Les Anderson from Andersons Auto City, Best In Business - Innovation Award Winner.
Les Anderson from Andersons Auto City, Best In Business - Innovation Award Winner.

Death Knell: Final nail in Holden’s coffin

THE FINAL death knell for Holden, with its decision not to continue building right-hand drive cars, was a bittersweet moment for Gladstone dealer Les Anderson after selling the brand’s vehicles for 67 years.

Since June 1, 1953, the Anderson family have sold thousands of Holdens to people across the region, with decades of fond memories associated with the iconic Australian brand.

This week, Holden’s parent company, General Motors, told dealers it was discontinuing right- hand drive cars internationally.

Despite the intervention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and two days of mediation, yesterday the 185 Australian dealers, including Andersons Gladstone, were told they would receive an average of $1500 per vehicle compensation from General Motors.

“I’m very disappointed that General Motors pulled out of the country and they are not going to build any more right-hand drive motor cars,” he said.

“I’ve loved being part of the Holden dealer family, it’s been my life from when I was born, then after I went to university and did a businesses degree and I came back.

“I’ve been here just over 30 years working, and I’ve loved every moment of it.

“I love seeing all of our customers and our team members here

“It’s just sad that its come to an end with such an iconic brand, and what it stood for, for Australians, that the sad thing.”

Les Anderson and Greg Hughes with Greg's 1975 Holden Torana at Anderson Auto City.
Les Anderson and Greg Hughes with Greg's 1975 Holden Torana at Anderson Auto City.

From FJs and on to the 60s E-series, EH, EJ, EK, to the classic late 60s and 70s H series including HG, HT, HQ, HX, HZ, to Toranas, Monaros and then the birth of the Commodore in 79 with the VB to 2017 VFs, Mr Anderson has seen practically every model ever made.

“Not long ago we were selling 500 a year and I think out record was about 550 a year.

“Commodore and Colorado were the most popular models and before that Commodore and Rodeo they were the two number one vehicles because of fleet and retail.

Anderson’s Auto City Holden Gladstone will retain its 53 staff, who won’t be impacted by any changes.

“I will be a service agent for Holden as long as I can be, and I have signed a five-year agreement with General Motors Holden to service every model Holden, with warranty et cetera,” Mr Anderson said.

“Then I hope to be a service agent for another five years after that.

“I think the end of September will be the last day for dealer agreements for selling right hand drive Holdens in Australia.”

As part of Holden’s deal with pulling out of Australia, the company guaranteed servicing, parts and warranties for the next 10 years.

Mr Anderson said he still had brand new Holden vehicles to sell, which he would retain until they were purchased.

“I have five Acadias’, four Equinoxes’, one Colorado and one Trailblazer, which will all be covered under warranty,” he said.

“I have lost the number of Holden customers I would see coming through the doors every month on the sales front.

“I hope to have things up and running with two new brands (that I can’t name yet) by the beginning of September.”