It's almost three-quarters of a century since Australia's 16th Prime Minister Ben Chifley said this on Monday November 29 1948 - "she's a beauty" as Australia's Holden 48-215 broke cover at General Motors' assembly plant at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Turn the calendar forward to another Monday 72 years later on February 17 2020, and a General Motors press release says - "the Holden brand will be retired by 2021 in Australia and local design and engineering departments shuttered".
In what is monumental news for the Australian automotive industry, Holden's Melbourne design studio and Lang Lang proving ground is expected to shut with up to 600 of 800 local jobs gone.
In December 2013, GM-H announced that it would cease its local production by the end of October 2017, committing, however, to use the long-standing Commodore nameplate on its fifth-generation fully imported replacement.
Jim Gibson from the Milton Ulladulla Vintage & Classic Car Club and regular Times contributor contacted Alan May the well-respected, now retired past owner, of the Holden dealership in Ulladulla, in order to get his comments about the company's demise.
Alan, after his long-time association with the Holden brand, rightfully gets the chance to talk about Holden's proud Australian connection.
He started work in the mid-sixties as an apprentice technician in country NSW, then working his way up via service and sales positions within the Holden dealer group, to finally own his own Holden dealership in Ulladulla.
Alan purchased it in 1995, then moving it to a new and larger site some 18-months later.
He says the timing was right, as Holden had the very popular VR, VS and VT models, which were very successful and profitable in both car and ute guise around that period.
Then after 17-years years, he sold the business some eight years ago, along with his well-respected trading name, which is still signposted on the building.
Alan says General Motors would send a replacement managing director from the US for a set period of years, whose responsibility it was to oversee the Australian operation, ensuring its profitability, thus contributing an acceptable financial return for HQ across the other side of the world.
This style of revolving-door senior management lacked stability and was a major contributing factor to the lack of knowledge and understanding of our unique market, as well as relationships within Australia, be they dealers, fleet customers or component suppliers.
Alan says of these caretakers, the best was Peter Hanenberger, a German-born automotive specialist who had worked all 45-years of his professional career for GM, arriving here in 1999 to be the new chairman and managing director, after which he retired at age of 61 at the end 2003, when his tenure was over.
"Peter was a people person, passionate about his job and about making it his priority to learn as much as possible about our market. He gained the respect of the dealer network for his knowledge, and also by listening to their (the frontline) opinions and applying positive action where needed," Alan said.
"He set the platform with a business plan, pushing the four-wheel-drive market, including a template for exports, but the company didn't stay with his blueprint after he'd left - when the next GM caretaker was sent over as a replacement it was all forgotten.
"The fly-in fly-out management approach lacked continuity with long-term forward planning in order to meet the market with the right products.
"We were basically treated like a small fish in a big pond."
Alan says we all know the extraordinary number of taxpayers funded subsides (some $2 billion) the federal government has tipped into GM-H over time in order to prop up this multinational conglomerate to continue manufacturing in Australia and to guarantee employment for its Australian workforce.
Dealers have funded the cost for corporate building and pole signage.
So, what of that costly corporate signage now, with a franchise that is no more?
We are told the federal government wasn't informed of GM's decision to pull up stumps prior to the media release and Alan says the dealers were not informed either, prior to it being made public.
Allan says the heartless approach of this corporate monolith to its loyal dealer-network and staff - is nothing short of breathtaking.
Where to from here?
Those dealers who are not already multi-franchised, having without notice had the rug pulled from under them, will have to go shopping to find a replacement brand in order to stay in business.
In some instances, depending on the area that may not be possible. The ramifications of this announcement will be far-reaching, possibly leaving many dealers' employees without a job.
Alan is a Holden aficionado, he has a collection of several past models and offered us the opportunity to photograph two of them for this article - the first and last Australian produced models.
A beautifully restored 48-215 and a striking red 2017 VF-II.