//
you're reading...
Australian History

November 29, 1948 – Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley launches the first mass-produced Australian car, the Holden FX


Holden FX

Holden FX

“Made in Australia, For Australia”.

These are the words spoken by Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley when he launched the Holden FX on 29 November 1948.

The real name of the Holden FX is 48/215. ’48 was the year it started production, and 215 indicated a Standard Sedan.

The name “FX” originated as an unofficial designation within Holden after 1953, and was a reference to the updated suspension of that year.

The Holden company began as ‘J.A. Holden & Co’, a saddlery business in 1856, and moved into car production in 1908.

By 1926, Holden had an assembly plant in each of Australia’s mainland states, but due to the repercussions of the great Depression, production fell dramatically, from 34,000 units annually in 1930 to just 1,651 units in 1931. In that year, it became a subsidiary of the US-based General Motors (GM).

Post-World War II Australia was a time when only one in eight people owned an automobile, and many of these were American styled cars. Prior to the close of World War II, the Australian Government put into place initiatives to encourage an Australian automotive industry.

Both GM and Ford responded to the government, making proposals for the production of the first Australian designed car. Although Ford’s outline was preferred by the government, the Holden proposal required less financial assistance.

Holden’s managing director, Laurence Hartnett, wished to develop a local design, but GM wanted an American design. Compromises were made, and the final design was based on a previously rejected post-war proposed Chevrolet. Thus, in 1948, the Holden was launched – the first mass-produced Australian car.

Although the automobile’s official designation was the 48/215, it was marketed as the “Holden”. This was to honour Sir Edward Holden, the company’s first chairman and grandson of J.A. Holden, who established the original Holden saddlery. Other names that were considered included the ‘Austral’, ‘Woomerah’, ‘Boomerang’, ‘Melba’, ‘GeM’, ‘Emu’ and even the ‘Canbra’, a name derived from Australia’s capital city. The original retail price was AU£760.

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

writer@craighill.net

Join 1,696 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

I also have a news site about China:

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: