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1856 – Holden Saddlery opens.
James Alexander Holden opened his Holden saddlery in Adelaide and quickly became a reputable manufacturer of horse saddles, harnesses and equipment.
The company supplied equestrian equipment in the Boer War. It gradually began to change its focus to manufacturing vehicle hardware.
In 1887 James’s son Henry James Holden took over the business after his father’s death, setting Holden on the path to becoming one of Australia’s leading car manufacturers.
1917 – Entry into the automotive industry.
Holden was supplying Chevrolet bodies for General Motors and also made car bodies for Ford. By 1924 they were sole supplier for G.M.
1931 – GM Australia and Holden merge.
General Motors in Australia merged with Holden to become General Motors-Holden’s Ltd. Ford and General Motors-Holden’s dominated the fledgling automotive industry during this period.
1948 – ‘Made in Australia.’
Holden manufactured the FX 48-215, the first car ‘made in Australia, for Australia’.
Ben Chifley, the prime minister (above), launched production of the car on 29 November, 1948, describing the FX as a ‘beauty’.
The model was enormously successful, leading to waiting lists stretching almost a year ahead from when the car was first released.
A total of 120,402 cars were made in its six-year run. Holden continued its ascendancy throughout the 1950s and 1960s, introducing many new models.
via Guardian Australia.