The first Australian-designed and made Holden Cruze hatchback 2012 models have begun driving off the production lines at the company’s Elizabeth, South Australian assembly plant.
Holden’s new 2012 Cruze hatch began production late last month at the Elizabeth plant, and the first run of models is now heading to car-yards for sale to the public.
The car was designed and produced especially for the needs of the Australian market. Prices will start at RRP $21,240 for the manual, hatchback model.
“The Cruze hatch is a major milestone for GM Holden. It shows once again that Australia can design and develop a car for the world market – a clever design and a great looking car,” Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said today.
“With the introduction of the Cruze hatch, Holden has increased its line rate to build 480 cars a day over two shifts, up from 430. Cruze models account for approximately 185 vehicles a day.”
With Cruze hatch models in production, Holden is now building 51 models across the global small car and Commodore short and long wheel base architectures, all on the same assembly line.
Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the addition of the Cruze to the automotive manufacturer’s locally-made portfolio reflects the flexibility of its Elizabeth plant and Holden’s workforce.
“It’s a challenging time for manufacturing, but Holden is one of the most flexible automotive manufacturing operations in the world and we’re incredibly proud of our capability,” Devereux said.
“As global economic conditions changed we set ourselves a very clear goal to be profitable first and foremost on our domestic business. This means building in Australia the large and small cars that Australians really want to drive.
“This strategy is clearly paying off. Cruze has been a great success in the market and our locally-made vehicles account for nearly 60 per cent of Holden’s new car sales this year.”
Building the Cruze and embarking on new export programs has meant about 300 new manufacturing job opportunities at Holden over the past 12 months and enabled the company to improve its efficiency and flexibility, said Senator Carr.
“The Government has been pleased to support the development of two Cruze models – the sedan and hatchback – and we will continue to back the industry. This vehicle shows how our investment in industry is paying off,” Senator Carr said.
Building the Cruze hatch locally has also meant more business for Holden suppliers to meet the demands of the Cruze assembly.
“This proves that the Government’s New Car Plan is working. We have companies boosting productivity and competitiveness through the Supply Chain Development Program, finding new opportunities through the Automotive Market Access Program in overseas markets alongside manufacturers from the United States, China, Thailand, India and Korea,” Senator Carr said.
“From now to 2015 the centrepiece of the plan – the Automotive Transformation Scheme – will support $4.2 billion in capital investment and innovation and $39 billion in domestic production.
“This is a good news story for the industry and it’s great to see results from the Government’s involvement and belief in the future of manufacturing.”