General Motors announces it will stop making vehicles in Australia and New Zealand by end of 2017
11 December 2013

General Motors will stop making vehicles in Australia and New Zealand by late 2017. The firm will instead become an importer supporting a network of dealerships, a parts distribution centre and a design studio.

It is not yet known what the announcement means for the future of the marque, although it is likely that future Holden vehicles will be based on re-badged GM products.

The move ends almost 70 years of Holden vehicle manufacturing and over 85 years of General Motors vehicle production in Australia.

GM currently operates two vehicle production plants in Australia, producing vehicles for the Holden brand. The company confirmed around 2900 jobs will be lost as a result of the plants closing.

Holden boss Mike Devereux said: "This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia."

General Motors cites the strength of the Australian dollar as one of the main reasons for its decision. At its peak, producing a vehicle in Australia was 65 per cent more expensive than a decade earlier.

GM's departure from manufacturing in Australia now leaves Toyota as the sole car maker in the country. However, media reports suggest Toyota officials are reviewing the firm's future in Australia. A Toyota spokesman told Autocar: "We are saddened to learn of GM Holden's decision. We will now work with our suppliers, key stake holders and the government to consider our next steps.

"We have no plans at this moment [to end production in Australia]."

Outgoing CEO Dan Akerson said: "The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world."

A spokesman at Vauxhall declined to comment on how the move would affect its operations in the UK, although the only Holden-sourced model sold in the UK is the Vauxhall VXR8. A new version of the that car, the VXR8 GTS, is due to launch at the Autosport International show in January.

Our Verdict

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
The VXR8 packs a supercharged 6.2-litre V8

The last all-Aussie VXR8 is the most powerful yet. But is it the best?

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Comments
5

11 December 2013
Im not surprised, they're shite...

11 December 2013
No they aren't shite. You're shite you ignorant asshole.

3

11 December 2013
I'm not surprised by any decision made by GM 'management'.

11 December 2013
... hear about job losses through no real fault of the people involved. GM seem to have a history of mis-management of their overseas brands, I can't imagine that they will be able to support much of an import market for GM cars from elsewhere after this action; if I were an Aussie car buyer I'd give them a two-fingered salute and buy something else !


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

17 December 2013
Let's face it, if the Aussies won't buy cars made in Australian factories then they can't whine when GM close them down.

We went through it here when it dawned on us that BL/Rover cars were dreadful, we stopped buying them and they closed.

That's economics.

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