Holden has announced it will go ahead with plans to re-tool its South Australian factory in Elizabeth in preparation for the 2016 Commodore even though they have yet to receive further funding from the Federal Government, according to a report from local media.
The Herald Sun said the announcement contradicts Australian Federal Government insiders who claimed last week that General Motors executives had already made the decision to shut the Holden factory down.
Holden has been pushing for increased taxpayer support from the Australian government in order to produce two new models from 2016 to 2022, including the next generation Commodore. The automaker is awaiting a decision on the plants funding from the Federal Cabinet – expected sometime in late April or early May.
Workers at the plant will receive a 3 percent pay rise next week and a scheduled $1000 bonus next month, as the three-year wage freeze deal they signed in September only comes into effect if Holden signs a new agreement with the Feds.
Holden is spending $250,000 on upgrades to the plants body shop during the scheduled summer shutdown months of December and January. An insider told HS they are doing this to avoid a a shutdown at a later date if a deal were to go through, as it would involve shutting the factory down for an extended period of time.
When the next-gen Commodore does reach production, the expectation is that the vehicle will adopt a more global front-wheel-drive architecture over a RWD platform.