It would seem that manufacturing operations at GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden are always on the brink, as the country’s strong currency conflicts with a desirable business case for producing vehicles locally. That said, Holden is committed to keeping its Elizabeth manufacturing plant open until 2017, but that could be the last of it.
A new report from Australia’s Daily Telegraph states that without additional assistance from the country’s government, the Holden plant is likely to close. Holden says it costs $3,750 AUD more to make a car in Australia than it does in other General Motors factories, with labor making up 65 percent of the actual manufacturing cost.
“If Holden go to Detroit in September without Federal Government support, you will not have a Holden factory here beyond 2017,” said John Camillo, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union SA secretary speaking to Holden staff in a meeting. In September, a meeting between GM and Holden executives will outline the next stage of upgrades to the plant (pending approval) and to prepare the factory for the next-generation D2XX-based Cruze compact car range and Commodore sedan to be built beyond 2016. But should the outcome of the country’s upcoming political elections change Holden’s plans, there is fear that GM will not go through with the planned additions to and investments in Elizabeth.