Published on July 7th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Why Is Holden still racing despite closing down its factory in Australia

If you follow Australian motorsports you will still see Holden racing in the most watched track racing event in Australia, the Supercars series. This is surprising as Holden closed its factory and sales in Australia last year October ending its 69-year run as a car manufacturer that was owned by General Motors. So we wonder why is a car brand that is no longer in business spending millions on motorsports and why is Red Bull Racing sponsoring them.

The man in charge with redefining Holden’s brand in Australia, marketing director Mark Harland, says Supercars racing remains a key element of its marketing offensive. A 20-year veteran of Holden’s parent company General Motors in Europe, the US and China, Harland was seconded to Australia last year to help steer Holden’s re-invention.

Holden’s current Supercars deal was done under the company’s previous marketing regime in mid-2016, committing to Triple Eight as its new factory team for three seasons from ’17.

Although having since added different elements to its marketing mix, Harland is adamant that motorsport remains a key platform for the brand.

The Canadian-raised Harland was among the near 300,000 attendees at the weekend’s Adelaide 500, where the ZB Commodore won on debut.

“We are still Australia’s brand, even if we don’t build cars here, we still think of ourselves as and want to be Australia’s brand,” he explained of Holden’s objectives.

“So we want to represent Australians and the things that they love to do.

“Part of Holden’s DNA is motorsport, so we’re going to continue to show the people who love motorsport that we’re in it to win with a great new car.

Based on the Opel Insignia, the German-made ZB is the first fully-imported Commodore, which must prove itself in the Australian market.

“It’s a great proof-point and will ultimately transfer to sales in the showroom for us. Ultimately that’s what we want.”

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