General Motors has released an official statement over Guido Dumarey’s intent to purchase the Elizabeth-based Holden assembly. Not only is Dumarey proposing to purchase the site, he’s asking for a free license to develop the Zeta architecture further for future vehicles.
The statement reads as follows:
“This is an industry-wide issue, a number of key macro-economic factors made it unsustainable for the three car-making companies to continue local manufacturing. As we said at the time, Holden and GM left no stone unturned to continue manufacturing in Australia but the business case simply did not stack up. Issues of scale and global competitiveness have not changed and the local vehicle market has continued to fragment, particularly with the increasing number of free trade agreements. The challenge of viability for the local supply chain will only accelerate once large-scale local manufacturing ceases.
We have always said that GM will assess any detailed proposal from any party interested in the ongoing use of the Adelaide site. An initial approach has been received by GM from Punch International. As requested by the Australian Government, this is being thoroughly reviewed by GM on a strictly commercial-in-confidence basis.”
It seems now parent company of Holden, GM, has begun to take the proposal very seriously. However, as Motoring reports, there are still more than a few hurdles to overcome before a deal is struck. Local Australian officials are treating the deal very seriously, but remain pessimistic over Dumarey’s success.
“We will do what we can as a government to help Punch in their [sic] ambition to keep making cars in South Australia,” Kyam Maher, South Australia’s automotive transformation minister, told media.
“However, there are a number of hurdles that have to be overcome both with General Motors and the state and federal governments before this becomes a reality.”
“We will continue to support Punch Automotive as we can but there is still a long way to go before this becomes a reality.”
The latest bellyache to trouble the proposal is the contamination left by Holden in the wake of closing the factory, something Dumarey will likely not want to foot the bill for. Clean-up of the site could cost millions of dollars, and it could exceed what the local government is willing to loan for such an ambitious project.
“There are all sorts of issues and one of them is about site remediation,” Maher confirmed.
“There is contamination at Holden as there was with Mitsubishi and the liability for that remediation is one of the issues that will certainly have to be discussed if this proposal is to go forward.”
It’s clear the Australian government has done all it can do for now, and it’s been positive thus far. The support by officials helps bolster support for the entire deal. But, it’s apparent General Motors holds the keys to the future of Zeta and Elizabeth.