The writing was on the wall but Whanganui's Holden dealership owner is stunned at the way he found out about the demise of the brand.
There have been signs over the years suggesting the future of Holden's occupation in New Zealand and Australia was on shaky ground, Ignition Motor Group dealer principal Ken Williams said.
On Monday, Holden owner General Motors announced it would cease manufacturing right-hand drive cars and retire the brand by the end of the calendar year.
Williams said they were "expecting it" after a number of deals and moves made by General Motors over the last few years.
"They shut down India, Japan and South Africa three years ago and you need to start looking at the world car market. Then they started to close right-hand drive plants in Korea two years ago.
"If you look at the rationality of it, maybe the writing is on the wall for right-hand drive cars."
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Whilst he may have seen it coming, it still stunned Williams, who has been a dealer for more than 30 years.
"Initially you are shocked that something like that has happened. Of course you are shocked."
Ignition Motor Group, which specialises in Holden and Kia vehicles, found out five minutes before the public announcement was made. Williams was at a physiotherapy appointment when he was notified by one of his service managers who said "You better get down here, there is a big announcement from Holden that they are moving out of New Zealand".
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While he understood why everyone found out at the same time, Williams was frustrated with the process.
"The old mushroom syndrome. You know, kept in the dark."
All the Holden dealers in New Zealand and Australia had a conference call on Monday to discuss the announcement and what the future will entail. Williams said that General Motors was looking to concentrate on the American and Chinese markets, which are left-hand drive countries.
"One of the big issues was we are about to go into a new generation of cars."
Roughly only 34 per cent of the world drives on the left-hand side of the road and Williams wonders if New Zealand may contemplate moving to left-hand drive vehicles in the future.
"I think they are going to find it harder and harder to get good range of product available. Had we had left-hand drive, we would have had much bigger access to General Motors' portfolio of cars, including electric cars."
When it comes to the electric car market "there's Tesla and GM and then the rest", Williams said.
Despite Holden's announcement, Williams said they will continue the business.
"Definitely not selling shop. We've got Kia here which is a growing brand. What I will do is look for other opportunities out there.
"The service business will remain. We can still provide service and parts to our customers that have bought cars, and do all the warranties.
"At the moment we will still be having product for the next two to three months."
The announcement won't affect any of his employees' jobs at this stage.
Williams didn't know how long Holden vehicles would continue coming into New Zealand.
"I'm unsure how long these cars are going to be coming in, some say next year, I don't believe that's true, I think they'll exit before then."
GM announced it intends to sell its Rayong plant in Thailand, where the Colorado and Trailblazer are built, to Great Wall Motors. Whilst this isn't confirmed, Williams said it will affect their future massively.
"If Great Wall say we want from June 1, well that's end of building Colorado at June 1, isn't it."
The loss of the utility vehicle is huge as Kia doesn't have one in its ranks, Williams said.
"For us, Colorado is clearly an important part of our business, having a 4WD in the Whanganui market."
Although left frustrated by the situation, he intends staying in the Holden business.
"I definitely want to retain the Holden and service parts business. We won't change that.
"Our customers will still be coming here for their Holden parts and their Holden service and pre-servicing plans that they introduced will still stand. The warranties all stand, parts will be supplied for a minimum of 10 years, that is in the legislation."