Holden confirm Aussie production will cease on October 20
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Holden today has confirmed it will continue manufacturing in Australia until October 20, 2017, when the final car will be built at its Elizabeth plant and Holden becomes a national sales company and vehicle importer for the long-term in Australia.
Today Holden’s manufacturing workforce in Adelaide were the first to be told the company will fulfill its 2013 commitment to manufacture vehicles at its Elizabeth plant until the final quarter of 2017.
Holden Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, said that Holden’s overriding priority is giving employees and suppliers advance notice and providing certainty.
“While this confirmation isn’t a surprise for anyone and we’ve been working toward this for nearly four years, we can now confirm the actual date for our people and our suppliers. Putting our people first and foremost has always been our highest priority,” Mr Phillips said.
“This October may bring to a close more than 60 years of vehicle manufacturing by Holden at Elizabeth but I know it will be business as usual for our manufacturing workforce until then – we have tens of thousands of world-class cars to build in coming months and I know we all want to see Holden have great success in Australia for many years to come.
“Every day our employees exhibit professionalism and passion for achieving quality. We are categorically building the best cars Holden has ever built and that is backed up by internal and external data. They simply are a fantastic team that will ensure our last locally-made car is also our best car ever.”
Holden has assembled vehicles for domestic and export markets at the Elizabeth plant since 1963 and will continue to manufacture the world-class Commodore range there until October 20, with nearly 1000 employees remaining at the Elizabeth plant in production, engineering and support roles until production ends. There are no plans for any further workforce reductions ahead of October 20.
Of the nearly 700 people who have left Holden’s Elizabeth plant since 2015, 80 per cent have successfully transitioned within 12 months of leaving (69 per cent employed, 5 per cent in training, 3 per cent have retired and 3 per cent are volunteering).
Holden’s Transition Support program will continue to prepare job seekers for new careers and support those opting for retirement until well after the factory closes.
During 2016, the Elizabeth plant was recognised with two awards for safety and financial performance within General Motors International.
All Holden employees leaving the business have access to a suite of transition services and up to $3000 in approved training and $500 for financial advice - all part of Holden’s $15 million contribution to the federal government-led Growth Fund for specific support of automotive manufacturing employees.
Holden’s Transition Centre was opened at its Elizabeth plant in 2014 to provide a range of support services including information sessions, workshops, career counselling, employment expos, resume writing, interview skills preparation and more.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said Holden’s manufacturing workforce had set new benchmarks for quality and performance in the past four years.
“They have continually pushed to improve the quality of their work for the benefit of our customers – this commitment, continuous improvement attitude and passion have been exhibited in spades in challenging circumstances,” Mr Bernhard said.
“It’s not surprising that their skills, work ethic and flexibility are highly sought after and they are leaving a legacy for Holden that deserves to be honoured by ensuring this company has a bright and successful future.
“Holden continues to change but we are proud to retain a significant presence in Australia for the long-term that includes more than 300 people across our local design and engineering workforces, in addition to the approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across our dealer network. Holden remains committed to Australia and our customers for many, many years to come”.