Government payment won’t save Holden jobs

Job losses at Holden’s Elizabeth plant remain the reality for the automotive manufacturer and it workers despite the multi-million dollar funding its parent company General Motors received from the Australian government, the ABC has reported.

Australia’s State and Federal Governments have pledged to pay a significant sum to GM to keep its factories in Australia; however the payment is not likely to stop redundancies at the South Australia plant.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill announced during a recent trip to the U.S. to meet with GM executives at the at the company’s headquarters in Detroit, that State and Federal Governments were prepared to pay an undisclosed amount to keep jobs at the plant. It is estimated that the sum offered was well into the 9-figure range.

Mr Weatherill has since told the ABC that job losses at the company’s Elizabeth plant are likely to go ahead despite the additional funds. He has also implied that the production of the Holden Commodore may no longer be the main manufacturing line at the Elizabeth plant as the future of car manufacturing in Australia will be more focus on producing parts for vehicle models made elsewhere.

The Elizabeth car assembly plant employs 2500 people.

In December last year, news that Holden was to decide on Commodore manufacturing in Australia future beyond 2018 sent a nervous chill down the back of local industries.

At the time the automotive manufacturer was consider the long-term future of its operations in Australua and whether it will invest billions of dollars to develop its next generation vehicles, or call quits on local production of its cars. The news comes a month after reports first surfaced that Holden will begin cutting jobs as it moves its engineer and design work for post-2014 Commodore models off-shore.

Production on 2013 VF Commodore will continue in various iterations until at least 2017. Production beyond 2018 has yet to be decided.

In May, Holden has received a further $40 million from the Government’s Green Car Innovation Fund to manufacture a more fuel-efficient Commodore.

Holden received $149 million from the Government in 2010 to re-build its Cruze production line.