The reason Holden kept the Commodore name

Holden Commodore

Holden has justified its decision to retain the iconic Holden Commodore badge for its all-new, imported model. But is that the right decision?

WHAT is in a name? For car companies, quite a lot.

Holden and Ford have each agonised over what to do with their most iconic nameplates, the Commodore and Falcon. Both names stir up strong emotions in car enthusiasts, and the decision to either continue or retire the badges are controversial either way.

Ford’s decision to lay the Ford Falcon to rest has been well documented, however Holden is pushing forward, and keeping the Commodore name alive on a fully imported model. But was that the right move?

Holden has provided some valuable insights into why it decided to retain the iconic Commodore name, rather than retire the badge to coincide with the death of the locally made model.

Director of sales Peter Keley says there were strong discussions internally at Holden regarding what to do with the nameplate.

“We had a big debate about the Commodore name,” he said.

Keley explained the Commodore ‘DNA’ was distilled into four key areas: design, technology, space and dynamics.

Holden is confident the all-new, imported model fulfils each of the categories and will live up to the Commodore’s core DNA.  Holden also cited heavy consumer research that showed they’d be mad to ditch the Commodore name plate, despite the new car’s switch to front- and all-wheel drive, plus a significant reduction in size when compared to today’s car.

“We are absolutely confident FWD can deliver the driveability and handling you expect from a Commodore,” added Keley.

Wheels understands Holden did consider dropping the Commodore nameplate, but after extensive consumer and market research, decided it should continue on.

However the company isn’t blindly following the decision, and recognises the next generation Commodore has compromises from the traditional ethos of the nameplate.

“Commodore was originally designed to seat three blokes across the back comfortably and regularly. This new car is narrower. It’s not as comfortable,” Keley admitted.

But at the end of the day, the company sees this next rendition of the Commodore as a reflection of the development of the company.

“Commodore name carries weight, respect, heritage. Commodore’s evolution mirrors Holden’s evolution,” Keley concluded.

Whether the move to keep the Commodore nameplate is a smart one remains to be seen. However, if reaction on social media is anything to go by, the enthusiast fan base certainly isn’t happy to see the heritage of the Commodore sullied. Here’s hoping it won’t be. 

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