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United Australian Automobile Industries
Former type Joint venture
Founded 1989 (1989)
Founder(s) Holden, Toyota
Defunct 1996 (1996)
Headquarters Victoria, Australia
Industry Automotive
Products Motor vehicles

United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) was a firm founded in Australia in 1989 as the result of an agreement between Holden (the Australian subsidiary of General Motors) and Toyota. For Holden, it replaced the earlier Holden-Nissan joint venture that had existed since 1983.

UAAI produced three vehicles: the Holden Apollo, Holden Nova and Toyota Lexcen.[1] Both companies held back certain marketing advantages to produce a greater level of model differentiation. Irrespective of this, many buyers could tell that the cars were merely badge-engineered versions of other cars available on the market, and sales figures generated by the disguised versions reinforced this.[citation (source) needed] That is, the version of the car produced by the original manufacturer far surpassed the sales figures for the rebadged version.[2]

By the end of 1993, the UAAI venture cars realised sales of 21 percent at best when compared to the models retailed by their original manufactures.[3] Poor sales led to dissolution of UAAI, the break-up of which occurred in 1996. However, a large enough stockpile remained for some vehicles to remain in showrooms until 1997.[4]


Holden Apollo

Main article: Holden Apollo

Introduced in 1989, the Holden Apollo was basically a badge-engineered Toyota Camry sedan and station wagon. The second generation model was introduced in 1993 and remained in production until 1996.

Holden Nova

Main article: Holden Nova

The Holden Nova, like the Apollo arrived in dealerships in 1989 replacing the Holden Astra, a joint development with Nissan also producing the Nissan Pulsar. The Nova was a rebadged Toyota Corolla with a different grille and headlamps. This was similar to the then contemporary Geo/Chevrolet Prizm sold in the United States and Mexico.

Toyota Lexcen

Main article: Holden Commodore

The Toyota Lexcen reached Toyota dealerships in 1989, the same year that Toyota models arrived in Holden showrooms. The Lexcen was Toyota's version of the Holden Commodore, available in the same sedan and station wagon body styles, but only in the V6 engine and automatic transmission guise. The Holden however, was available with a V8 engine option, and had the availability of manual transmission for both the V6 and V8.[2]

See also


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  1. Kenwright, Joe (2005-05-01). "Day of the Clones PtII". CarPoint. Retrieved on 2009-07-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Union ... and demarcation". The Age. Fairfax Media (2000-05-26). Retrieved on 2008-03-10.
  3. Scott (1993), p. 19. "At best the badged models – Lexcen, Apollo and Nova – have achieved barely 21 per cent of the sales volumes of their original counterparts."
  4. Bebbington (1998), p. 131. "Production of the JP ceased in late 1996, but the series continued to be sold until [...] mid-1997."


  • Bebbington, Terry (1998). 50 Years of Holden. Hornsby, New South Wales: Clockwork Media. ISBN 0947216596. 
  • Scott, Phil, ed. (November 1993), "Joint Venture Blues", Wheels magazine (Sydney, New South Wales: ACP Publishing). 
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