Holden

Holden, an Australian automaker, got its start as a leatherworks and saddlery business in the 1850s. In 1913, the company started producing complete motorcycle sidecar bodies. In 1914, they produced their first custom-made car body. In 1917, with the outbreak of WWI, the Australian government declared wartime trade restrictions on the importation of complete cars, and by 1920, Holden had built an impressive reputation as a maker of car bodies for Dodge, Buick, Ford, Chevrolet, and many others. In 1931, General Motors purchased Holden Motor Builders and merged it with General Motors (Australia) Pty Ltd. to form General Motors-Holden's Ltd (GM-H). In 1944, Holden designers started work on 'Project 2000,' which marked the beginning of 'Australia's Own Car.' In 1948, Holden Number One, the first Holden 48-215, nicknamed the FX, rolled off the assembly line. The car was a huge success. By 1950, new vehicle registrations in Australia were up by 70 percent from the previous year. By 1969, over two million Holdens had been produced. By 2001, that number had tripled to six million. In 1978, Holden introduced the Commodore, which quickly became Australia's best-selling vehicle. Today, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) manufactures high-performance Commodore variants to compete in V8 supercar racing.

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