Holden names the day its final Australian car will be built
HOLDEN has revealed its final day as a car manufacturer will be October 20, 2017.
Fittingly, the final car built will be a Holden Commodore at its Elizabeth plant in Adelaide. It will mean an end to over 50 years of vehicle manufacturing by Holden at the Elizabeth site.
Holden began vehicle manufacturing at the South Australian location in 1963, but had built the first all-Australian motor vehicle in 1948 - the 48-215 or FX - in Port Melbourne.
It means from October 21 this year, Holden will have completed its final transition into a full vehicle importer.
The company announced it will still make more than 30,000 vehicles in Australia before manufacturing ends in 9 months' time.
It also reiterated that it will retain more than 300 designers and engineers in addition to 10,000 employees at Holden's Melbourne headquarters, its proving ground, design studio and across its 230-strong national Holden dealer network.
It has long been known Holden would honour its commitment to manufacture vehicles at its Elizabeth plant until the final quarter of 2017, but today we finally have been told the exact day for downing tools.
Holden Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, said that Holden's overriding priority was giving employees and suppliers advance notice and providing certainty.
"While this confirmation isn't a surprise for anyone and we've been working toward this for nearly four years, we can now confirm the actual date for our people and our suppliers," he said. "Putting our people first and foremost has always been our highest priority.
"This October may bring to a close more than 60 years of vehicle manufacturing by Holden at Elizabeth but I know it will be business as usual for our manufacturing workforce until then - we have tens of thousands of world-class cars to build in coming months and I know we all want to see Holden have great success in Australia for many years to come."
Nearly 1000 employees will remain at the Elizabeth plant in production, engineering and support roles until production ends.
Holden said it had no plans for further workforce reductions ahead of October 20, and of the 700 people who left the Elizabeth plant since 2015, 80% have "successfully transitioned" within 12 months of leaving: 69% are employed, 5% are in training, 3% have retired and 3% are volunteering.
Holden also released a list documenting the future of its company:
Future of Holden:
Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by the end of 2020.
Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, along with advanced engineering capabilities.
Holden's Global Design centre continues to be based in Port Melbourne, contributing to local and global product programs.
Holden will retain more than 300 designers and engineers beyond 2017. This is in addition to approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across the 230-strong Holden dealer network.
More than one-third of Holden's future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe; with vehicles also being sourced from North America and Asia.
The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on from 2018 with Holden's next-generation large car.
Home Ground Advantage, Holden's $5 million, 10-year commitment to grass roots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 5000 entries since launch.
Holden has launched the biggest Capped Price Servicing Program in the country, covering every Holden ever built.