Supercars is in shock over the impending loss of Holden, and Kiwi legend Greg Murphy says it is hard to know which way the sport will go.

The 2020 Supercars season will be the end of the road for Holden, a name synonymous with motor racing in Australia.

The bombshell announcement by General Motors that the Holden car brand will be scrapped in Australia has sent shock waves through Supercars, which begins the new season in Adelaide this weekend.

Holden v Ford was Australia's most famous brand contest.


Holden backs the heavyweight Triple Eight Race Engineering team which includes Kiwi star Shane van Gisbergen and Supercars greats Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes.

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The majority of 2020 Supercars drivers, 16 out of 24, will race in Holdens with the rest in Fords after Nissan's withdrawal.

The much-loved Murphy, a Holden racing icon, told Radio Sport he was "not going so good" after hearing the news.

"There was the potential for Holden to have an involvement through some products on the Supercars side of things but now that is not going to exist at all," he said.

"It's not a great way to go into the new season - so many questions, not a lot of answers. The drivers will feel massive disappointment and sadness.

"The (Ford v Holden) rivalry went on for so long and that won't exist any more. We'll have to create something else which is relevant for the market, that is recognisable to the fans.

"What that might be is anyone's guess for now."


People will be feeling for Holden employees around Australasia, including the engineering team based near Melbourne. Worldwide sales of right-hand drive cars were small for General Motors, which meant GM has not invested heavily, Murphy said.

"There's a massive rivalry between the blue and red at any event and outside events but the whole win on Sunday sell on Monday has petered out," he said.

The new Supercars focus on two-door coupes could be fast-tracked. But time was short, and teams had invested heavily in the current format.

Among those to react to the shock announcement was Ford, which released a statement saying: "All of us here at Ford Australia are saddened to hear the news that Holden will cease operations.

"To our friends at Holden, thank you for keeping us on our toes and inspiring us to keep aiming higher. We will miss you."

Ford's DJR Team Penske, who include brilliant Kiwi champ Scott McLaughlin, were also "saddened".

"Holden has always been a fierce and competitive rival on both the track and in the showroom," the team stated.

"A great Australian brand coming to an end is sad for our country, no matter your allegiance. We feel for those who will be affected, and look forward to continued strong competition on the track."

Shane van Gisbergen in his Holden during the 2019 Supercars. Photo / Photosport
Shane van Gisbergen in his Holden during the 2019 Supercars. Photo / Photosport

Holden is already talking about "transition". The sport can only speculate for now on whether the famous Commodores – it had already been announced the name was being dropped - will be named after another GM model, or axed.

Holden's general manager and interim chairman Kristian Aquilina said: "On our future in racing, we've made a commitment and certainly we'll need to sit down with our partners ... which we'll do in the coming days, to talk about the appropriate transition.

"Our intention is still to go racing in 2020 whilst we've still got Holden vehicles out there in dealer showrooms.

"To the extent about GM and its involvement in racing beyond that, that will be part of the same conversation. So, there's obviously a lot of new news for us and our partners to process."

The Sydney Telegraph reported that Supercars was shifting towards a two-door sports competition and that chief executive Sean Seamer had, until now, been buoyant about Holden/GM staying in the game.

Supercars put out a statement lauding Holden for its contribution to motor racing.

"Today's news is understandably disappointing for fans who have followed Holden's success in Australian Touring Cars and Supercars since its debut in the 1960s," Supercars said.

"Holden has been firmly part of the heritage of our sport and has helped shape Supercars to become the sport it is today.

"The Commodore will remain on track for the 2020 championship season and we're looking forward to seeing it alongside the Ford Mustang once again this weekend when the 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars championship begins in Adelaide."

A "saddened" Triple Eight team – which runs the cars for van Gisbergen and Whincup - said it was "supporting our friends and colleagues at Holden".

Walkinshaw Andretti United, the Holden team before Triple Eight took over, said "it's very sad to see them leave".

"Our team and supporters have bled red for a long time, the lion and helmet will live on in our team's history forever."

The legendary Peter Brock and Mark Skaife were among Holden's most famous drivers.