Modern Era

FG XR6 Turbo
Holden Cruze Sedan

A lot happened at the start of the new Millennium, especially the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, with Holden as an official partner. Holden didn’t just support the torch relay team, but it also supplied an impressive 3,500 fleet of cars. They also released several special edition vehicles to celebrate the Olympics including, The Series II Olympic Edition Commodore, Olympic Edition Holden Ute and the Series II Olympic Edition Vectra. Holden won the Bathurst 1000 again with the Holden Commodore, whilst still having a healthy 27.5% market share. Ford was also celebrating in 2000, with the 75th anniversary of Ford Motors Australia. The Falcon also celebrated its 40th anniversary on the Australian market the same year.

By the end of 2002, Holden saw record car sales with the Commodore as the number 1 selling car in Australia for the 7th year running. Holden were beginning to struggle throughout the next year with Toyota firmly sealing their place as Australia’s number 1 market leader with more record sales. 2003 saw Toyota boast industry record sales, selling over 186,000 cars. In 04’ they produced the two millionth Australian built Toyota and opened a new head quarters. Car of the year for 2004 went to the Ford Territory. However, Holden were still having success with exports with the Holden Caprice named Saudi Arabia’s car of the year and 6 Bathurst wins by the end of 2005 for Holden. 2005 was still Toyotas year with the release of the Toyota Yaris and the 10 millionth Camry was produced in Australia.

Trouble for Holden

Ford was still continuing predominantly with the Falcon, however they released several models of the Ford Mondeo. The Falcon started its 3 years of consecutive wins, starting in 2006 at the Bathurst 1000. Toyota began breaking more records exporting 97,688 vehicles in 2007. Toyota also sponsored various sporting events including the AFL, starting between the 2004-2006 seasons, and also the 2006 commonwealth games. They broke more records in 2008 by receiving all time record for sales of 238,000 cars in Australia. General Motors and Isuzu parted ways and in 2008 Holden were forced to change and relaunch the Rodeo and did so, releasing it under the name The Holden Colorado. Holden began applying for government grants to try and revive the falling revenue of the General Motors Holden Company. 

The Toyota Era

The modern era largely in the 2000’s fuel efficiency and pollution was a major point for manufacturers. Toyota began building a hybrid version of the Camry after receiving government funding of $35 million. In 2009, the Toyota Camry Hybrid was revealed and driven by then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Toyota was not the only car manufacturers in Australia dedicating time and money to fuel efficiency and environmentally friendly engines. Ford invested $230 million in 2009 to focus on this. After having a financially bad start the decade by 2011 Holden had won the last 3 Bathurst 1000 races and after receiving $149 million in government funding, was on the mend. They planned to build an Australian version of the Chevrolet Cruze, originally importing them from South Korea.

Ford were made to phase out their famous V8 due to strict new emissions rules, however this led to exporting of the Australian made V8 engines to the US for models such as the Mustang. Due to global downturn in the economy, many car companies struggled by the end of 2011/ start of 2012. However with the economy in Australia surviving relatively well the government was able to put back into the Australian car manufacturers. Technologies are advancing and with the rising fuel price in Australia, the future looks uncertain for car manufacturers and because of this, more hybrids and new power sources will be the future of the car industry.