National

A Timeline of Holden in Australia

By AAP Newswire

HOLDEN'S PROUD HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA

1856 - Holden begins as a South Australian saddlery business.

1917 - Holden manufactures vehicle bodies.

1931 - General Motors buys Holden Motor Body Builders.

1948 - The FX, the first Australian-designed car, is released.

1951 - Holden's first ute goes on sale.

1958 - South Australian manufacturing plant opens at Elizabeth, though it does not assemble its first full car until 1965.

1968 - Kingswood and Monaro enter the market.

1969 - Holden makes its first V8 engine.

1971 - Holden launches the HQ model. Considered by some to be the best Holden ever.

1978 - Commodore replaces Kingswood.

1990 - Holden's last Australian boss, John Bagshaw, quits.

2003 - Holden opens $400 million V6 engine plant at Port Melbourne, exports to Korea, China and Mexico begin. Toyota takes Holden's position as top-selling car brand.

2009 - Parent company, General Motors, files for bankruptcy in the US but survives.

2013 - Prime minister Tony Abbott says the government will reduce support for automotive manufacturers despite appeals for help.

2013 - Holden decides to end manufacturing in Australia by 2017. The Holden Commodore is to become a fully-imported car.

2017 - The company rolls its last car off the assembly line on October 20, ending more than 50 years of car production on the Elizabeth site.

2019 - GM announces it will discontinue its Commodore and Astra models in 2020.

2020 - General Motors announces the retirement of the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand.