Holden Won't Make Commodores Anymore, Focusing On SUVs Instead

Holden is axing the Commodore after decades as its top-selling car and 26 wins at Bathurst.

The Commodore will be retired at the end of the year with the current ZB model the last to be produced as Holden moves to an all SUV and commercial vehicle line-up. Holden is also dropping the popular Astra model from its lineup, as the company focuses on other models instead.

Holden had sold the Commodore since 1978, when the model replaced the former Kingswood, but the company has not produced cars in Australia since 2017. The Commodore was Australia's best-selling car for 15 straight years between 1996 and 2010.

The model currently sold under the Commodore name is produced in Germany. Sales of the ZB model, which is smaller than its predecessor and does not have a V8 option, have dropped dramatically since the change -- decreasing slumped 37 per cent to just 5417 to the end of November.

David Reynolds and co-driver Luke Youlden won the 2017 Bathurst race in this Holden Commodore. Image: AAP

Holden's interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said on Tuesday the decision was not taken lightly, considering the car's proud heritage.

"The large sedan was the cornerstone of Australian and New Zealand roads for decades," Aquilina said in a statement.

"But now with more choice than ever before, customers are displaying a strong preference for the high driving position, functionality and versatility of SUVs and utes."

The Commodore will cease production. Image: Getty

At the peak of large car sales in 1998, Australians bought more than 217,000 vehicles, but those figures are likely to reach only about 8700 cars this year. Sales of the Commodore and Astra will continue next year as the company runs out stocks, but no new models will be made.

Aquilina said Holden's decision was consistent with market trends and customer preferences.

"Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments," he said.

"So far this year SUVs and utes have increased to 76 per cent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing."

With AAP.