Rabu, 11 Desember 2013

Hot News: GM to Close Holden by 2017

General Motors has put an end to persistent speculation that it has decided to close Holden’s factory doors  in Australia by announcing just that.

GM announced that it will “discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017”.

It said its “transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand” was “part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations”.

GM says that as a result of ceasing manufacturing in Australia, about 2900 jobs will be axed over the next four years, including 1600 at Holden’s Elizabeth vehicle manufacturing plant in Adelaide and about 1300 in Melbourne.

“Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio,” said GM.

The move follows a similar announcement by Ford Australia earlier this year, when it confirmed it will cease manufacturing a year earlier -- by October 2016.

However, unlike Holden, Ford will continue to have a local research and engineering workforce, including about 1200 staff at its Geelong R&D facility and You Yangs proving ground.

GM’s official announcement came immediately after workers at Holden’s Victorian and South Australian plants were advised this afternoon.

It also follows calls by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for GM to clarify its position on Holden, following a senior Coalition ministerial leak to the ABC that the decision to close its doors had already been made.

Determined to force GM’s hand on the issue before the Productivity Commission hands down its interim report on automotive industry support on December 20, the federal government now appears to have won the battle in what amounts to a high-stakes blame game.

It’s believed GM had originally planned to delay the announcement, which comes just days after Holden chief Mike Devereux addressed staff on the matter last week, until after the draft PC report next year.

The Australian manufacturing future of Toyota, which will know by mid-2014 if it gets the right to build the next-generation Camry here beyond 2017, is now under a cloud given the uncertainty of Australia’s automotive parts supply chain following the departure of Ford and Holden.

If Toyota follows the lead of Ford and Holden, the jobs of up to 50,000 automotive industry workers could be lost.

Thanks to: Car Point

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