These sales losses were thought to be unrecoverable; however, the 1979 energy crisis saw Australian oil prices rise by 140 percent, putting substantial strain on the automotive industry to collectively downsize, a change that Holden had already done.
Desperate measures forced Holden to shape the Commodore front-end to the rear of the Rekord wagon.
Holden's emphasis on fuel economy extended beyond powertrains, with a fuel consumption vacuum gauge replacing the tachometer throughout the range, although this could be optioned back with the sports instrumentation package.
Rivalry came predominantly from the Ford Falcon—also locally built.
Prior to the second generation Commodore of 1988, the Holden was positioned a full class below the full-size Falcon.
The previously undesignated base car, was now the Commodore L, opening up the range for a new unbadged sub-level car.
According to contemporary reviews, changes made to the VC's steering produced a heavier feel and inclined understeer, while the revised suspension gave a softer ride and addressed concerns raised while riding fully laden.
Subsequent series became larger, culminating with the fourth generation Commodore, fully developed in Australia and based on the GM Zeta platform.