Around the globe, supply chains are broken, car-making plants are shuttered and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.
The deadly bite of the coronavirus pandemic has brought the whole house of cards which supports international supply sourcing for the automotive industry undone in a matter of months. Without the parts supply, everything stops.
The lessons are patently clear, and economic self-reliance is now a firm priority.
Australia once had a car manufacturing industry employing engineers, designers, technicians, developers and a host of other skills that in our current crisis, would be an invaluable and flexible talent pool. We stamped panels, cast and machined engine blocks, shaped glass and poured plastics.
We designed and manufactured complex mechanisms well, and with pride.
And Holden was the centrepiece, the mothership of vehicle manufacturing. While not the giant of yesteryear, it still absorbed Australia's raw materials and locally made supplier products, and fashioned them into a significant product.
But when former Treasurer Joe Hockey decided the industry was one which no longer justified modest (in the grand scheme of things) government fiscal support, it set in train a domino-like effect of corporate dismemberment.
Around boardroom tables in Nagoya and Detroit, the numbers were tabled and the hard business decisions made: Get out. Sooner rather than later.
The reality is that no car industry in the world, from Stuttgart to Shanghai, survives without government backing, patronage or in-kind support..
In as recently as 2015-16, a report by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce found that the automotive industry contributed $37.1 billion or 2.2 percent to Australia's gross domestic product.
The dispute at the time by Hockey was over some $275 million in government funding which would have guaranteed production at Holden's Elizabeth car-making plant in South Australia until 2022.
In today's harsh, blinding light of multi-billion-dollar job-keeper spending programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's barely pocket change.
It matters little now. The horse has well and truly bolted.
After the politically charged Hockey edict - "either you're here, or you're not", as he told Federal parliament - the last three hold-outs - Ford, Holden, Toyota - all withdrew from local manufacturing in quick succession.
The rapid switch-off of local production by the two US-owned operations was revealing in itself.
But it has been the complete wind-up of the Holden brand, regarded as the most beating-heart Australian of the three, which has stung us the most.
Losing the "Lion" completely - no dealers, no showrooms, not even some badge-engineered poor sellers from disassociated parts of the crumbling General Motors empire - was the cut felt keenest of all.
The brand was, after all, "Australia's Own"; proudly born here even though the reins were later yanked from thousands of kilometres away in Detroit.
It took a couple of wars to create the Holden automotive brand: the first was the Boer War, which threw a financial lifeline of troop equipment supply to insolvent Adelaide saddlemaker JA Holden & Co.
The second was the first World War, when an embargo was imposed on importing fully assembled motor bodies for vehicles. British motor bodies were taxed at 30 per cent and those from other countries at 35 per cent.
Holden's company, skilled in leatherwork and fabrication, had a handy head start on the rest.
Henry James Holden - one of Australia's earliest and most successful industrialists - worked a deal to get robust, respected Dodge engines and chassis to marry up to his bodies.
Despite staying Adelaide-centric - origins which diversified to factories in other states but always kept a manufacturing base in South Australia - Holden's grew.
But corporate success increasingly became intertwined with the General Motors Export Company which supplied him. When the Great Depression hit, the demand for cars was almost wiped out. withered in a matter of months. Holden's took a cash injection and a cumulative shareholding arrangement from GM to survive.
That Holden managed to grow and prosper in the decades which followed is a tribute to its ability to provide healthy employment, foster innovative, low cost "homegrown" design and engineering solutions, and most importantly retain a dominant massive share of the Australian new car market.
Government assistance helped, too, with significant import tariffs and quotas through the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
But a line was drawn in the sand with the Motor Industry Development Plan of reform introduced by Industry Minister Senator John Button in 1984. He aimed to rationalise and consolidate the industry and thereby allow tariffs to be cut.
The goal was to make the industry more efficient and thereby foster the export of manufactured goods in the interest of global free trade. But what the Australian government couldn't control was how fiercely other countries would surreptitiously protect their own industries while championing others to do the heavy lifting.
In essence, Australian industry was sucker-punched by its government rushing to appease its trading partners.
