GM’s Australian arm — GM Holden — has reported a profit of A$89.7 million in 2011 from revenue of A$4.3 billion. The earnings represent a decrease of A$12 million in profit (from A$112 million in 2010) and A$100 million in revenue (from A$4.4 billion in 2010) due to what Holden describes as “a softening of the large car market and shortage of some imported vehicles in the important light commercial and medium SUV segments.”
“Local car makers face tough economic conditions with the high Australian dollar, higher prices and disruption in the local supply base and increasing competition and segmentation in the market,” said Holden Chief Financial Officer George Kapitelli.
As of this writing, 1 Australian Dollar (A$1) is equal to $1.019 USD.
In addition, the GM subsidiary spent A$231 million on Research and Development operations, an increase of A$52 million from 2010. Over the last five years, Holden’s total R&D investment has totalled more than A$1.3 billion.
Kapitelli also stated that about 60 percent of Australian sales are made in Australia:
“After the financial crisis we reshaped our business to improve structural cost, reduce our reliance on exports and bring the Cruze into local production so we could continue to make cars in Australia. Now around 60 per cent of our Australian sales are Australian-made cars, this is a great result.
Holden vehicle production was up 36.8 percent in 2011, with the Elizabeth plant in South Australia producing 90,424 vehicles, up from 66,061 in 2010. Engine production was up 2.9 percent, with 101,019 engines manufactured in Port Melbourne (Victoria), up from 98,146 in 2010. Meanwhile, Holden’s exports were up 54.3 percent in 2011, with the division shipping 12,068 cars to markets such as the Middle East, New Zealand, North America, Brazil, and South Africa. Holden’s V6 engine exports to South Korea, China, Thailand, and Germany totaled 57,792 — up 14 percent year over year.
The automaker sold a total of 126,095 vehicles in Australia in 2011, a decrease of 5.1 percent on 2010 levels. The Commodore and Cruze were the in the top five of the best-selling models in the country and Holden held a market share of 12.5 percent, making it the second-highest-selling brand in the country.
The GM Authority Take
A small profit is better than no profit at all. And given the upcoming Chevrolet SS/Performance model and possible wagon and Ute variants, we expect Holden’s local manufacturing and production to grow even more in the coming years… until said production is moved to North America.