Holden bombshell but Commodore stays in the Supercar race
THE Commodore will continue in Supercars until the end of 2021 despite the bombshell announcement the brand will retire the iconic nameplate.
In a move that has shocked the automotive industry, both the ZB Commodore and BK Astra will be withdrawn from the market next year as Holden looks to narrow its portfolio exclusively to SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
The Commodore model, which has been present since 1978, will continue to be sold until the existing stocks are depleted.
"Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments," said Holden interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina.
"So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing."
Aquilina acknowledged the retirement of the Commodore nameplate had "not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage".
However, Holden has reaffirmed its commitment to Supercars, having extended its factory input into the sport until the end of 2021.
The ZB Commodore, which was introduced in Supercars in 2018, will remain as the brand's model in Australia's premier motorsport category.
Holden will reassess its options for 2022, when Supercars will introduce its new Gen3 regulations.
Just last week, Supercars underwent a re-approval process ahead of the 2020 season.
The process also included the Ford Mustang, which replaced the Falcon nameplate - which was retired in 2016 - from the 2019 season.
There are currently 15 ZB Commodore entries listed in Supercars, spearheaded by Triple Eight Race Engineering, alongside 13 additional entries operated by Erebus Motorsport, Walkinshaw Andretti United, Brad Jones Racing, Team 18, Matt Stone Racing and TEKNO Autosports.
"Holden recently recommitted to racing in Supercars through until the end of 2021, and that will happen with the currently homologated ZB Commodore race car," a statement read.
"Racing is a strong part of Holden's brand identity and we will assess our options as Supercars continues to evolve its rules for the next generation of cars currently due to be introduced in 2022."