Although companies like Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota had factories in Australia, Japan saw potential for sales of different types of vehicles we didn't build here such as four wheel drives and light commercials.
At the start of the "Button Plan", Australia had five vehicle manufacturers operating eight plants producing 13 vehicle models, supported by over 500 local supplier and raw materials companies.
But the sharp edge of rapid, enforced rationalisation resulted in botched outcomes. Within a few short years, supplier numbers were cut by two-thirds.
Ridiculous car-sharing schemes emerged between local manufacturers in which Holden cars were sold in Toyota showrooms - how quickly we have forgotten the Holden Commodore re-badged as the Toyota Lexcen - and vice versa. Consumers hated them.
When each of these critical components, one by one, slowly disassembled, the Goliath that was the once-proud General Motors-Holden's became vulnerable to attack from without - from government, for costing too much to support - and from within.
It's worth recapping that just 20 years ago, Australia's car industry was in reasonably good shape but still getting a healthy leg up from the taxpayer.
It was supported by a 15 per cent tariff protection barrier on passenger motor vehicles, access to the Australian Competitiveness and Investment Scheme which delivered $2.8 billion in subsidies over a five year period, and government purchasing preferences. As tariffs slowly wound down, the blood-letting began.
Consumers, too, are fickle creatures. The family Commodore which Dad drove, and the staple of Holden's local manufacturing, wasn't what the type of car to which the next generation of buyers aspired.
It is also argued that companies like Holden failed to adapt to consumer change and that its parent company had too few appealing alternatives it could send our way to plug obvious holes in the local model line-up.
Australia, too, was saddled with the issue of being right-hand drive in a global car market where the volume is predominantly left-hand drive.
While there's little room for sentiment in the modern car business, during the Global Financial Crisis the US deemed its own auto industry too big to fail and bailed out General Motors to the tune of $US51 billion.
After that crisis ended, GM went into survival mode bailed out by US$51 billion in US Treasury money.Across the US, 14 plants were closed and the various "general' elements of GM were sloughed off, sold off or parked in perpetuity including Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn and its Scandinavian outpost, Saab.
So too, the GM-Holden's outpost felt the harsh swing of the axe.
Giving up local manufacturing back in 2017 after nearly 100 years in the business was one thing, but Holden's sounding a full retreat this year from the Australian market has been the far bigger shock.
The Detroit boardroom skullduggery which premeditated Holden's departure has left a bitter taste in the mouths of its dealers, a huge hole in their collective wallets, and soured the brand's reputation. Dealers here were still being asked to invest while the full departure was already signed off but concealed. It was akin to a "stuff you Aussies, we're out" attitude from the US.
The cars which remained here have been fire-saled and the showrooms mothballed.
In an interesting footnote, Toyota Australia boss "Call me Dave" Buttner traded a cosy retirement at his farm and returned to high stress when he unexpectedly parked his ride-on mower and took on the unenviable top job at Holden in 2018.
The company was in desperate need of a saviour. A vehicle importer like everyone else, public sentiment was battered, its product line-up was patchy and the dealers very unhappy. Some were downright hostile.
Buttner appeared ideally suited to the role. He was well-respected throughout the industry, a meticulous planner and a heavy hitter at boardroom level.
Holden's senior dealer group needed shoring up fast because despite their high levels of investment in the brand, they could sniff a composing corporate body and most didn't want to be part of it.
Buttner won't admit it, but he was fed what appeared to be a edible meal from Detroit but which later turned out to be excrement. He's now gone back to his farm where he drives a Toyota.
Holden's, and the role it had in shaping our industrial heritage and generating huge public sentiment, is now a vestige of our past. Future generations may be curious but one suspects, largely uncaring.
As throughout the country people sit in their lounge rooms, isolated by the global coronavirus pandemic, there's ample opportunity to reflect on how the lessons of the past should better inform future decisions on the support for Australian products and our ailing manufacturing industry.
Should we make more things here, as we once did, or simply leave it to others who can do it cheaper? After all, we wanted cheaper cars and we got them, but at what cost? Now most of us aren't even driving.
Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd once famously said he didn't want to be prime minister "of a country that doesn't make things any more". He's gone, and now too, so has Holden.