General Motors has no plans to exit the Australian market, even after the shuttering of all local manufacturing by its Australian Holden brand last year, and reaffirmed its commitment this week by announcing an extra $28 million (AUD) in Holden funding that will create another 150 jobs. Speaking after the announcement, Mark Reuss – an Executive Vice President at General Motors, who served as Holden’s Managing Director from 2008 to 2009 – said that the automaker has no plans to abandon the Australian market.
“We’re here to make sure that Holden is strong,” he said. “It’s really tough to win” in Australia, he admitted, but the market “is part of who we are, and always has been. Either we’re in the game or we’re not.”
Holden’s 150 new employees will be engineers working on the development of autonomous and electrified vehicles, joining another 350+ engineers and designers currently working for the lion brand in the country. General Motors is contending with declining market share in Australia, slipping to just a 4.6-percent share of the market by the end of July – significantly less than even the 7 percent it held at the same time last year.
Still, Reuss said that GM’s Australian operations are “a fundamental part of who I am, but… also a fundamental part of our company, and a fundamental part of this industry here – and we take that very, very seriously. That’s the way we look at it, and we take those commitments very, very seriously.”
GM has “no exit plan” for Australia, the GM Executive Vice President later stated.