Holden has officially launched the first Australian-made Holden Cruze at its factory in Elizabeth, South Australia.
Supported through A$149 million in federal government funding, the launch of the low-emission car was attended by Prime Minister Julia Gillard who said that the introduction of the Cruze was a positive sign for the automotive industry in Australia.
Also in attendance was Innovation Minister Kim Carr who also said that confidence in the automotive industry was high.
Mr Carr said that participants in the Automotive Transformation Scheme, such as Holden, are estimating that by the end of 2015 they will have invested over A$4 billion in capital and innovation. According to Mr Carr, these estimates bode well for the 60,000 workers directly employed in the sector.
The new Holden Cruze is the first small car built by Holden in 10 years. The construction of the vehicles has reportedly created an extra 265 jobs at the company. Hatchback production is slated to commence later this year.
Last year Holden resumed the afternoon shift at its South Australian vehicle manufacturing plant with 165 new employees expected to join the ranks. One hundred new employees were hired in November last year for the shift with a further 65 new positions filled before the year end.
In related automotive news, Suzuki Australia last week recalled 5,486 Grand Vitara vehicles over issues with the belt tension that may affect the car’s steering. In the same week Honda recalled 700,000 vehicle worldwide, including 11,000 in Australia due to defective parts that could stall the engine and cause problems restarting it in certain models.
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