UNSW Press
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Symbols of Australia, 2010, 1, pp. 169 - 176
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'She's a Beauty', Prime Minister Ben Chifley famously declared in 1948, admiring the first Holden as it rolled off the production line. More than a mere car, Holden became a national symbol, a status that General Motors-Holden's took care to cultivate. Sixty years later their advertising still claimed that 'Holden means a great deal to Australia'. This slogan alludes to the fact that the Holden was both a symbol and a consumer ware but the Holden's existence owes as much to the United States as it does to Australia. So how did an American-owned company manufacture an Australian national symbol? The answer lies in a combination of international connections, fortuitous timing and, above all, shrewd marketing.
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