THROWBACK AD: Holden Barina (1991)

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The 1991 Holden Barina started the “Beep Beep Barina” revolution

There’s little secret that Holden has been purchasing and rebadging models from throughout the GM catalogue for many years. Yet many people may have forgotten that Holden was buying Suzukis in the 1980s and 1990s and rebadging them as the Barina. In the case of the ad here, the Suzuki Swift was slapped with Holden and Barina badges.

Which meant it was supposedly good for city life. So good in fact that you could drive it through hotels, shopping centres and it even fit in lifts, in much the same way Jeremy Clarkson fit a Peel P50 in a lift on Top Gear.

Marketing nonsense aside – and clearly the above mentioned was marketing nonsense – the Suzuki-sourced Barina was probably very reliable, economical and fun to drive.

Holden’s marketing team also started the catchy “Beep Beep Barina” marketing slogan, which has had numerous references throughout pop culture.

Finally, it is interesting to note that Holden was boasting that the Barina of 1991 was “fully imported” a stark contrast to their careful marketing strategies of 2018, after the Australian production closures.



The founding father of The Motoring Guru, Matt has been a lifelong car enthusiast and a passionate writer. Back in 2013 when The Motoring Guru was first launched, Matt wanted to combine his two passions whilst offering readers sound motoring advice.