The History of Holden in Australia

  • Australia's First Car

    Australia's First Car
    Ben Chifley (Labor Prime Minister of Australia) initiated the production of the first Australian manufactured car. The Holden 48/215 FX was designed for the Australian user. The sedan was successful in dominating its market in Australia with the best value for money. Although it lacked the extras that are standard it today's cars such as radio and armrests, it was thought to be a very advanced car. The FX 2.15L engine was fast for the time with a top speed of 130 km/h.
  • FX Range

    FX Range
    The FX was perfect for the bumpy dirt roads of Australia. Through the mass-production of the FX Australia was establishing its identy as a contributor to the development of technolgy in the world. Australia was proving to be an independent nation following WWII, determined to improve its on industries and economy without the aid of other nations through the economic hardship of the post-war era. In January 1951, utility FX was developed and in July 1953 the Business Sedan was launched.
  • The FJ Holden: An Australian Icon

    The FJ Holden: An Australian Icon
    This FJ was lauched showing only asthetic changes from the FX yet it was the most popular car of the time with 170 000 FJs being manufactured between 1953 and 1956.The FJ Utility was another model produced holding the shape common to utes today. The Special model had more features from the standard. The car was so common in the streets that it soon became an identiable icon. The motor industry in Australia was expanding and family owned cars were beocoming more mainstream.
  • First Holden Developed Entirely in Australia

    First Holden Developed Entirely in Australia
    The more ergonomic Holden FE was the first Holden developed entirely in Australia. Its shape was different to previous models. The FE was available in Standard, Special, Utility and Business sedans. The first Holden Station Wagon was released in March 1957. Holden was started to appeal to all markets with utes for the common Austrlaialn labourer and station wagons for families. In May 1958, the FC replaced the FE with a different front look. Holdens were very popuular to all Australians.
  • Holden's Stumble

    Holden's Stumble
    By this time Holden had produced over 500 000 cars and made 10 000 exports showing Australia's increasing involvement in international trade. However, the FB holden with a 2.26L engine and American inspired cosmetics did not appeal to the Australian market. Even after the EK ws released in 1961, Holden was loosing its market to the more stylish Ford Falcon XK.
  • End of the Grey

    End of the Grey
    The last Holden to have have the Grey motor which was used since the FX was the EJ with a number of new features such as metallic paint, leather-covered bucket seats and a heat as well as improved safety with Duo Servo brakes. The car market in Australia was becoming more competitive. The good looking EH, publicised in August 1963 become unbelievably popular with 250 000 sold in 18 months. It had more power and more extras.
  • HD and HR Holden

    HD and HR Holden
    The most power Holden, the HD was released with a newly designed body that was liked by some and hated by others. In 1966, sales were low so the HR replaced the HD. It had 2.65 or 3.05L capacities in available in engines. The engine was updapted and improved in 1967.
  • Period: to


    The HK released in January 1968 displayed Holden's new attitude towards car manufacturing. General Motors-Holden were determined to make their cars bigger and better. More speecifications were avialable to customers in this car and nealry 200 000 models were made. The following HT and HG model had asthetic changes and more variations. Huge change in features and look was seen with the HQ, HJ and HX. The last model before the Commodore was the HZ which sold until 1980.
  • Mass-production

    Within the year the 2 000 000 mark for car production was met.
  • Holden Prices

    Holden Prices
    A person with an average wage could purchase a new Holden for 25 pay packets. The Holden cars from the 1940s to the 1970s compared to today, so many extra features have become standard and the cars have become more adavanced.
  • Huge Holden Change

    Huge Holden Change
    The HQ model of Holden showed the greatest change in design since the beiginning of Holden. There were a lot of new features added to the car including flow-through ventilation, coil suspension and a front sub-frame. The cars were avialable in 2.84 and 3.3L engines. It was available as a sedan, wagon, panel-van and ute. It was a very safe car showing the improvement of Australian motor technology. The Monaro coupe was based on the HQ designed. In March 1973, the range was expanded.
  • HZ and Sandman Released

    HZ and Sandman Released
    The HZ was released with Radial Tuned Suspension which lead to Ford and Chrysler altering their car models. The Sandman was also released, appealing particularly to youth and meet Australia's lifestyle needs. It was a practical car for beach and surf life.
  • VB Commodore

    VB Commodore
    The VB Commordore was based on the German Opel Rekord showing Australia's great influence from European countries. It was designed and developed locally, It was more space effecient, smaller in size and more fuel effecient. The small sedan was an answer to the rise of fuel prices in the late 1970s. It was a risk to make the car for Holden because the Australian market generally prefered large sedans. 95 906 VB Commodores were built.
  • Period: to

    The Commodore: Australia's Favourite Car

    The VB Commodore was the first Commodore produced by Holden in 1978. The following model, the VC Commodore, released in April 1980 had a very different and slightly more effecient 4-cylinder 1.9L engine but it was noisy and not very powerful. A 6-cylinder engine was also available in this model. The VH, released in October 1981 showed no major improvement from the VC model. The Commodore was starting to become a close competitor to Ford Falcons from March 1986 when the VK and VL were released.
  • VK and VL

    VK and VL
    The VK Commodore showed huge change from previous designs with the extended six window design, more distinct rear and a new dash area. The engine was much more advanced with fuel injection. 133 125 VKs were sold. The VL released in March 1986 had an elogated look and an improved engine to fit the anti-pollution laws. It had 147 412 cars sold. Australia was becoming more aware of its environment responsiblities.
  • VN Commodore

    VN Commodore
    This car costed $20 014 including sales tax making it nearly 14 times more expensive than the FX at $1330. The average male wage grew to $491 by 1988. The average male wage was $15.60 meaning that a man would have to work for 94 weeks to pay off the car includeing tax. Following model VP, VY, the SS series and the G series have become more expensive.
  • VP Commodore

    VP Commodore
    This car was priced at $23 992.
  • Commodore: Top Selling Car

    Commodore: Top Selling Car
    The Commodore was the top selling car in Australia for 15 years from 1996 to 2010. Many generation X Australians would owned or driven a Holden, making it believed to be Australia's favourite car.
  • Commodore Overthrown

    Commodore Overthrown
    The Commodore is no longer is the top sellin car in Australia. The top selling car 2011 is the Mazda 3.
  • Car Purchases

    Car Purchases
    Although higher incom tax is paid today than in 1948, the average working week is shorter and credit is easier to obtain so more people can afford cars. More families have two contributing incomes nowadays. Women were paid 25% less for work than men. The cars today are incredibly safer and the and more effecient, comming a long way since servicing and oil replacement used to be necessary after every 1600 km.