Holden Logo Meaning and History: Of Lions, Stones and Wheels

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Holden is among the few indigenous Australian car companies.The brand later became an important part of GM in not only the local market butalso in export markets. Like several other brands, the brand became part of GM throughan acquisition. Nevertheless, the brand has an interesting history of its ownand for the people looking for a meaning in Holden logo, there is aninteresting anecdote.

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Holden Information

Founded 1856
Founder James Alexander Holden Sir Edward Holden
Logo creator Rayner Hoff
Headquarters Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Official website www.holden.com.au
Owner General Motors

Holden History and Evolution

As one can see in the table above, Holden was established in1856 when there were no motorcars around. Accordingly, Holden didn’t make carsright from the beginning. Instead, it started as a saddle manufacturing unit byJames Alexander Holden. After tasting success in early years, James saw the businessgoing downhill and converted it into a partnership with H A Frost, named Holden& Frost.

The business was passed to James’ son H J Holden but itcontinued to make saddles and associated products. The move into car productionhappened only in 1919 when Holden’s Motor Body Builders (HMBB) was established afterEdward Wheewall Holden persuaded his father to shift from saddlery business.

It was also the time when the Australian government restrictedmotor car imports in order to support local automotive body building industry. EdwardHolden signed an agreement to import chassis from General Motors and equip thesame with locally produced bodies. It was a blessing and the business did verywell in the coming years.

In 1931, Holden officially became part of General Motors followingthe acquisition of HMBB which was subsequently merged with General Motors(Australia) Limited.  

Holden Logo Meaning: Lion and Stone

Holden’s modern logo depicts a lion holding a stone and thisstarted appearing on vehicles in 1928. Prior to this, Holden vehicles wore abadge which paid homage to its factory and also featured a mystical person withwings and a sledgehammer.

Holden's Motor Body Builders Logo
By sv1ambo – [:File:1928 Chevrolet National tourer (8701042412).jpg], CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60437563

The modern Holden logo was designed by sculptor Rayner Hoff and refers to a fable in which observations of lions rolling stones led to the invention of the wheel. While the symbol created by Hoff had few details apart from the lion and stone, it provided the much-needed visual identity to Holden vehicles. Also, this interpretation and meaning of Holden logo may be incongruous with our knowledge but then, the automotive world is filled with such interesting tid-bids!

Holden Emblem 1928

Since then, Holden emblem has undergone many changes to keep the symbol contemporary but the company has taken care to not deviate from the lion and stone analogy.

Holden Text Logo

Unfortunately, this storied brand came to an end in 2020 as sales of its best-seller Commodore car kept coming down amid strong Australian dollar and dwindling government support.

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