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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.


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.”