Holden jobs go as Cruze axed

Holden jobs go as Cruze axed

Holden will cut approximately 400 jobs at its Adelaide plant by the end of the year, after it announced it would stop making the Holden Cruze model.

The scrapping of the locally-built small car model by Holden, will slash the workforce at the Holden plant at Elizabeth from about 1200 to 800 by the end of 2016, ahead of the complete shutdown of the plant in late 2017. Workers were told of the decision at internal meetings last Friday afternoon.

Holden managing director Mark Bernhard says the company will continue to make Holden Commodore sedans and wagons at the factory until late in 2017.

The end of Cruze production first up had always been part of the scaling down plans by parent General Motors Holden, and the local arm, after the decision was made in late 2013 to end car making in Australia by 2017.

The Cruze model will be replaced by an imported Holden Astra. The Cruze had been manufactured at the Elizabeth plant for the past five and a half years.

Rival car maker Ford is scheduled to close its car manufacturing factory at Broadmeadows in Melbourne in October, 2016, along with its engine plant in Geelong.

Meanwhile, Toyota will close its car making plant at Altona in western Melbourne in 2017, signalling the end of a local automotive manufacturing industry.

This will leave Australia as an importer only of new cars, after Mitsubishi Motors became the first of the big four car makers to shut down local car making in 2008, when it shuttered a plant in Adelaide’s southern suburbs at Tonsley Park.

Holden says it will help its workforce with transition support services and up to $3000 for approved training courses to help them find new work.

The job losses at Holden came as an ambitious attempt by Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey to try and revive the Elizabeth factory in Adelaide finally came to an end after both GM and Dumarey’s Punch Corporation said the proposal was now dead.

The second blow came just hours after the Cruze-related job losses were announced. A joint statement by GM and Punch Corp late on Friday says: “Both parties concluded that a viable business model was not possible for this case.”

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