One Of Australia's Coolest Cars Sent To Its Grave

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With the discontinuation of the Buick Regal in the US comes the demise of its Australian twin, the Holden Commodore.

General Motors' sale of the European Opel brand to Group PSA raised some questions. Namely, as the U.S.-market Buick Regal is little more than a rebadged Opel Insignia, American automotive pundits naturally began to wonder how the Regal could stick around after Opel officially changed hands.

Eventually, they got their answer; as we reported last week, the Buick Regal is set to be discontinued in the U.S., facing the axe as the GM business unit turns its attention more fully to the booming utility vehicle segment. The 2020 model year will be the Regal's last in the market.

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Holden

But there's been another casualty, too; as Australia's CarsGuide reports, the sun will soon set on Australia's Holden Commodore - another Opel Insignia-based car model. The iconic Commodore nameplate was once worn by Holden's - and Australia's - most popular vehicle line. It experienced a dramatic fall from grace in 2018, when the locally produced RWD Commodore was replaced with a FWD car imported from Europe.

Sales figures since the changeover reflect a market that felt lukewarm at best about the bait-and-switch, with just 5,417 Holden Commodore units sold from January through November 2019 - a 37.4-percent decline year-over-year.

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Holden

"Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments," said Holden's Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, of the decision to retire the Holden Commodore nameplate. "So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing."

Alongside the Commodore, the Holden Astra compact car will also be discontinued in Australia, and both models are currently in "run-out" - that is, Holden is making every effort to deplete its inventory to zero before the end of 2020. With that, Holden will switch over to a lineup comprised entirely of crossover and light truck models.

Silver lining: if you live in Australia, now is probably a fantastic time to buy a brand-new Holden Commodore or Holden Astra. It's now or never.

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