May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Holden LogoBrief History About Holden

Holden was founded in 1908 (as an automotive manufacturer) in Australia by Edward Holden.

Holden was a saddlers that formed in 1856 by James Alexander Holden and when his grandson Edward joined in 1905 and with his interest in cars, began to repair car upholstery, then moved on to building car bodies. All was OK with contracts with various manufacturers, including GM, until the great depression (started in 1930). The struggling Holden was then bought by General Motors in 1931.

After WW2 Holden continued to build car bodies, until finally getting the chance to build an Australian built car with the Holden brand name in 1948 (Holden 48-215).

During the 50’s and 60’s Holden built many cars, much in the style of American cars (albeit their own designs) and even started to export cars to some countries in Asia and South Africa. In the mid-late 60’s, muscle cars became popular and Holden brought out the Monaro in 1968 to go with their ever evolving H series cars and even built their own Holden V8 engine.

Holden continued to sell cars well during the 70’s and introduced the Commodore in 1978, but struggle a bit during the 80’s with various issues, so began to sell light commercial vehicles and Isuzu based trucks, cars and vans and even a few other rebadged manufactured vehicles.

In the 1990’s there was a slight uplift in sales, but spiralling costs didn’t help, although they did find money to redevelop the Commodore and introduce the all new VT, which got the 5.7 litre GM V8 in 1999.

The new millennium started OK for Holden, who reintroduced the Monaro in 2001. However Holden soon started to make losses (2005-2009) due to a number of factors. In 2010 they made a profit, but still needed help from various investors in 2012 and also from the Australian government in 2013, however it is now expected that Holden will cease car production in 2017.

Holden Monaro
Monaro 2001-2006

Holden Ute

Holden Commodore SS
Commodore SS

Holden Commodore HSV
Commodore HSV