a manufacturer of automotive Australia based in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The company was originally independent, but since 1931 is a subsidiary of General Motors. Holden has taken charge of the operations of General Motors in Australia and has a partial ownership of GM Daewoo in South Korea. Through the years, Holden has offered a wide range of locally produced vehicles, supplemented by imported GM models. In the past Holden models offered Isuzu, Nissan, Suzuki and Toyota with their brand.
Holden car bodies are manufactured in Elizabeth, South Australia and the engines are produced in Fishermens Bend plant in Port Melbourne. Historically, production and assembly plants have operated in all states of Australia. Until 1990 GM subsidiary Holden in New Zealand operated a plant based in Trentham. The consolidation of car production at Elizabeth was completed in 1988, but some assembly operations continued at Dandenong until 1996.
Although Holden’s participation in auto exports has fluctuated since 1950, declining sales of large cars in Australia has led the company to look at international markets to increase profitability. In 2006 Holden reported profits of $ 1.3 billion dollars in exports.
In 1852, James Alexander Holden emigrated to South Australia from England and in 1856 established JA Holden & Co. Business of fittings in Adelaide. The son of James, Edward Holden joined the company in 1905 with special interest in cars. Since then the company evolved through various associations and in 1908, Holden and Frost moved the business to repair auto upholstery. The company started producing bodies for motorcycles with sidecar in 1913 and Edward experimented with installing different types of wagons. After 1917, restrictions on the trade of war forced the company to start production of vehicle bodies.
James Alexander Holden established a new company in 1919, Holden’s Motor Body Builders Ldta. specializing in car bodies. In 1923, Holden was able to produce 12,000 units a year. During this time Holden was the first company to assemble Ford cars in Australia. Since 1924, Holden became the exclusive supplier of bodies for General Motors in Australia. These bodies are adapted to the chassis imported from manufacturers such as Chevrolet and Dodge. The Great Depression led to a substantial drop in production from 34,000 units annually in 1930 to only 1,651 units a year later. In 1931, General Motors acquired the company forming General Motors – Holden Ldta.