2016 will go down as a major blow to the Australian automotive industry. After decades of local production, 2016 sees Ford, Toyota and Holden winding down local operations to exit the market for good, becoming import-only brands in the process.
According to News Australia, Holden has set a concrete day for the locally-assembled Cruze to expire: October 7, the same day Ford hits the lights on its Broadmeadows facility. Coincidentally, this is also the same day as the iconic Bathurst 1000, an instrumental motoring event for both Holden and Ford.
In the process, 320 additional jobs have been axed from the Holden’s Elizabeth plant, leaving around 1,000 line workers left to assemble the Holden VF Commodore Series II for one more year. In the meantime, Cruze production will scale down from 240 cars per day, to 165.
“Holden’s key priority at all times is to support our people and to manage this scheduled wind-down of manufacturing in a way that treats our employees with respect and dignity,” the Holden statement said.
“All Holden employees have counseling services available to them, as well as career coaching, training and job searching assistance.”
Workers at the Port Melbourne facility are expected to be released by the end of 2016 when the brand’s V6 engine plant shuts down for good, too.
The locally-produced Holden Cruze will be replaced by the Opel Astra K, which the brand confirmed earlier this year.