Holden to cease manufacturing in Australia

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The company has cited the strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production and the small size and competitiveness of the local market.

Former Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley launching the iconic Holden 48-215 FX in 1948.
(Credit: Holden)

Holden will cease manufacturing cars in Australia by the end of 2017, Detroit-based parent company General Motors has announced. Around 2900 workers will lose their jobs — 1600 from the South Australian manufacturing plant and 1300 from Victoria.

GM Holden managing director Mark Devereux announced the closure in a statement, just before announcing the impending closure to the South Australian workers.

"This has been a difficult decision given Holden's long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia," he said. "We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people."

The move comes amid a Productivity Commission inquiry into car industry subsidies, announced in late October, charged with determining whether to increase taxpayer support to the local industry or to reduce it by AU$500 million.

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson cited an unstable market as well as a high cost of production as the reasons for the closure. "The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world," he said.

Holden will maintain a "significant" presence in Australia beyond 2017, the company averred, including Holden dealerships, a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio.

"GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognise the need for change and understand the government's point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly; however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers," Devereux said.



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GregB6 posted a comment   

Wouldn't we be better to divert subsidies from Alcoa Victoria to the automotive industry. The world wants Holdens more than it wants aluminium, and we wouldn't have the embarrassment of having almost the most energy intensive product around being produced by the highest greenhouse emitting coal around for only 500 jobs.

 

booboosix40 posted a comment   
Australia

This has been on the cards for a long time. Most people don't realise that with import tariffs at 5% and little to no restrictions on imports Holden and Ford were always going to fail. I worked at Mitsubishi for 5 years and left in 2006 before they went under. But back then about 750,000 new cars were sold in Australia. 250,000 Were built in Australia. If 50% of that number were locally built Mitsubishi would still be here and Holden and Ford wouldn't be shutting down in the coming years. Today they mentioned only about 180,000 cars were built and sold in Australia.
Just hope all the people affected by this can find jobs I know how you feel, it bloody sux.

 

ADSLNerd posted a comment   
Australia

Since the Commonwealth Government have propped up this company so long, it should be nationalised as we the people / taxpayers own all their equipment. This is also partially because of the rigged / corrupt financial system. This has been planned for years (slowly bleeding). All the politicians involved in this should be charged with Treason and corruption - flush out and imprison them all.

 

cubeover posted a comment   
Australia

Does it mean they will import cars from Detroit?
What is it - killing a younger brother to let the elder survive?

 

darylcheshire posted a comment   
Australia

Will they be subject to import restrictions?

 

AdrianV posted a comment   

Holden have not learnt a thing, they need to give up on the gas guzzlers and focus on manufacturing cars like the Volt but significantly cheaper. Shame!

 

cubeover posted a reply   
Australia

All the significantly cheaper cars are made in China or India these days, mate.
Maybe Holden should export cars where they are even more expensive, say... Russia?
If the local market is too cheap, find the posh one elsewhere.
This is what China and India are doing after all...




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