The Australian motorsport community has shown their shock and disbelief after Holden parent company General Motors announced it was retiring the automotive brand.
Holden refused to commit to remaining part of the Supercars championship beyond 2020 after the huge news on Monday afternoon.
GM's decision to scrap the brand in Australia and New Zealand by next year dropped a bomb on Supercars officials and teams just days out from the season opening Adelaide 500.
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Holden has been a part of Australian touring car racing since the 1960s, with iconic names such as Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup becoming synonymous with the Red Lion.
"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 in a statement.
Ex-factory team Walkinshaw Andretti United, who were Holden's factory team for 27 years from 1990, expressed their sadness at Monday's news.
Nothing will EVER spin the rear wheels like a V8 Holden. Sad day for the Australian automotive industry and my thoughts are with the employees and dealer group. pic.twitter.com/0aTe0Y1uXk— Jamie Whincup (@jamiewhincup) February 17, 2020
"Our team has shared a long and successful relationship with Holden in Australia for three decades," the statement read.
"It's very sad to see them leave. We are thankful for their support, and proud of what we have achieved together, including seven Bathurst 1000 victories, and six driver championships."
It was only fitting Ford - one of Holden’s greatest rivalries - led the tributes for Holden.
1/1 - All of us here at Ford Australia are saddened to hear the news that Holden will cease operations. Holden is an iconic brand that holds a special place in the heart of many Australians, and has done so much to shape the Australian automotive industry and the country...— Ford Australia (@FordAustralia) February 17, 2020
2/2 - Its vehicles have been worthy competitors both on road and on the racetrack. 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 Australia (@FordAustralia) February 17, 2020
We are saddened by Holden’s closure announcement. Holden was always a fierce rival. A great Aussie brand coming to an end is sad for our country, no matter your allegiance. We feel for those affected, and look forward to continued strong competition on the track. #VASC #Holden pic.twitter.com/g16q44RUzS— Shell V-Power Racing (@DJRTeamPenske) February 17, 2020
Our thoughts today are with the incredible men and women who make up the Holden workforce, the dealers, customers, and all Holden fans who have all been impacted by today’s news.— Walkinshaw Andretti United (@FollowWAU) February 17, 2020
Our team has shared a long and successful relationship with Holden in Australia for three decades. pic.twitter.com/2bM2zBQeRi
2016 Supercars champion Shane Van Gisberg and former champ Garth Tander also expressed their sadness at the news.
While Holden said it would fulfil its commitment to the championship this year, it was less certain about having a presence in Australian motorsport into the future.
That is despite its partnership with Triple Eight Race Engineering through the Red Bull Holden Racing Team being set to run until the end of the 2021 championship.
Seven other Supercars teams are also set to race Holden Commodores in 2020.
Urgent discussions between Holden, Supercars and Triple Eight are expected to be held in the next few days.
"Our intention is still to go racing in 2020 whilst we've still got Holden vehicles out there in dealer showrooms," Holden's interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said.
"To the extent, about GM and its involvement in racing beyond that, that will be part of the same conversation.”