Flagships star in GM Holden's export record
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The Australian sourced 2005 Pontiac GTO
1st February, 2006
GM Holden has set a new vehicle export record for the company, breaking through the 60,000-vehicle barrier for the first time in 2005.
The record was driven by GM Holden’s flagship prestige vehicles, Statesman and Caprice, which broke new markets and established their reputation as one of the Middle East’s most popular vehicles.
More than 27,300 long wheelbase cars were shipped, more than seven times the number sold in Australia during the year.
GM Holden sent a total of 60,518 sedans, utes and coupes around the world in 2005, trumping its previous record of 52,372 set in its 50th anniversary export year of 2004.
The increase of 8146 vehicles (or almost 16 per cent) came through a programme exporting to every continent except Antarctica and representing no fewer than six General Motors brands.
Australia’s longest standing and largest automotive export program has now delivered more than 710,000 vehicles overseas across five decades.
GM Holden Executive Director - Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alan Batey, said Holden’s export success in 2005 was a remarkable achievement for the company in such a tough automotive climate.
“Our record exports in 2005 seem more significant when you consider the strength of the Australian dollar and how difficult that makes it for leading exporters such as GM Holden,” Mr Batey said.
“We are always looking for new markets and new opportunities and we are pleased with our success in 2005.
“GM Holden plays an important role in contributing to General Motors brands around the world, helping to ensure they have the best possible range of cars and trucks in each market.
“In turn, this approach helps us to offer a broader range of vehicles in the Australian market and give buyers the widest possible choice under the Holden brand.
“Australians who drive a locally made Holden should feel proud in the knowledge that vehicles made here in Australia are being driven right around the world.
“Drivers overseas may not necessarily know the Holden brand but they’ve come to enjoy the same driving experience that Australians call their own.”
Vehicles manufactured by the Australian carmaker were sold overseas in 2005 under the GM brands of Chevrolet (Brazil, Middle East, Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa), Pontiac (United States), Buick (China), GM Daewoo (South Korea), Vauxhall (United Kingdom) and Holden (New Zealand).
The Middle East continued to be the strongest export market for Holden in 2005, with a record annual wholesale figure of 30,556 vehicles. This included a record 19,438 long wheelbase Chevrolet Caprice models, an increase of 54 per cent on the previous year.
Pontiac GTO was again in demand in the United States, with 11,729 GTOs exported in 2005. That brings the number of GTOs exported to the US to 31,548 over three years – about 2.5 times the total number of sales of Holden Monaro on which the GTO is based.
The third biggest export market for Holden in 2005 was New Zealand, with 8280 vehicles across the full range including 6190 Holden Commodores.
The new markets of China and Korea made important contributions to Holden’s vehicle export tally, with 5976 Buick Royaum and 1878 Daewoo Statesman models respectively, both based on the Statesman and Caprice vehicles.
“China and Korea provided a welcome boost to our exports for 2005, but both countries are relatively new markets and we are not expecting to repeat that performance in 2006,” Mr Batey said.
“The strong Australian dollar combined with rising costs will make it difficult to maintain our record level of export performance in the coming years.
“However, Holden has been exporting Australian-made vehicles for more than 50 years and exports will continue to play a major role in our vehicle production for the foreseeable future,” he said.
GM Holden export markets in 2005