At 10:45 am Adelaide time, the very last product of GM’s Holden Elizabeth manufacturing plant rolled off the assembly line, putting a cap on nearly 70 years of Australian Holden production. That car is a VFII Holden Commodore SSV Redline sedan with a 408-horsepower, 6.2-liter LS3 V8 – a fittingly impressive vehicle to close out the plant’s long, proud manufacturing tradition.
The GM-Holden Elizabeth plant celebrated its many years of accomplishments with a private ceremony for employees. The GM subsidiary will keep some 1,000 people on staff, including in Design and Engineering, and its Lang Lang Vehicle Proving Ground will remain open, but for the marque’s manufacturing workers, today marks a definitive end. If there is a bright spot, it’s that “85 per cent of all workers to date [are] successfully transitioning” elsewhere, according to Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mark Bernhard.
Holden’s employee transition center on the Elizabeth site will remain open for at least another two years, helping Holden and supply chain employees to find work.
“Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years,” says Mark Bernhard. “Today… is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company.
“Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart.”
Holden can boast of being the second-oldest transportation company in the world, having started as a saddlery business in 1856. The company built its first mass-produced car – the 48-215 – on November 26th, 1948. More than 7.6 million Holden cars have been built in Australia since.