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Waggs holding on

Waggs Holden Masterton premises. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

2021 wind-down expected

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News that the Holden brand has been killed off has left at least one local in tears.

Pat Long, the head of Wairarapa’s Holden dealer Waggs said on Wednesday, “one customer was in tears – all he has ever driven is a Holden”.

“The car is in our blood, part of our culture,” Long said.

“We love Holdens; people are feeling emotional, worried and upset.”

Despite the brand’s demise, he said it would have a minimal impact on his business and his employees.

He had no plans to restructure or make staff redundant.

“We will make sure there is work for my 21 staff here.

“We are busy, the second-hand dealership is busy, as are parts and the workshop.”

The company was told on Monday that General Motors had pulled the plug on Holden.

The news was devastating for the Waggs team, Long said.

“The whole team got the news at the same time, it was a huge shock to everyone, including me.

“I have a staff member who has worked for Waggs for 44 years, two for 25 years and one for 23 years.

“The Masterton company has been running for over 125 years. This news was a big deal.”

Long was grateful to all the customers that had come into Waggs over the past couple of days to see how the team was.

He and Julie Long own Waggs Holden in Masterton and Pahiatua.

They had been flat out working out what the announcement meant for them as they looked to diversify.

Long said there was a massive Holden sale throughout the country for the rest of the year.

The company would be honouring all its existing warranties, guarantees, and free servicing offers.

It would also honour servicing and spare parts for at least 10 years.

It would deal with recalls or safety-related issues as they emerge.

Holdens are an Australian car created by English immigrant James Alexander Holden.

General Motors bought the company in 1931.

The Holden brand would wind down by 2021.

GM Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said it was critical the company delivered a dignified and respectful wind-down, given Holden’s significance through its history.

There are 31 Holden outlets in New Zealand.

GM’s move would have about 600 jobs axed in Australia, mainly in management, marketing, and engineering.

Australian production of Holdens ended in 2017 with the closure of its South Australian plant.


  1. A real shame that the decision means a practical range of vehicles, suited to local conditions, will likely be replaced by modified, American excrement at a time when the world is moving to more sensible transport.

  2. Sad news but with China producing 5 star crash rated vehicles now perhaps some of the ex holden dealers will look to them in the future…especially the electric.

  3. So GM says it was important fir a respectful and dignified wind down yet from what the dealers say the news came as a shock very odd

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