The combination of globalisation, fragmentation of models, the improving durability of cars and a smallish market by world standards means the idea of separate Aussie factories making models specially adapted "for Australian conditions" is no longer sustainable. Chuck in the coming electrification era and you have an even greater reason for globalisation.
The death is still a shock, though. I was born around the time Australia's mass production industry officially began with "Australia's Own" Holden in 1948. The fact that this was a GM product with strong links to America wasn't perceived. What my Dad knew was that the car was made in Australia and every serviceman (rarely woman) recently returned from the war wanted - even deserved - to have one on the drive
For 30 years, Holden reigned, joined in 1960 by the Ford Falcon, a more blatantly American car yet also regarded as Australian because its US equivalent wasn't familiar: we didn't travel much in those days. All we knew was that the (rare) European cars we saw, and especially those Pommy Austins, Morrises, Rovers, Hillmans and Humbers "fell to bits" on tough Aussie roads, which featured hundreds of miles of washboard surfaces the foreigners were never engineered to tackle. We loved that - foreign cars falling to bits while the rest of us just drove on.
But we should have known: this, as far back as 1980, was the beginning of the end. The Holden Commodore (though we couldn't admit it) was a strengthened European - and a better car for its roots.
When the European taste for such big cars finally died, the Aussie versions - even the specialist high performance V8 still spoken of in hushed tones - had to go. Like all Australian cars they lived a good long life, though, and will be fondly remembered.
[Commodore photo: LAT photo]