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GM Shuttering Australian Manufacturing by End of 2017

End of incentives makes it too expensive to build vehicles.

by on Dec.11, 2013

The Commodore is one of Australia's best-selling models. After 2017, it will no longer be built in there.

General Motors abruptly announced it now plans to stop building and engineering cars in Australia by the end of 2017. The decision will end almost 90 years of car making in Australia by GM’s Australian subsidiary, Holden.

The announcement follows testimony before a parliamentary commission by GM’s ranking executive in Australia that GM could no longer sustain its manufacturing operations “Down Under” without help from substantial subsidies from the Australian government.

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Currently only GM’s Holden, Ford and Toyota currently manufacture vehicles there. Ford already announced it planned to close its Australia car factories by the end of 2016 and Toyota is expected to follow suit shortly. (more…)

Fate of GM Australian Operations Hanging in the Balance

Maker could shutter plants by 2016.

by on Dec.10, 2013

Holden's Commodore VF was recently named Australian Car of the Year.

The fate of General Motors operations in Australia is hanging in the balance as GM presses the Australian government for financial assistance to prop up the money-losing Holden unit.

GM has made no decision yet on whether to continue building cars in Australia beyond 2016, the managing director of the Holden subsidiary told a parliamentary commission while laying out the case for government subsidies.

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Over the past decade, most automotive manufacturers have closed shop in Australia, turning to imports instead.  Currently, only GM Holden, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. maintain production operations – and they are struggling in the face of both a huge run-up in the value of the Australian dollar and increased competition from foreign-made products.

“It’s hand-to-hand combat there,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations, and formerly the chief of Holden.


Workers Offer Concessions to Keep GM Factories Open in Australia

Unions feared Holden could follow Ford’s exodus.

by on Aug.19, 2013

The Holden Commodore is one of Australia's best-selling models.

In a bid to convince General Motors to keep building vehicles in Australia, workers at the maker’s Holden plants have approved a new labor pact that will help reduce production costs.

Rising costs have already prompted Ford to announce plans to cease building cars in Australia within the next two years. GM was expected to be the next to pull out of the market, in part because of a steadily rising tide of imports from Japan.

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“First and foremost, I would like to thank Holden’s workforce for their loyalty and flexibility,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux. “Changes like this are never easy and the ‘yes’ vote is a huge commitment from the hard-working men and women of our Holden team.”


GM CFO: Devalued Yen Helps Japan Sell More Vehicles

Japanese makers gaining share in Southeast Asia, Australia due to low Yen.

by on Aug.09, 2013

GM's Dan Ammann asserted that Japanese automakers are benefitting from a weak yen in Southeast Asia and Australia.

The devaluation of the yen is clearly helping Japanese carmakers in the Southeast Asian and Australian markets, General Motors’ chief financial officer said.

GM CFO Dan Ammann also said the decline in the value of the yen has created new competitive challenges for GM in markets such in Southeast and Australia.

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“We’re seeing more pressure in those markets than in the U.S,” he said during an industry conference in Traverse City, Mich. (more…)

GM Warns it May Abandon Australian Operations

Maker may Cruze elsewhere.

by on Jun.28, 2011

GM warns it could end production of the Holden Cruze without financial aid from the Australian government.

General Motors’ long-standing manufacturing base in Australia could be in jeopardy, the maker warned, unless the government comes up with substantial new financial incentives.

If that happens GM would follow a long list of makers that have ruled it too expensive to continue automotive production in the island nation.  The U.S. maker previously abandoned efforts to ship products from Australia to North America.

“We’ve just starting building Cruze here and over the next 12 months or so we’ll have to make a decision on the next generation of that product,” Mike Devereux, managing director of GM Holden, told the newspaper The Australian.

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The current version of the Cruze was approved by GM’s Holden subsidiary only after the government approved a $149 million package of incentives from its Green Car Innovation Fund.  But that program is being phased out, a government official telling the paper it has “run its course.”