In what can only be described as an amazing feat, 95% by weight of the first Holden comprised locally manufactured items. In other words, the car was 95% Australian content according to the scales. In terms of the make-up (as opposed to the weight) of the vehicle, GM-H gave the figure as 92% Australian content, thus only 8% of the Holden car was imported. The foresight of the company to produce a truly all-Australian car (on numerous levels) is to be admired for many reasons. Very few parts used were of overseas origin initially, but in time this would change.
The reason for the very high local content figure of 95% by weight is mainly due to the fact that GM-H manufactured all the major mechanical components of the Holden. The engine, transmission, and rear axle assembly along with all the forgings for steering and suspension systems were all produced in-house. The body was made from local BHP steel, as were all other stamped metal items used in the manufacture of the car.
Making up half of the 5% ‘imported’ weight component were the wheels. Engine dress items including generator, starter motor, fuel pump, carburettor and distributor accounted for almost all of the remainder.
In time, additional items that had initially been imported for use on the first Holden were sourced from local manufacturers so that by the 1960s the basic Holden car was close to 99% local content. Even to the point where all the accessories available for fitting (also adding weight) and thus glamorising and personalising a Holden were from local Australian companies.
Through the 1970s, the basic Holden car maintained the commendably high local content status from the previous decade. One aspect where local content was increased was in the area of design, with the all-new HQ series of 1971 heralded as having the highest component of Australian design of all Holden models. The HQ design was also largely done right here in Australia, rather than the previous situations where a sizeable American influence had prevailed.