Holden will build two all-new cars in Australia in the second half of this decade with the support of a $275 million co-investment package from the Australian, South Australian and Victorian Governments.
Making the announcement in Canberra today, Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP was joined by Minister for Industry and Innovation, the Hon Greg Combet AM MP, Premier of South Australia, the Hon Jay Weatherill MP, AMWU Vehicle Division Federal Secretary, Ian Jones, and Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux.
Mr Devereux said the funding announcement would drive investment of more than $1 billion from Holden and help secure the future of the local car industry.
“Co-investment of this kind is critical for our industry and helps Australia compete against other car making countries that protect their industries through tariffs and/or financial support,” he said.
“Holden will receive government co-investment of $275 million and directly invest well in excess of a billion dollars in the 10-year vehicle development and manufacturing program.
“The investment will help Australia retain its capability to design, engineer and build cars with two all-new vehicles going into production at Elizabeth, South Australia, in the second half of this decade.
“The two new Australian-made cars will be world-class. They will be underpinned by global architectures from within General Motors and bring new fuel-saving, connectivity and safety technologies to Holden’s portfolio.
“The program also delivers a significant return on investment. We estimate Holden will inject around $4 billion* into the Australian economy over the life of the program.”
Holden is one of the most flexible automotive manufacturers in the world, producing 45 vehicle variants in the one plant, including small and large cars from Cruze to Caprice, for Australian and international markets.
Mr Devereux said the local market was one the most fragmented and competitive in the world with 230 models on sale in Australia today compared to 144 in 1998 when large cars enjoyed their strongest sales.
“Holden’s business model has been a great success in this competitive and challenging environment. Last year we sold more locally-made cars in Australia than any other manufacturer and nearly 60 per cent of all Holdens sold in this country were built in Elizabeth,” he said.
“We are making the cars Australians want. Commodore and Cruze are top five selling cars in Australia – so it’s clear we’re making small and large cars that meet the needs of both ends of the market.
“Government investment has been instrumental in reshaping Holden’s manufacturing operations and has enabled us to build the Cruze small car in Australia, rather than import it.
“We are acutely aware that with government investment comes great responsibility. We are focused on continuously improving our efficiency and quality to help us be amongst the best in the GM world.
“It’s also important that people understand the economic benefits that flow from this public investment.
“Holden is delivering a very attractive return on investment. We estimate the current locally-built Cruze will generate more than a billion dollars* of economic activity from Holden in Australia over the life of the program,” Mr Devereux said
Holden is part of a sophisticated, highly innovative and fast-paced industry that supports a complex network of jobs in and outside of the industry.
“Today’s announcement is a huge vote of confidence in Holden and the Australian car industry and it highlights how important it is to maintain manufacturing in this country,” Mr Devereux said.
“On behalf of everyone at Holden and our network of component and service suppliers, I’d like to thank the government and the Australian people for their support.”